20. Editorial Note

On September 5, 1961, Cyrus Sulzberger met with Khrushchev and during an off-the-record conversation Khrushchev gave him a message for President Kennedy, emphasizing that it was off-the-record. Sulzberger transmitted the following message to the President on September 10:

“If you are personally in a position to meet President Kennedy, I wish you would tell him that I would not be loath to establishing some sort of informal contact with him to find a means of settling the crisis without damaging the prestige of the United States—but on the basis of a German peace treaty and a Free City of West Berlin.

[Page 25]

“The President might say what is in his mind concerning ways of solving the problem—if he agrees in principle with the peace treaty and a Free City. Otherwise, there is no use in contacts.

“If he does wish some settlement he could, through informal contacts, voice his opinion on various forms and stages and on how to prepare public opinion and not endanger the prestige of the United States or Mr.Kennedy.” (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163) Also printed in Last of the Giants, pages 801-802.