29. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union0

1538. Following message sent December 30 by commercial telegram from President Kennedy to President Brezhnev and Chairman Khrushchev in response Khrushchev and Brezhnev New Year’s message December 29 (see separate cable):1

"Dear President Brezhnev and Chairman Khrushchev:

As the year 1961 approaches its close I wish to extend to the people of the Soviet Union and to you and your families my most sincere wishes and those of the American people for a peaceful and prosperous New Year. The year which is ending has been a troubled one. It is my earnest hope that the coming year will strengthen the foundations of world peace and will bring an improvement in the relations between our countries, upon which so much depends. It is our grave responsibility to fulfill that hope. As President of the United States, I can state on behalf of the Government and the American people that we will do our best to do so.

John F. Kennedy

White House has not yet decided whether issue public release re exchange of messages.

Rusk
  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Official Use Only; Priority. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series,USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 1961, p. 819, and in Claflin, The President Wants To Know, p. 141.
  2. Document 28.