96. Notes on Telephone Conversation between Kohler and Ball, March 111

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Kohler said about the talks with Gromyko on the disarmament situation in general, they prepared a talking paper which in general the Secretary followed quite strongly and they are telegraphing back. Home was particularly good on the subject. He really got excited and threatened to leave the conference if this kind of business continued. The combination of the Secretary and Home talking to Gromyko with only the interpreters present was effective although inconclusive. Gromyko’s reaction by moral indignation claimed that he knew nothing about this and that the report must be wrong. They were doing normal things in the corridor. His attitude generally was defensive. The Secretary and Home continued to press him, however, and while there were no commitments on his part, they think he will be sending a message of importance to Moscow tonight. However, they think it is important that Norstad have the authority to go ahead with his plan in case there is no reaction from the Soviets. Kohler is going back to dictate a telegram so that we will have it in the morning. On the disarmament question the talks were only of a technical nature and agreement was reached on a meeting of the Technical Committee to be held tomorrow, to [Typeset Page 283] proceed with this. Possibly Bill Foster or Stillwell from our side; Michael Wright on the British side, and Zorin from the Soviet side. The Secretary touched on the nuclear testing question. This resulted in a somewhat polemical discussion. The Secretary turned it off and said they would discuss it later. All he wanted to do was emphasize the importance of the question. They have some kind of a meeting tomorrow. They have a luncheon engagement for tomorrow with the Russians and will send us a report after that.

(Dictated by Mr. Ball after his conversation.)

  1. Brief readout of Rusk/Home/Gromyko discussions on disarmament in Geneva. No classification marking. 1 p. Kennedy Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Disarmament.