324. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 0

306. For Harriman from Bundy.

The President is informing Prime Minister directly that we are not enthusiastic about his “volunteering” to do the job in paragraph 2 of your 232.1
The President wants you to know that expressions of strong French and German opposition to non-aggression arrangement increased and that it is greatly to our advantage not to link limited test ban to such arrangements if at all possible. You may wish to argue with Khrushchev that such a link would merely strengthen hands of those who are against improvement in relations in all countries, while nevertheless it is a fact that test ban agreement in itself would make it easier for good sense to prevail on other issues of which non-aggression arrangement is one.
Presidential letter to Khrushchev follows and is for your delivery in any way you see fit. Message open for amendment if you wish to recommend any.2

“Dear Mr. Chairman:

I am sending this message by the hand of Averell Harriman, whose visit to Moscow with Lord Hailsham is one that I hope may have important positive consequences for peace.

I am sure you know, but I want to say again, that Mr. Harriman comes with my full personal confidence and is in a position to give you my thinking not only about the problems of disarmament but about other issues as well. I have chosen him also because of his clear record of sympathetic understanding of the Russian people and his service to our common cause in the critical days of World War 2.

As Governor Harriman will explain to you, we continue to believe that it will be best if we can get a comprehensive agreement on the end of all nuclear testing, and we regret the continuing difference between us on the question of the nature and number of the inspections which would be necessary to give confidence in such a comprehensive agreement. I can only repeat again that there simply is not any interest in using such inspections for espionage of any sort, but I know from your recent statements that you have not accepted this explanation. In these circumstances, I believe that we should continue with our efforts to resolve this difference, but in the meantime I share the view which you have put forward in your important statement in Berlin that it is sensible to reach agreement where agreement is now possible, in the area of testing in the atmosphere, under water, and in outer space. Governor Harriman will explain that we continue to be in favor of such a more limited agreement and that we are encouraged by your statement in Berlin to believe that it is now possible.

I will not take your time in this letter to go into greater detail on this and other questions, but will merely repeat my conviction that we are at a moment in which it is important to make progress together. For this reason we attach great importance to Mr. Harriman’s visit.

My wife joins me in sending our good wishes to you, to Mrs. Khrushchev, and to all your family.

Sincerely, John F. Kennedy

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/Harriman. Secret; Priority; Eyes Only Ban. Drafted in the White House by McGeorge Bundy. Also printed in vol. VI, Document 108.
  2. Document 323. White House telegram CAP 63382 from Bundy to de Zulueta, July 12, states that the President was glad that Macmillan agreed that if a limited test ban (or a non-dissemination agreement) was obtained it would be necessary to “take steps” to obtain French agreement. “The President believes that it would be necessary for our two Governments to consult closely about any such discussions, and he believes that it would be essential to act in concert on this matter which is so near the center of our whole problem with General de Gaulle.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, ACDA, Disarmament, Test Ban Correspondence 7/12/63-8/7/63) This telegram was repeated as telegram 173 to London, July 13, marked “Eyes Only—Ban” and “For Harriman from Bundy.” (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 18-4)
  3. Harriman and Kaysen requested this letter in an undated and unnumbered telegram to Bundy in order “to ensure Harriman reception in right mood and to keep discussion at top level. Understand Hailsham will be delivering message to Khrushchev from PM.” (Communication channel not indicated; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Kaysen Series, Harriman Mission Cables 7/12-7/18/63)