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

191. For Governor Harriman from the President. Your report1 is encouraging on limited test ban and you are right to press for that without link to NAP. You are also right to keep French out of initial treaty, though I continue to be prepared to work on French2 if Soviets will work on Chinese, and you should make this clear as occasion offers.

I remain convinced that Chinese problem is more serious than Khrushchev comments in first meeting suggest, and believe you should press question in private meeting with him. I agree that large stockpiles are characteristic of US and USSR only, but consider that relatively small forces in hands of people like ChiComs could be very dangerous to us all. Further believe even limited test ban can and should be means to limit diffusion.

You should try to elicit Khrushchev’s view of means of limiting or preventing Chinese nuclear development and his willingness either to take Soviet action or to accept US action aimed in this direction.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 18-4. Secret. Drafted by President Kennedy and cleared by McGeorge Bundy and Benjamin H. Read, Executive Secretary of the Department of State.
  2. Document 325.
  3. In telegram 205 to Moscow, July 16, marked “Eyes Only—Ban” and “For Kaysen from Bundy,” stated that Kennedy asked Bundy “to be sure that Harriman understands his intent to discuss test ban agreement with French in terms outlined by Bohlen to Couve. I have assured him that this is well understood, but you may wish to repeat to Averell the President’s concern on this point and his desire that negotiations leave path open for such discussion and possible resulting arrangements.” (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 18-4) Regarding Bohlen’s conversation with Couve de Murville, see Document 295.