562. Memorandum of telephone conversation between McCloy and Ball, December 31

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McCloy: I hear Adlai is down there. What is up?

Ball: I didn’t know he was.

McCloy: We have a session with Kuznetsov this morning at 11 o’clock; I just heard from Yost that Adlai was called to Washington last night.

Ball: It’s news to me. There is a meeting of the Executive Committee this morning, but it is to hear Harriman’s report on India. Unless they want him there for that; it could be they sent out a general request for [Typeset Page 1506] the Executive Committee and it caught him. It has nothing to do with this other thing.

McCloy: Kuznetsov tried to see us over the weekend, and we ducked it.

Ball: I think you will have to see him; it is the only thing to do.

McCloy: I will do it. What I would like to get is this morning’s guidance as to whether we are going to try to close this thing up or not. I don’t believe we are very far apart. I think with a couple changes or so—the overflights, and how you state that. I think he is reaching for some way to state it that does not bind him in the acceptance. Another is the threat to the security business, which he says is loose language, and you can claim a threat at any time. There is a lot of truth in that, and he wants to make it a little more definite. Maybe if you went back to attack on that and relied on the Rio pact which has some very loose language in it, you might be able to get over that one. The third one is the intent business rather than the language of the letter which we argued so much about at Hyannisport. I wouldn’t be surprised we could hold that, maybe—I don’t know.

Ball: I will get back to you before your 11 o’clock meeting.

McCloy: I would like to get back whether I should try to close it up this morning.

Ball: I will talk to the President about it.

McCloy: Yes, see what he says. I think I ought to get a pretty good slant on it. In regard to the drafting and the language of the thing, I don’t think you are going to get ten people to agree on an exclusion clause in regard to the overflights. I know how to draft that. And if I get you to say OK; you waste a couple days getting it through the Pentagon. This is kind of silly.

Ball: Let me see if we can’t short-circuit that one.

  1. Request by McCloy to wrap up negotiations with Kuznetsov. No classification marking. 1 pp. DOS, Ball Papers: Lot 74 D 272, Telcons—Cuba.