79. Editorial Note

On July 20, 1961, President Kennedy sent similar letters Adenauer, de Gaulle, and Macmillan outlining the speech that he would make on July 25 to the American people. In these letters he reviewed the conclusions that the U.S. Government had reached in its examination of the Berlin question, described additional steps that would have to be taken, and expressed the hope that these measures would convince the Soviet Union of the resolution of the West. For texts of the letters [Page 224] to de Gaulle and Macmillan, see Declassified Documents, 1986, 1866, and 1985, 946; the letter to Adenauer was transmitted to Bonn in telegram 154, July 20, for delivery to the Chancellor. (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204) On the following day the Department of State transmitted a summary of the points that would be included in the speech to the Ambassadors in the other NATO capitals and Berlin and Tokyo for the purpose of informing the Foreign Ministers of those countries. (Telegram 73 to Ankara, etc.; ibid., Central Files, 762.00/7-2161)

At 4:30 p.m. on July 21 Rusk met with Lebel of France, Hood of the United Kingdom, and Grewe of the Federal Republic of Germany to explain in more detail the particulars of U.S. policy on Berlin. At this meeting Rusk distributed a “Memorandum on Berlin,” dated July 21, which consisted of a memorandum on measures for dealing with the Berlin situation and three attachments: 1) an 11-page military program (a summary of Annex C of the document prepared in response to NSAM No. 59 (see footnote 2, Document 74)); 2) a 4-page paper on economic sanctions (Annex B of the document prepared in response to NSAM No. 59); and 3) an 8-page paper on the information program which would support U.S. policy on Berlin (Annex H of the document prepared in response to NSAM No. 59). Rusk told Lebel, Hood, and Grewe that the memorandum spelled out the U.S. decisions and proposals on Berlin. A copy of the memorandum is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 65 D 366, CF 1946. A copy of Kohler’s memorandum to Rusk in preparation for the meeting is ibid., Central Files, 762.00/7-2161. The Department of State reported on the meeting in telegram 170 to Bonn, July 22. (Ibid., 762.00/7-2261) For Grewe’s brief account of the meeting, see Rückblenden, page 484.