32. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rusk 0


  • Further Berlin Negotiations

The President reached the following decisions at the meeting on Berlin in the Cabinet Room on April 7 at 10:30 a.m.1

The revised draft of April 32 was approved for discussion with our principal allies, preparatory to discussions with Ambassador Dobrynin, which it is hoped that you will be ready to undertake by the beginning of the week of April 16. The President desires that such negotiations be well launched before the resumption of atmospheric testing, which is now scheduled for the beginning of the following week.
The President approved the following change in the document: in paragraph 3 a., replace the words “national governments” by the words “any national government.”
The President desires that every effort be made to minimize the possibility of damaging leaks during and after the process of Allied consultation. In this connection, he specifically approves the proposal that there be no discussion of these papers on a multilateral basis. Instead, there should be separate bilateral discussions with representatives of Great Britain, France, and the Federal Republic.3
The President thinks it most important that the discussions take place, in so far as possible, in an atmosphere of reduced tension such as now exists. He believes that this point should be made with emphasis at each stage of your discussions with Ambassador Dobrynin.
McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/4–762. Top Secret; Eyes Only. The source text bears no drafting information.
  2. According to the President’s Appointment Book, Bundy, Ball, Kohler, Bohlen, Hillenbrand, Thompson, Sorensen, the President, and the Vice President attended the meeting. (Kennedy Library) In a memorandum to the Vice President, April 6, Colonel Burris stated that the President called it a negotiating discussion concerned with political policies, and that no military personnel would be present. He concluded that the purpose of the meeting was “to discuss the general policies and courses of action, measures and counter-measures, which should be taken in Berlin, Geneva, and with NATO allies henceforth.” (Johnson Library, Vice President Security File, Memos from Burris)
  3. Although the source text bears the handwritten notation “(attached)”, no draft was attached to it; see, however, Document 30.
  4. The second paper referred to here is the proposal for an international access authority for Berlin that Thompson gave to Gromyko on February 1. (See vol. XIV, Document 278.) Kohler gave copies of both papers to representatives of the British, French, and German Embassies during the afternoon of April 9. Memoranda of his conversations at this time are in Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/4–1262. The meeting with Grewe is also described briefly in Ruckblenden, p. 549.