166. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson 1

I believe that, in view of the action of the Soviets and of the East European Chiefs of Mission in declining your invitation to accompany you on the Sequoia last night, it is advisable that we take some action at least to send them a signal that this action has been noted and resented. While I would not advocate any action which would seriously affect our basic relations with these countries, I do believe it important to make them aware of the importance we attach to the office of the President of the United States. We are proceeding to cut back our attendance at the Polish National Day reception to the level of office director.

In addition, the Soviet Science Attaché has been invited, along with some other diplomats (but no other East Europeans), to attend the launching at Cape Kennedy on Monday. If you have no objection, I propose to withdraw the invitation as an indication of our displeasure at the refusal of your invitation for last night.

Dean Rusk
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, State Department, Vol. IX. No classification marking. Attached to another copy of the memorandum, which shows it was drafted by Thompson, is a note that states the President agreed to the level of representation discussed at the Polish reception but did not wish to withdraw the invitation to the Soviet Science Attaché. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 17 EUR E–US)