235. Memorandum of Conversation1

PARTICIPANTS2

  • US
    • The President
    • Alexander Akalovsky, First Secretary, American Embassy, Moscow
  • USSR
    • Chairman Kosygin
    • Victor Sukhodrev, Counselor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

SUBJECT

  • Middle East, NPT, Cuban Subversion, Viet-Nam

After lunch, the President continued his conversation alone with Mr. Kosygin. Mr. Kosygin suggested that the various questions be discussed in a more specific way.

The President agreed and expressed the view that the controlling question was that of the armaments race. The arms problem was of extreme importance to us, and we would like to discuss such questions as offensive and defensive missiles systems, arms expenditures in general, military budgets, and arms disclosure, i.e., arms sales to other countries. The two sides should have meetings in order to discuss how they both could reduce their arms budgets and also to discuss all other relevant questions. If he had understood the Chairman correctly as saying that he was willing to have his representatives meet with our people on these questions, he should give the time and the place and they could meet. Perhaps there would be results, perhaps not, but in any event it would be very desirable to have even short talks so that both sides would understand each other’s positions, for he did not believe that the Soviet side really understood Mr. McNamara’s position.

[Page 545]

Mr. Kosygin noted that the President had raised the arms question first. He said that in his view the situation in the Middle East and the war in Viet-Nam should be discussed first inasmuch as both of these questions, and particularly the war in Viet-Nam, had a direct bearing on the arms question. He did not think the United States could reduce its armaments while the war in Viet-Nam was going on; after all, the US was spending something like $20 billion on the war in Viet-Nam. The USSR, in turn, was also spending enormous sums of money in connection with that situation. Consequently, it would not be possible to reduce military budgets for armaments while the Viet-Nam war continued, or while the situation in the Middle East remained unresolved. In view of this, he felt that the Middle Eastern situation should be discussed first. Both sides could state their specific positions on the subject, then turn to Viet-Nam, and then to non-proliferation and other disarmament questions. Perhaps some bilateral problems could be discussed as well, but apparently neither side had anything specific in this area at this time.

The President said he had no particular preference as to the order of discussion, noting that he would be agreeable to any sequence suggested by the Chairman.

Turning to the Middle East crisis, the President said that, as the Chairman had indicated in his UNGA speech that we should, the US had searched for common language on the problem. We had hoped that our five points could serve as a basis for such language, or for at least finding a solution. As the Chairman would recall, those points included territorial integrity, freedom of innocent maritime passage, refugees, arms, etc. The Chairman had said that this did not offer a basis and that therefore he could not agree; if this was so, we would have to search for something else, but we had hoped that both sides could agree on these points. The Chairman had said at UNGA that an attempt should be made to find common language, and we had agreed to do so. In this connection, the President observed that the General Assembly’s function was to make recommendations rather than take action; the General Assembly could make recommendations to the Security Council and to the participants in the conflict. We had studied Mr. Kosygin’s speech at the General Assembly very carefully and believed that we ought to be able to find common language. There were a number of points on which the two sides should be able to agree. Such points were withdrawal of forces, Israel’s existence as a state, elimination of the state of belligerency, reaffirmation of the non-use of force, freedom of maritime passage through the Straits and in the Gulf of Aqaba, intensified social and economic development for the area, reduction of the arms race, the refugee problem, effective presence of the UN, and mediation. Some of these points were contained in Mr. Kosygin’s speech, and we believed that none of them was inconsistent with [Page 546]Soviet policy. The President said he expected Secretary Rusk to go to New York in order to discuss these points with the Soviet side. He would urge his very able Secretary to be as persuasive as possible in New York and to finish his discussions as expeditiously as possible, although-as the Chairman has said-it was difficult to persuade some people.3

Mr. Kosygin said he had no objection to discussions between the Secretary and Mr. Gromyko; as to himself, he was going to leave tomorrow. He wished to note, however, that all of the points listed by the President referred to the Arabs and none of them said what Israel, the party guilty of aggression, should do. He had studied the Arab position very carefully while in New York and could tell the President that the Arabs would not accept such a proposition. Therefore, he believed that the only realistic approach was that proposed by the Soviet Union. As the President knew, the three points set forth in the Soviet position were recognition of Israel as the perpetrator of aggression, withdrawal of Israeli forces, and compensation.

The President interjected that the Chairman perhaps did not understand that withdrawal was included in our points as well. Mr. Kosygin said that he did understand this but the problem was that the point was listed at the end whereas the Soviet Union placed it first.

Mr. Kosygin went on to say that he believed that at this time withdrawal was the main question; if there were to be no withdrawal, there would be a new war in the Middle East. He said he agreed that there was no need for a double decision, as it were, and thought that UNGA should make a recommendation on withdrawal, with the Security Council then determining the time-frame and other modalities, or-if Israel were to refuse to comply-the necessary sanctions. Also, he believed that we must work on the Arabs to open the Straits. As to all other questions raised by the President, they were of a long-term nature and could be resolved only through prolonged discussions and debates. Thus, the most effective way of approaching the problem now was to concentrate on the question of withdrawal. U Thant should be asked to supervise compliance with any decision on this question through his representatives in the area. Other questions could then be discussed, perhaps in the Security Council. This was the Soviet plan and if the President did not agree, it was quite clear that the US and the Soviet positions were different.

The President reiterated his belief that the positions of the two sides ought to be in agreement on such questions as withdrawal, mediation, [Page 547] UN presence, the arms question, acceptance of Israel’s existence, and elimination of the state of belligerency. He then said that while he understood the Chairman’s position, the US could not agree to a resolution which would deal only with withdrawal and ignore elements of “common language” that are important and imperative for a solution of the problem. He believed that other elements for common language could be found and that, therefore, the search for them should be continued. He thought that even if the General Assembly were somehow to make a recommendation dealing only with withdrawal, such recommendation would bring no results. He reiterated that the two sides ought to be able to find common language by exploring the 10 or 11 points they had mentioned.

Mr. Kosygin observed that the General Assembly could pass such a resolution if the United States supported it; otherwise, a large group of states under US influence would oppose it. At the same time, he would not rule out the possibility of such a resolution being passed even in the absence of US support, for all the non-aligned countries—some 40 of them—would definitely support it. He reiterated that all other questions could be taken up and discussed once the question of withdrawal was resolved. As he had said earlier, other questions were of a long-term nature and would take a long time to be resolved. For instance, the President had mentioned the refugee problem. This was a very complex problem; for even if the United States were to offer to some specific number of refugees, let us say 5,000, resettlement in the United States, those people might not accept such an offer and might want to go home. What we should deal with now was the most immediate problem. We were now faced with a situation where Suez was closed, no oil was flowing, and another war could break out. Suez must not be closed for long, but now it constitutes the front line. In sum, the basic problem was withdrawal; once that was accomplished, other questions could be taken up.

The President said he understood the Chairman as saying that the General Assembly should make only one recommendation and ignore all other problems of the area.

Mr. Kosygin interjected that he did not suggest that all other questions should be ignored; they could be discussed in the Security Council later. If all the questions raised by the President were to be discussed in the General Assembly, the General Assembly might have to last a couple of years, and that, of course, would be an unrealistic approach.

The President continued that the US could not agree to confine the General Assembly’s resolution to only one recommendation. We believe that the General Assembly should try to find “common language” for recommendation to the Security Council and to the parties. Such common language should indicate the way of making peace and should [Page 548]therefore include some of the points he had listed earlier. Thus, in summary, the Chairman was saying that only one point should be dealt with while we believed that several points should be included. For this reason, the President said, he would instruct the Secretary and Ambassador Goldberg to continue working very hard; he did not believe that one recommendation would do the job or be satisfactory to the Security Council or the combatants.

Mr. Kosygin commented that the situation did not look good as there seemed to be no understanding on this problem.

The President again reiterated that we should search for common language in the General Assembly, citing as possible elements such questions as withdrawal, freedom of maritime passage, Israel’s right to existence, elimination of the rights of belligerence, reduction of the arms race, mediation, and effective UN presence. He expressed the view that, as a close look at the Chairman’s speech and our statement would indicate, all of these points offered some possibility. In any event, they would certainly be explored in the Security Council and in the area. It was inconceivable to him that the General Assembly would not recommend elements for permanent peace, and all of the points he had mentioned were such elements. The Chairman might of course be right that the General Assembly would make a recommendation only on one point, but such a recommendation would not be likely to solve anything.

Mr. Kosygin said that the conflict between India and Pakistan could serve as a good example. The situation had been quite similar there and he could say that if there had been no mutual withdrawal at that time, war would still be going on. The decision made at Tashkent to have the withdrawal had been a very correct one; for while the problem still remained unresolved, there was no war any longer.

The President interjected that while it was accurate to say that withdrawal had been achieved in the India/Pakistani conflict, one should bear in mind that the withdrawal of forces had been accompanied by a withdrawal of arms; these two things went together. The US, while not a participant at Tashkent, had also made this decision, and we were greatly appreciative of the good job that Mr. Kosygin had done at Tashkent. Mr. Kosygin said that this was not a question of what he had done but rather one of principle. Withdrawal had stopped the war between India and Pakistan; in the Middle East, however, we now have tension and military hostilities could break out any minute. The President said we agreed that withdrawal would reduce tensions to a degree but, then, other elements would do so even more. Mr. Kosygin said that as regards Aqaba, the Security Council could take a decision on that question. The President wondered why the two questions should not be decided together. Mr. Kosygin replied that in such a large body as the General Assembly, a vote on the question of Aqaba would [Page 549]not be successful. The President observed that this was why we had felt all along that the problem should be discussed in the Security Council. Mr. Kosygin said that the Soviet view was that withdrawal should be discussed in the General Assembly and that other questions should be taken up in the Security Council.

Mr. Kosygin continued that unless withdrawal was accomplished, a long war would occur which, like the one in Algeria, would last several years. Responsibility for such a war would fall upon those who made a wrong decision; if the United States should make a wrong decision, responsibility would fall upon it. Mr. Kosygin reiterated that the problem could be resolved only on the basis he had outlined. No Arab could even think of accepting any of the other points raised by the President. On the other hand, if there were withdrawal, life would go back to normal, and he agreed that Aqaba and the Strait of Tiran should be opened. All other questions could be taken up subsequently. It would be the US that would be responsible if no right decision was taken now. The US wanted all questions to be included, and this was impossible. As he had said earlier, a new war would break out with the US aiding one side and the Soviet Union the other; under those conditions, there could be no question of reducing arms or military spending-all this would be illusory and mankind would have to wait for a long time for the solution of these problems. That was why we had to make a decision today.

Noting that Fawsi had talked to the Secretary, Mr. Kosygin suggested that the US listen not only to Israel, but to Arab States as well. He then pulled out of his pocket what he said was a report on Eban’s remarks at a closed meeting of Latin American countries at the UN and said that Eban had made some very remarkable statements on that occasion. Eban had said that Israel took a negative view of the Soviet proposal for withdrawal; that Israel demanded bilateral discussions without any mediator, not even in the person of the UN; that Israel insisted on the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula and of the occupied part of Syria; that Israel would incorporate the Gaza strip and the West Bank of Jordan; that it would establish control over all of Jerusalem; and that the refugee problem should be taken up only after a settlement. No Arab could ever agree to such demands. Mr. Kosygin said that he believed that today was the time of responsible decision and that we could find and make such a decision.

The President said he agreed with both points in Mr. Kosygin’s last statement, namely, that today was a time of responsible decision and that such a decision could be found. For our part, we had listed the various elements for such a decision. We were talking to Arab states, listened to them, and were seeking a fair decision which would be acceptable to all parties concerned, regardless of what Mr. Eban might [Page 550]have said. We had been working on this in the Security Council and intended to continue our efforts. While withdrawal could perhaps reduce some fears, it would not resolve the basic problem and the situation would be the same as now.

Mr. Kosygin said this was bad; he had hoped that the President would support withdrawal, since withdrawal would be a just and fair step to remove the results of aggression. However, the President supported the aggressor. He was apparently under pressure by some Zionist forces, which existed everywhere, and which wished to seize Arab territory. Thus there might be a long and grim war in the area like the one that had taken place in Algeria. Millions of people might perish, the world would be in a state of tension, and Israel would have to return to the previous situation because time had passed when territories could be seized; no one, and certainly not the USSR, would permit such seizures.

The President said he agreed with Mr. Kosygin’s last statement. As to who had perpetrated aggression, we had a different view. He did not wish to engage in any name calling, but we could have held the situation down had it not been for Nasser’s threats to liquidate Israel, movement of his troops, and the closure of Aqaba. It was these actions that identified the perpetrator of aggression.

Mr. Kosygin wondered why Israel had not raised these questions in the Security Council. For example, the Security Council could have taken a decision on Aqaba, but Israel had preferred to strike with its Air Force instead. Nasser had spoken of Israel’s elimination only after the beginning of the hostilities, when passions were running high. As the President knew, he, Mr. Kosygin, had said in his statement that the Soviet Union supported the existence of Israel. The Soviet Union had voted for the establishment of the state of Israel, and had had diplomatic relations with it. The Soviet Union did not care if Jews or Arabs lived in that area, all it wanted was peace. But now, if the US could not agree to a peaceful settlement, it would incur the wrath of hundred million Arabs, who would remember this for a long time. As to the USSR, it would do everything to prevent fighting in the Middle East, and at the same time it would do everything to bring about withdrawal.

The President said that as for the United States, we would do everything to bring about peace based on all elements, including withdrawal, passage in Aqaba and the Suez, solution of the refugee problem, etc. The US would do so in the General Assembly; if it were to fail there, it would work in the Security Council; and if it were to fail in the Security Council as well, it would work with all nations concerned. The US would like to have disclosure of arms, for such a measure would exert influence on the nations in the area as well as on those supplying arms. Such a step would be a contribution to the cause of [Page 551]peace. However, if the USSR were to ship arms to those nations for war, then the US would have to see what it ought to do in the area. We were now rendering aid to several countries in the area; some of the aid was in armaments but most of it was economic. We would like to see the day when we could join with the USSR in seeking solution to such questions as desalinization of water for the area and other economic problems, instead of spending money on arms as both of us, including the US to a certain degree, were now doing. The President reiterated that we would be searching for common language in the General Assembly and if our efforts were to fail there we would seek it in the Security Council. If we were to fail in the Security Council as well, we would be searching for a common cause in the area. We had understanding for the Soviet position and views even if we did not share them. Yet if the Soviet position included only withdrawal and no other elements, we could not agree; we believed that other elements should be looked at as well.

At this point, the President received information about the various possibilities for Mr. Kosygin’s return to New York. After a brief discussion, Mr. Kosygin indicated that he would prefer to go by helicopter at 5:45 p.m.

Mr. Kosygin then said that in the statement he was going to make later today, he would indicate that in connection with the situation in the Middle East, the two sides had stated their respective positions. On the Soviet side, it was stated that Israel, which had committed aggression, should withdraw its forces behind the armistice line without delay. This was the key question in reestablishing peace in the Middle East; it was in the focus of the General Assembly, and it should be positively resolved without delay. Mr. Kosygin said that upon return to Moscow he would have to state with great regret all the differences between the two sides and the seriousness of the situation. He said he understood the US position and that he could assure the President that the USSR would do everything possible to prevent another war in the area. Nevertheless, war was bound to break out again. For the two sides there now had a military confrontation which could produce accidents; a couple of soldiers might fire needlessly and this could result in war. However, that war could be prevented today.

The President said that the US would fully cooperate in keeping war from breaking out again, and we believed that another step in that direction would be to agree on the question of supply of armaments to that area. Such a step would at least restrain arms buildups in the area. He would urge Secretary Rusk and Mr. Gromyko to try to find common language and to see if any progress could be made.

Mr. Kosygin said there was no chance for progress since we could not do anything without the Arabs and they would not agree to anything [Page 552]the President had suggested. However, they could agree on Aqaba. He believed that the Arabs would agree on Aqaba after the General Assembly had recommended withdrawal; the question of Aqaba could be raised in the Security Council and the Arabs would agree there. However, this depended on the US; in fact, everything depended on the US. He was very sorry that so little time was left for this discussion, but the USSR wanted to do everything to eliminate the conflict, and now everything depended on the United States.

The President said he believed that Mr. Kosygin felt this way about the need to eliminate the conflict and wanted him to know that we felt the same way. However, withdrawal would not resolve the problem since it did not deal with the other problems relating to life in the area. We did not believe withdrawal alone would be fair to Israel or the Arabs; other questions involved in national life in the area should also be included.

Mr. Kosygin observed that when in a boxing match one of the boxers struck a foul blow, the umpire took the boxers by their necks and drew them apart. It was this that had to be done in the Middle East now.

Observing the jest that Mr. Kosygin was a good boxer, the President said that we had tried to keep the boxers apart all along, even before the fighting started. In any event, it seemed to him that our two sides had a common purpose and the Secretary would see what to do with the Arabs and others.

Mr. Kosygin said that the Secretary would not be able to do anything; he had studied the Arab position very carefully and he knew what he was talking about.

The President said that we would still continue our search for common language.

Turning to the question of a non-proliferation treaty, the President said he wished to note that the question of Article III was not an issue between the US and the USSR, but rather between the states members of EURATOM, and the others. Members of EURATOM were influenced in their stand especially by the position taken by France. Mr. Gromyko had told the Secretary that the Soviet side would be talking with the French on this subject. What we would like to know now was if the Soviet side would agree to table the treaty without Article III and to work urgently on a solution of the Article III problem. Such work could include discussions between the Secretary and Mr. Gromyko. This would, of course, be necessary if the Soviet side could not accept our language on Article III. At the same time, the President said, we were committed to our Allies not to discuss alternative language for Article III before it was discussed with them.

Mr. Kosygin said that the Soviet side had spoken with Couve yesterday and that the latter had said that France had no objection to IAEA [Page 553]safeguards and would not insist on EURATOM safeguards. In other words, France would accept IAEA safeguards.

The Secretary, who at this point joined in the conversation, said that this was a very important piece of information; it did not appear to be the same as what France had been saying in EURATOM and therefore it might indicate an important development in the French position. We, therefore, have to find out what it really meant. We hoped, however, that we could table the draft treaty with Article III if possible, and without Article III if necessary. Any revision of our proposed Article III would require consultations with our Allies.

Mr. Kosygin pointed out that the French, who had been said to have objected to Article III, had now accepted IAEA safeguards. However, he of course had no objection to US consultations with the Allies

At this point, Mr. Bundy and Mr. Gromyko also joined the group, and the President read to Mr. Kosygin the draft of a statement he was planning to make on the talks after the conclusion of the meeting. He pointed out that the purpose of the statement was to narrow the differences rather than to increase them. On the other hand, the statement which the Chairman had referred to might be appropriate for use in his capital or at UN but would not be helpful right after the meeting.

Mr. Kosygin was at first quite reluctant to agree to what he kept calling a joint statement, saying that he could not say at the end of the meeting anything different from what he would say later. However, after some discussion, and after the draft of the proposed statement by the President was changed to eliminate references to the subjects discussed, he agreed to make a statement after the meeting which would include merely those paragraphs from his lengthier draft dealing with the talks and their usefulness in general terms only.4

The President then said he wished to inform Mr. Kosygin of an extremely important matter. He said we had direct evidence of Cuba’s encouragement of guerilla operations in seven Latin American countries. This was a form of aggression and was dangerous to peace in the Hemisphere as well as in the world at large. He pointed out that Soviet-manufactured arms coming from Cuba had been seized in Venezuela in July 1966 and in May 1967, with seven Cubans having been captured in this latter incident. He also wished to point out that on March 13 of this year, Castro had openly stated his support for this type of activity. The Government of Venezuela had stated its determination to put an end to such operations. Our Ambassador to the OAS and some of his colleagues from the Organization were now investigating [Page 554]in Venezuela the evidence of those activities. The President emphasized that he therefore strongly felt that Castro should be convinced to stop what he was doing.

Mr. Kosygin did not comment on this statement.

After Messrs. Rusk, Gromyko and Bundy had withdrawn, the President said that he was going to give a paragraph to the Chairman but that since the latter’s message to him had been oral, he would also state the paragraph orally so that the Chairman could transmit it if he was willing to do so. The President then read the following text:5

After the message had been read and translated, Mr. Sukhodrev was given an opportunity to check his notes against the English text so as to assure their accuracy and completeness.

The President then stated that he had understood the Chairman at their earlier meeting as having indicated that if the US stopped the bombing, the DRV would sit down at the conference table within a day or two. Was this correct? The Chairman affirmed this understanding.

Stressing the need for complete confidence between the Chairman and himself, as well as the need for avoiding any misunderstandings, the President then also read a statement which he said was addressed to Mr. Kosygin and was not intended for transmittal. The statement read as follows:6

Mr. Kosygin said that this matter would remain strictly confidential between the President and himself. The message would be transmitted promptly and if and when a reaction was received, the United States would be immediately informed. In response to the President’s question if he had any comment on the message, Mr. Kosygin said that although it contained certain qualification, it looked all right to him on the whole.

Mr. Kosygin then thanked the President for the opportunity of meeting with him and having these talks. He regretted that no agreement had been reached on the question of the Middle East, pointing out that this was not the fault of the Soviet side. He said he would urge that Secretary Rusk and Mr. Gromyko work with Fawsi, who was here and had something on his mind. He wanted to ask the President to seriously consider the question of pulling apart the troops in the Middle East. The President could rest assured that whatever the circumstances and whatever public pronouncements might be made, the USSR wished peace. The USSR did not wish a confrontation with the US anywhere and the two countries had no conflict in any part of the world. When an acute situation arose somewhere in the world, the two parties [Page 555]should consult. The US should not believe those who are trying to raise questions between our two countries. As he had written to the President, there were some in the world who wanted issues to arise between our two countries. Peking was obviously one of those; he certainly did not exclude this possibility. After all, the President had seen what hullabaloo they had raised in Peking in connection with his trip to New York; Peking was saying that he was here to sell out someone, but obviously neither he nor the President had sold out to anyone. He had spoken frankly and openly, and the President could see how acute the situation was. There were a lot of questions that he and the President could discuss, including the nuclear explosions that were going on, and he was very sorry that time was so short. Our two countries must remove the hotbeds of war wherever they might occur. He hoped that the US would be able to persuade Israel to take a more reasonable position. He had definite information that otherwise there would be a new war in the area. Israel was now intoxicated with victory and this was very dangerous.

The President said he thought such meetings should take place every year.7 Perhaps Mr. Kosygin and he could agree now to set aside a week every year during which all the problems could be discussed.

Mr. Kosygin noted that the President and he had the hot line which they could use whenever necessary, as they had done last time. In this connection, he wanted to apologize for having awakened the President so early in the morning.8 However, he believed that the President and he had accomplished more on that one day than others could accomplish in three years.

The President said that this was the reason why he wanted to have a meeting every year. Such a meeting would involve a general review of the situation and the various problems. It would take place periodically rather than only when there was a crisis.

Mr. Kosygin reiterated his hope that the President would give the Secretary instructions to get down to business with Gromyko and Fawsi and would also permit the Secretary to be more flexible.

The President said the Secretary would be flexible. We did not wish to sell out anyone, but withdrawal alone would not be effective. At the same time, he was not sure Fawsi was giving the same story to the Soviet side and to us.

[Page 556]

Mr. Kosygin stressed that withdrawal was the main point, saying that other points could be raised in the Security Council. Perhaps Aqaba could be raised in the Security Council simultaneously with the consideration of the withdrawal.

The President then said he wished to draw the Chairman’s attention to his statement concerning Cuban activities and that Castro should be persuaded to stop them. Also, he wanted to point out that the clock was ticking and that he did not know how long he could postpone his recommendation to Congress on the ABM question. On non-proliferation, the information Mr. Kosygin gave us on the French position was very interesting and we hoped that rapid progress could be made on this question. He also wanted to stress the importance he attached to the question of arms disclosure and reduction of military budgets.

Mr. Kosygin said he would consult the collective leadership in Moscow, but he wished to point out that the main problem was to eliminate the hotbeds of war. One could not do those other things if such hotbeds continued to exist.

The President said he too hoped that dangerous situations in the world could be eliminated, citing Viet-Nam, Cuba and the Dominican Republic as examples. As to Viet-Nam, he hoped that the message that he had given the Chairman would be promptly transmitted. Mr. Kosygin said that it would be transmitted today and that any reaction would be conveyed to the US as soon as received.

The President concluded the conversation by saying he did not believe the Chairman wanted any confrontation or any war with the US. The same was true of us. The US certainly does not want any confrontation or war with the Soviet Union, and he would personally do everything to remove tensions between our two countries and prevent any such development. He fully agreed that the Chairman and he would have to talk about the nuclear explosions the Chairman had referred to, and he knew exactly what Mr. Kosygin had in mind.

The meeting ended at 6:20 p.m.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Addendum, USSR, Glassboro Memcons. Top Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Akalovsky. The time of the meeting is from the President’s Daily Diary. The Diary does not specify that the meeting ended at 6:09 but indicates that at that point Johnson and Kosygin led their delegations to the front porch for remarks. (Ibid.) The memorandum cites the time of the meeting on page 1 as 1:30–6:30 p.m., but states on the last page that it ended at 6:20. The copy of the memorandum in State Department files lists the time of the meeting as 3 to 6:30 p.m. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 US)
  2. The President’s Daily Diary states that during the meeting “Secys Rusk and McNamara occasionally joined as did Bundy, Rostow, Christian, Thompson, Watson, Harriman-just running in and back out again, but for the most part, the session was entirely between the two leaders.”
  3. Rusk discussed the Middle East with Gromyko in New York on June 27. A memorandum of their conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIX.
  4. For text of both men’s remarks immediately following the meeting, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, Book I, pp. 650–651.
  5. See the attachment to Document 233.
  6. See Document 233.
  7. In a message to the President dated 10:30 p.m., June 24, Harry McPherson made a case for having annual visits. Such an arrangement would take the “political edge” off an agreement merely to visit Moscow in 1968, an election year, and would also show “that we can meet and deal with our problems regularly, in times of calm and crisis.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, USSR, Vol. XV)
  8. See Document 217.