29. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State 1

3221. For S/AL Thompson and EUR Tyler. This is a plea for timely information necessary to effective operation here.

Though we had some idea from British what was going on, this was not enough to spare me embarrassment of getting first word on President and Khrushchev statements re fissionable materials cut-back from local American correspondents. Similarly, we learned of Soviet decision to withdraw crab fleet from Kodiak waters2 only in morning Wireless Bulletin, though this was subject on which Emb had been instructed make representations here.

Yesterday I had fears of being in disadvantageous position in carrying out Dept’s instructions on Laos, in view my total lack information [Page 72]re President-Dobrynin conversation April 18 [17].3 Fortunately, Gromyko’s preoccupation with visiting Kenya delegation and resultant unavailability spared me general conversation covering bilateral relations, since I could limit talk with Deputy FonMin Lapin to Laos.

However, essential I receive pertinent information on Dobrynin talks prior more general exchanges with top Soviet officials. Also hope I can have early favorable word on Civil Air Agreement, since Tom Mann’s promised review about due.

Will appreciate your help.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL USUSSR. Secret; Exdis.
  2. A Soviet crab fishing fleet had recently begun operating in the Gulf of Alaska. In a meeting with Dobrynin on April 8, Thompson asked the Soviets to reconsider the operation, pointing out “the complications that would ensue from such an operation because of the status of king crab as a resource of the shelf and the importance of king crab to Alaska’s economy.” (Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 79 D 246, Reel 3, US Officials Memoranda of Conversation with Leading USSR Officials 1964)
  3. Document 27.