209. Telegram From Secretary of State Rusk to the Department of State1

Secto 11. 1. At Secretary’s meeting with President Kekkonen June 1 President stated emphatically that there would be no change in Finnish foreign policy as result elections and formation new government. He added that election results had surprised victors and defeated alike and suggested that regardless of exaggerated promises made by Social Democrats in course of election campaign no substantial change in prospect with respect economic and social policies since resources simply not available for expansion of social expenditures. He mentioned in this connection continuing Finnish balance of payments problem.

2. Secretary told President that in conversations with Prime Minister Paasio and FonMin Karjalainen he had stressed President Johnson’s concern with need for expanded world food production by all countries in effort meet growing world needs. He had also discussed our concern with success of Kennedy Round. In this connection Secretary pointed out that unless there is some progress by February it will be very difficult to obtain Congressional approval for extension of Trade Expansion Act. Secretary said we had been working hard with EEC countries who were key to problem. Unless we are able to take step forward we are in danger of going backward. President Kennedy had made far reaching decision in seeking and obtaining legislative authority represented by Trade Expansion Act. Congressional disillusionment and rising protectionist sentiment could produce reaction none of us wants. Kekkonen, while expressing general agreement with importance of progress of Kennedy Round negotiations remarked that six months is a short period in which to achieve results. Secretary replied that the EEC countries have been marking time for the past four years.

3. The Secretary asked for Kekkonen’s comments on the new leadership in the Sov Union. Kekkonen replied that he had had a warm personal relationship with Khrushchev but noted, approvingly, that the new Sov leaders appeared disposed to follow a calm, practical and unsentimental foreign policy. He said that Viet Nam and Germany are two preoccupations of the Sov leaders. So far as Viet Nam is concerned the Sov Union may be not unpleased with current United States involvement but [Page 550] concerned that it might expand and involve them. He thought that Sov concern about Germany is somewhat less acute now that the prospect of MLF seems to have receded.

4. The Secretary in discussing Viet Nam reviewed our efforts to persuade the other side to come to the conference table and the efforts which we have made to this end with Moscow, Hanoi and Peking and in virtually all world capitals. He also referred to the lack of positive response to our two bombing pauses. We are still ready to negotiate but at the same time we remain faithful to our commitments and will not be pushed out of Southeast Asia. If the aggressor rejects peace we are prepared to do what is required.

5. The Secretary suggested that in his opinion a sound position for a non-aligned or neutral country to adopt is support for a settlement on the basis of the 1954 and 1962 agreements3 and for differences regarding these agreements to be resolved peacefully rather than by force.

6. Kekkonen said Finland has been in close touch with the other Scandinavian countries and is mindful that there may come a time when some initiative will be helpful in promoting a settlement of the Viet Nam problem. He indicated that in his view that time has not yet come.

7. Amb Llewellyn Thompson referred to the recent purges in Communist China and asked whether the Finnish Ambassador in Peking had submitted an analysis of the significance of these developments. Kekkonen replied that there had been no detailed report from the Finnish Ambassador as yet. He added that the Ambassador, who is a particularly able observer, believes the Sino-Sov dispute has now passed the point of no return. In this connection he noted that in his previous discussions with the Soviet leaders they had avoided commenting on the Sov differences with Communist China. On his last visit to Moscow, however, Brezhnev, in response to his question, said that Sino-Soviet government relations were bad and party relations broken. Kekkonen told the Secretary that Kosygin will be visiting Finland from June 13 until June 18.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, ORG 7 S. Secret. Repeated to Copenhagen, Moscow, Olso, Reykjavik, and Stockholm.
  2. Beginning in spring of 1965, the dates and transmission times of all incoming Department of State telegrams were in six-figure date-time-groups. The “Z” refers to Greenwich mean time.
  3. Reference is to the July 1954 Geneva Accords and the Declaration and Protocol on the Neutrality of Laos, signed at Geneva on July 23, 1962.