377. Personal Note Prepared by the Deputy Secretary of State (Dam)1
I ate three meals for my country today. In the morning I attended a breakfast for Congressmen on MX in the Old Family Dining Room in the White House. I never got to give my pitch, because the President, who did not actually eat with us, came in before I had a chance to rise to speak, in order to give his own pitch. At lunch I joined the Secretary’s luncheon in honor of Politburo Member Shcherbitskiy. I sat at a separate table next to Mr. Alkhimov, Chairman of the Soviet State Bank, and at the same table with Mr. Chervov, who is the Soviets’ leading internal figure on arms control. He sits on the general staff and plays a coordinating role similar to Bud McFarlane’s role in arms control. I got into quite an argument with Chervov over the Strategic Defense Initiative. I provoked him somewhat by asking whether the Soviets were going to propose prohibiting all anti-ballistic missile research in the Geneva talks. At first he didn’t seem to want to talk about it, but then he came back very strongly explaining the Soviet position. I found him an extremely articulate and strong personality.
In the evening I attended a dinner given by Congressman Foley for Shcherbitskiy and sat next to him. It was a very interesting occasion in view of the fact that Shcherbitskiy is a Politburo member. We had a free-flowing discussion, but at only one point in the evening did we actually discuss foreign policy substance. Earlier I had gone to a reception given at the Soviet Embassy to pull Shcherbitskiy aside to protest an attack on one of our Marine Guards in the Intourist hotel in Moscow.2 I pointed out to Shcherbitskiy that it had all the appear[Page 1399]ances of an official act by security guards, and that we knew from the presence of a Canadian witness that there was no provocation. I pointed out that if he (unlike the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) were to investigate, he would find out the truth. Shcherbitskiy had little to say in reply other than to point out that people got into fights through drinking or over women.
[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Soviet Union.]
- Source: Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S–I Records, Deputy Secretary Dam’s Official Files: Lot 85D308, Personal Notes of Deputy Secretary—Kenneth W. Dam—Oct. 1984–June 1985. No classification marking. Dictated by Dam on March 11. In his March 5 entry, Dam also noted: “In the evening I went to the Capital Centre for a hockey game. The purpose of the hockey game was the invitation by Armand Hammer to the Soviet Congressional Delegation, which is here headed by Shcherbitskiy, a member of the Politburo. Not too much conversation was carried on, and on the whole, it didn’t quite meet the objective of providing a quiet informal basis for conversation with the Soviets.” (Ibid.)↩
- In telegram 2899 from Moscow, March 7, the Embassy reported: “At approximately 0230 hours on March 6, 1985, Marine Corporal Jon Hildreth was brutally assaulted by two unidentified Soviets inside the Intourist Hotel in Moscow. Only after suffering a series of blows which resulted in abrasions to his head, neck, left arm, and chest, did Hildreth manage to break free of his attackers, escape the hotel, and return to the Embassy. A subsequent Embassy investigation of this incident could determine no plausible reason for the assault.” (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, D850155–0371)↩