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

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/2-461. Confidential; Priority.

Moscow, February 4, 1961, 5 p.m.

1844. Eyes only Secretary. Following is text of aide-memoire handed me by Gromyko at two p.m. today:

Begin Text:

Government Soviet Union expresses satisfaction in connection with statement contained in aide-memoire of US Government of January 24/2/ this year that US Government will do everything possible for improvement relations between USSR and USA. Government USA can be sure that all efforts in this direction will always meet with positive response and support in every possible way on part Soviet Government.

/2/See Document 12.

Soviet Government has taken note of announcement that President USA has issued directive prohibiting American aircraft from violating air space USSR. Thus, one of reasons, which as known, led to serious deterioration Soviet-American relations, has been removed.

Soviet Government welcomes intention US Government engage in joint consideration of broad international problems, which determine state of international relations in our time. We hope that US Government informed in detail about certain views of Soviet Government on most important of these problems, which were set forth by Ambassador USSR in USA in course recent unofficial exchange of opinions. Comments and views, which might be expressed by US Government on questions touched upon in course of this exchange of opinions will be studied with full attention by Soviet Government.

Soviet Government shares point of view US Government expressed in aide-memoire that work of UN and discussions of controversial questions between member states of UN should be approached in constructive manner. Such approach especially necessary for removal of questions preventing achievement healthier international situation and fruitful work of UN.

In our opinion, preliminary exchange of views between two governments is expedient in nearest future for purpose of seeking mutually acceptable decisions on questions which are before 15th Session General Assembly UN, which, as known, will soon resume its work. Appropriate instructions could be given, for example, to our representatives in UN. Representative USSR in UN is employed undertake such an exchange of views.

Government USSR, just as US Government, is prepared to discuss practical steps in sphere Soviet-American relations and to examine concrete proposals of both sides. Soviet side, specifically, confirms its agreement to conduct negotiations for purpose concluding agreement on air communications between USSR and USA. Soviet representatives can start these negotiations in Washington or in Moscow at time which will be mutually agreed.

Soviet Government considers that in nearest future discussion of draft consular convention between USSR and USA could be started, about which exchange of opinions between parties already had begun some time ago. In this connection question of reciprocal opening of Consulates General raised in aide-memoire Government USA of January 24 of this year could also be examined. Moscow 4 February, 1961.

End text.



23. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (Tubby) to the President's Press Secretary (Salinger)/1/

Washington, February 6, 1961.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 911.6261/2-661. No classification marking. Drafted by Kluckhohn (SCA).

Luncheon Discussion with TASS Correspondent/2/

/2/Mikhail R. Sagatelyan, Washington TASS Bureau Chief.

The requirement that Soviet correspondents be finger printed if they remain more than one year in this country applies to all nonimmigrant aliens./3/ It is also true that the Soviet Union does not require such finger printing of our correspondents but it does place many other impediments in their way.

/3/On March 24 and 28 McSweeney discussed this question with Soviet Embassy representatives, stating that the fingerprinting issue was being considered, but that until a final decision was made Soviet correspondents would not be fingerprinted. (Memoranda of conversation; Department of State, Central Files, 911.6261/3-2461 and 3-2861)

The objections of Soviet correspondents to comply with this requirement was first brought to the attention of the Department of State in October 1960. In November the Department informed the Minister Consular of the Soviet Embassy (Mr. Smirnovsky) that the question would be reviewed.

For the moment the Immigration & Naturalization Service has agreed to the Soviet correspondents remaining in the United States without complying with the finger printing requirement.

For your information only, conversations were held between the Department of State and the Immigration Service on this subject as late as last week and indications are that the nonimmigrant alien finger printing requirement will be removed. If this is decided upon it requires action by the Secretary of State and the Attorney General who jointly and formally agreed to the present system. This Department does not think it would be helpful to engage Mr. Sagatelyan in a polemic inasmuch as this might have an adverse effect on American correspondents in Moscow.

American news correspondents in Moscow are subjected to rigid censorship and are subject to having their six months' residence permits unrenewed if they fail to report the news in a manner favorable to Soviet interests.

Most important, however, is the difficulty in getting American correspondents admitted to the Soviet Union. The U.S. Government has not refused a visa to any Soviet correspondent desiring to come to the United States during the past several years. In contrast the Soviet Government has failed to take positive action on the application of a reputable American news organization, Fairchild Publications, which wishes to station a permanent correspondent in Moscow. The New York Herald Tribune informed us Thursday that it was concerned because a visa had not been issued yet to Walter Lister who will replace Tom Lambert in Moscow. Lambert is leaving Moscow having finished his tour, but his dispatches have been severely criticized by the Soviet Government.

Attached is a statement prepared by our Soviet Affairs Office on the Fairchild Publications' application. Enclosed also is a memo from the Visa Office about the refusal of Mr. Shishkin, presently Chief of the TASS Office in New York City, to apply for an extension of stay as required by the law./4/

/4/Neither printed.

It is felt that you could help by mentioning the problem of getting American correspondents into Moscow. The Department would appreciate anything that you could tell us about the results of your conversation.


24. Editorial Note

At an interagency meeting on Cuba, February 7, 1961, Adolph Berle, Chief of the Department of State's Latin American Task Force, "indicated that he had given considerable thought to the establishment of a naval blockade of Cuba as a weapon against the Castro regime." The Department of Defense representative, Haydn Williams, reported that "a blockade of Cuba was physically feasible" and "to be effective, would require the stopping, boarding and searching of all vessels destined to Cuba, regardless of flag." Williams commented further that he thought "the Soviet Government would consider such treatment of its vessels as an act of war." For text of the memorandum reporting on the meeting, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume X, pages 81-88.


25. Record of the Policy Planning Staff Meeting/1/

Washington, February 8, 1961, 10:30 a.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 70 D 199, Staff Minutes 1961. Confidential. Drafted by Carlton Savage.

George McGhee
George Morgan
Henry Brodie
Leon Fuller

Howard Furnas
Henry Owen
George F. Kennan, Princeton
Henry Ramsey
Edward Rice
Carlton Savage
Evan Wilson
William Webb

Here follow observations Kennan made on the work of the Policy Planning Staff.

Mr. Kennan made the following observations on matters of substance:

There is little hope now for negotiation with the Russians on the fundamental problems such as disarmament and the division of Europe. We are likely to make more progress through reciprocal unilateral actions or tacit arrangements rather than signed agreements. This may be especially true in the disarmament field.

The US and the USSR have many points of common interest. We should endeavor to locate them and work on them. The USSR would welcome (1) the removal of the captive nations resolution from the Congressional calendar, and (2) strengthening commercial relations with the US, which to them would have symbolic political significance.

We should drop the problem of Hungary in relations with the USSR as it is an irritant and we cannot help the Hungarian people by continuing to press it.

It might be possible to work out informally with the USSR a mutually agreed arms limitation policy for Africa, even if this means US concessions regarding existing bases in North Africa.

Khrushchev with all his bluster is a sensitive man. We need patience and humor in dealing with him. We should not be worried by his statement that the Soviet Union intends to bury us--this was metaphorical, and the Soviet leaders know where their real interests lie.

The question of Sino-Soviet relations appears to be one for intelligence analysis rather than planning. We cannot do much to influence these relations but we must constantly observe them.

We have an identity with Russia in the Far East. Japan should not be a barrier in our relations with the USSR. It might be helpful if we agreed to withdraw our bases from Japan and made a Far East agreement with Japan and Russia. This could in turn help us deal with the Korean problem.

We have much more difficult problems with the Chinese than with the Russians. The latter have more in common with Western civilization./2/

/2/In a similar discussion on February 20, Ambassador Thompson stressed that Soviet officials emphasized trade in every conversation with him. He added that U.S. willingness to make trade arrangements with the Soviet Union "would be an evidence to them of good intentions." Thompson added that Moscow saw the Middle East as one of its greatest opportunities and he believed that their greatest problem was containment of Communist China. Thompson concluded that the best thing the United States could do to put strain on relations between China and the Soviet Union was to make progress bilaterally with the latter. (Ibid.)

Mr. Kennan thought it would be desirable for the Department to return to the old practice of giving instructions to a newly-appointed Ambassador explaining the purposes and objectives of his mission.

FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - 1961-1963 - Volume V - Soviet Union P11

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