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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Letter from Premier Khrushchev to President Eisenhower, on the question of a summit meeting, June 11, 1958,   pp. 281-290 PDF (4.6 MB)

Page 289

the prohibition of atomic and hydrogen weapons, and appropriate
measures of international control. However, the Western Powers
have not manifested the desire to reach agreement on such broad
measures of disarmament.
If we have not succeeded in the course of 13 years in reaching agree-
ment on the problem of disarmament "as a whole," with the solution
certain problems linked with the solution of others, then can it be
expected that with such an approach this problem can be settled in
the course of a few days at a conference of heads of government? Is
it not obvious that the only realistic method is to single out and solve
in the first instance those problems which have already become ripe for
settlement and then proceed to the solution of the most complicated
problems. This is what the Soviet Union proposes.
The Soviet Government has considered and still considers it to be its
duty to do everything possible to promote the speediest possible solu-
tion of the disarmament problem. We were guided by this goal when
we were recently adopting the decisions to reduce substantially our
military forces and to cease unilaterally the testing of all types of
atomic and hydrogen weapons in the Soviet Union. Desiring to expe-
dite the reaching of an agreement on a universal cessation of such tests,
the Soviet Government met the desires of the governments of the
USA and the United Kingdom to designate experts to study the
methods of detecting possible violations of an agreement on the cessa-
tion of nuclear tests.
We hope that this new step of the Soviet UInion1 will be duly ap-
praised by the Western Powers and that, as a result, a more favorable
atmosphere will be created which would promote the convening of a
Summit Conference at the earliest possible date.
Mr. President, I believe that the time has come to clarify thoroughly
and with complete sincerity the positions of the parties with regard
to the main question: Do all the parties really wish a Summit Con-
ference to be convened? I must say that the documents transmitted
to us by the Western Powers have evoked serious doubts on our part
in this connection. It is difficult to escape the thought that the
authors of the proposals set forth in these documents were guided
not by the desire to find a, solution that would be the most acceptable
to all parties but rather were searching for questions for the solution
of which the time is not yet ripe, so as to be able to say later that
they were right in predicting the failure of a conference of heads of
It was all of this that compelled us to address you with this letter.
'We should like to know definitely whether the governments of the
Western Powers have serious intentions with regard to organizing a
Summit Conference and conducting negotiations the results of which
are awaited literally by all mankind, or whether there is a desire to
lull the attention of the peoples, to create an impression that contracts
have been established and negotiations are being conducted, and to
raise in reality questions which not only lead to a failure of prepara-
tions for the meeting but also to no Summit Conference as such taking
place, so -as- to accuse our country later of "obstinacy." Such
a tactic
is very well known to us from the experience of certain previous

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