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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
(1959)

Letter from President Eisenhower to Premier Khrushchev, regarding the question of a summit meeting , July 2, 1958,   pp. 290-292 PDF (1.3 MB)


Page 291

DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59
the known positions of the Soviet Government, there is no evidence
so far that such is the case. That is why the Western powers insist
on adequate preparatory work and why they have put forward their
proposal to facilitate satisfactory completion of this work.
The Soviet Government instead has disrupted the discussions in
Moscow by taking upon itself to publish with bare hours of warning
and no attempt at consultation the documents exchanged between it
and the Western powers, including diplomatic documents originating
from the Western powers. This action is scaracely consonant with
the spirit of serious preparation in which the Western powers! entered
into these diplomatic exchanges. It cannot but cast doubt on the in-
tentions of the Soviet Government concerning the proper preparations
for a Summit meeting.
Following receipt of the Soviet agenda proposals on May 5 the
three Ambassadors in interviews on May 28, 31 and June 2 presented
in return the Western agenda proposals. They also outlined to Mr.
Gromyko a suggested procedure for overcoming the difficulty caused
by the fact that the two sets of proposals were widely divergent.
The Western Ambassadors are quite ready to offer comments on the
Soviet agenda proposals and to clarify certain points in their own
proposals on which the Soviet Government seems to have misconcep-
tions. But the Western Governments cannot agree that the discus-
sions between their Ambassadors and Mr. Gromyko should be based
exclusively on the Soviet list any more than they would expect the
Soviet Government to agree to base the discussions solely on the West-
ern list. Since the topics in both lists fall under certain general head-
ings, the Western proposal was that preparatory discussion of the in-
dividual topics put forward by the two sides should take place within
--the framework of these general headings. Had this been accepted
by the Soviet Government, the Soviet Foreign Minister and the Am-
bassadors could have proceeded to examine the positions of the vari-
ous governments on the topics in both lists and establish what sub-
jects should be submitted or examination by the Heads of Govern-
ment. Neither side would, during the preparatory stage, have been
,able to veto the inclusion of any topic for discussion and an oppor-
tunity would have been afforded to find some common ground, for
later consideration by Heads of Government.
Mr. Gromyko promised an official reply to the above proposal. In-
stead, however, the Soviet Government has now addressed communi-
cations to the Heads of Government of the three Western powers, in
-the form of your letters of June 11, which repeat the arguments in
favor of the Soviet set of proposals of May 5 and criticize some of
-the Western proposals which it happens not to like. The procedural
proposal put forward by the Ambassadors has been ignored al-
together.
You allege in your letters that the Western powers by including,
as possible subjects of discussion at a meeting of Heads of Govern-
-ment, some of the great political issues that create grave tension are
trying to prevent the holding of a Summit meeting. There is no war-
rant for this allegation. A meeting of Heads of Government would
not respond to the hopes and aspirations of mankind if they met
-under an injunction that seals their lips so that they could not even
291


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