Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956
Letter from President Eisenhower to Premier Khrushchev, regarding the question of a summit meeting , July 2, 1958, pp. 290-292 PDF (1.3 MB)
DOCUMENTS ON GERMANY, 1944-59 The Soviet Government has most closely examined the views con- cerning the possible agenda of a Summit Conference as set forth in your messages, Mr. President. We have expressed our opinion in detail on these proposals and haver stated that a number of questions -among those proposed by the Western Powers are regatrded by us as acceptable for discussion. We are also prepared to consider the question of methods of strengthening the United Nations, which has been touched upon in the correspondence between our two governments, because wee also have something to say in this connection. Mr. President, I have presented to you with complete sincerity my views with regard to the present situation concerning the prepara- tions for a conference at the summit. In this situation the responsi- bility that is devolving upon the governments of the Great Powers is particularly great. In order to understand the whole depth of this responsibility it suffices to imagine how distressed all the peoples would be if we should fail to find a common language. No one would be able to understand and justify such government officials as can not agree even on how to begin negotiations among themselves while the world is seized with the fever of an ever-intensifying armaments race and at a time when there is no corner left where human beings are free from the oppressive fear of the threat of a new military eruption. We are convinced that through joint efforts of states, and primarily through joint efforts of the United States of America and the Soviet Union, it is entirely possible to achieve a radical improvement in the international situation. An important step in this direction could be a meeting of top government officials with the participation of heads of government. We express the hope that the Government of the Unted States of America will consider this message with due attention and will on its part take all the necessary steps in order not to allow frustration of a high-level conference and to clear from the path of such a conference the obstacles that are being artificially created. Simultaneously I am sending messages on this question to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and to the President of the Council of Ministers of France. Letter from President Eisenhower to Premier Khrushchev, Regarding the Question of a Summit Meeting, July 2, 1958 1 I was frankly surprised by your letter of June 11. You complain about delay in preparations for a Summit meeting precisely at the moment when the Western powers have submitted a proposal for a serious and effective procedure for conducting these preparations. This refutes the allegation contained in your letter that the three Western powers are creating obstacles and impeding progress toward a Summit meeting. The position of the Western powers concerning holding of a meeting of Heads of Government has been clear from the outset. -They con- sider such a meeting desirable if it would provide an opportunity for conducting serious discussings of major problems and would be an effective means of reaching agreement on significant subjects. From I White HoBae newis 1reiease, July 2, 1958.
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