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Letter to Nikolai Bulganin, Chairman, Council of Ministers, U.S.S.R.

January 02, 1957

[Released January 2, 1957. Dated December 31, 1956]

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I have given careful consideration to the declaration by the Soviet Government to which you had invited my attention in your letter of November 17, 1956, but find myself in basic disagreement with the analysis of your government as it relates to the source of international tension.

The people of the United States cannot accept the declaration's attempt to dismiss as "a slanderous campaign" the world's indignant reaction to the Soviet armed actions against the people of Hungary. While the Soviet Government has not responded to the constructive recommendations of the United Nations with respect to Hungary, the parties at dispute in the Middle East have accepted the assistance of the United Nations. A similar response by the Soviet Union to the resolutions of the United Nations concerning Hungary would constitute a significant step toward the reduction of the tensions to which the Soviet declaration addresses itself.

Your government's statement suggests that the strategic situation in Western Europe is now advantageous to the armed forces of the Soviet Union. This statement does not seem calculated to relieve international tensions. Moreover, I am convinced in the light of my long association with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that it is fully capable of carrying out its mission of collective defense.

You suggest further meetings of heads of government. I could agree to a meeting whenever circumstances would make it seem likely to accomplish a significant result. But, in my opinion, deliberations within the framework of the United Nations seem most likely to produce a step forward in the highly complicated matter of disarmament. Accordingly the United States will make further proposals there.

I take hope from your apparent willingness to consider aerial inspection as a positive factor in the problem of armaments. Much to my regret, however, your government's declaration does not signify willingness to seek agreement on the basic element of my Geneva proposal of averting surprise attack through aerial inspection of the centers of our military power.

The United States is giving this and your other disarmament proposals careful study. We are prepared to discuss them, as well as the further United States proposals, in forthcoming meetings of the Disarmament Subcommittee.

You may be sure that our government will continue its efforts in behalf of effective control and reduction of all armaments. It will be my never-ending purpose to seek a stable foundation for a just and durable peace in the mutual interest of all nations.



Note: The text of Mr. Bulganin's letter of November 17, 1956, was not included in the release.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Nikolai Bulganin, Chairman, Council of Ministers, U.S.S.R. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234091

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