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1084. Deliver to Ambassador Stevenson personally 8:30 am.
On further checking with White House believe it important that you follow up first thing Thursday morning(1) on suggestion you made to Secretary General late Wednesday night to make sure his message to Khrushchev reflects following general line:
1. Concern that Soviet vessels may be under instructions to challenge quarantine and thus bring on a confrontation at sea between Soviet ships and Western hemisphere ships which could lead to escalation of violence.
2. Concern that such confrontation would destroy possibility of talks such as Secretary General has suggested as prelude to political settlement.
3. Hope that Khrushchev will hold his ships out of interception area for limited time in order to permit discussions of modalities of agreement.
4. Confidence, on basis that Soviet ships are not proceeding to Cuba, that United States will avoid direct confrontation with them during same period in order to minimize chances of untoward incidence.
FYI: While we are quite ready to begin conversations on modalities as suggested by SYG we should not give SYG impression nor encourage him to give Khrushchev impression that we can agree on any interim arrangement for uninspected moratorium or "voluntary suspension" without explicit provision for adequate UN observation to ensure against weapons being imported, work on sites continued, or offensive weapons being operational. In other words White House feels it undesirable to give any impression to SYG that would be inconsistent with draft answer to SYG's proposal that was cleared by President and sent you Wednesday night.
Source: Department of State, USUN Files: NYFRC 84-84-001, Incoming Telegrams. Secret; Niact; Eyes Only. Received in New York at 3:01 a.m.