The Cuban Missile Crisis
Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations


Washington, December 8, 1962, 7:23 p.m.

MISUN 22. Eyes only Stevenson, McCloy and Yost from Cleveland. Following is draft instruction, approved by George Ball, which is being circulated this weekend for consideration by NSC Executive Committee Monday afternoon:

"For Stevenson and McCloy.

1. We have carefully studied report of your meeting with Kuznetsov Dec 6 (urtel 2178),(1) text suggested Soviet draft declaration and resolution (urtel 2179),(2) and your suggestions in urtel 2189.(3)

2. It emerges clearly that Soviets will not agree to procedure in Security Council which would associate them in any way with our determination continue overflights in absence acceptable international verification arrangements to assure against reintroduction of offensive weapons into Cuba. Numerous Soviet objections to our declaration, unacceptable Cuban declaration, and Soviet rejection our final position on US declaration all attest to this.

3. We believe there is no further advantage to us in attempting reach for 'agreed' statements by further modification of our position, or by prolonging further an essentially sterile negotiating process. Soviet tactics seem clearly designed to obtain formal US and Security Council acceptance of concept that Khrushchev has fully discharged his obligations under agreement reached in exchange of letters with President October 27, which of course he has not. In addition Soviets obviously hope to squeeze out one more drop of blood from us in form of elaboration of non-invasion guarantee.

4. As far as we are concerned, the bargain on Cuba has already been struck on the basis defined in the President's November 20 press conference statement. In return for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles and IL-28's, we have lifted the quarantine. We have also made the declaration of non-invasion in President's press conference of November 20. We do not intend to go any further on substance without acceptable safeguards arrangements assuring compliance with Soviet promise not to reintroduce offensive weapons systems into Cuba, which have not been obtained and may be unobtainable.

5. Proposal (urtel 2189) to have Security Council meeting at which agreed material would be expressed in agreed statements, and disagreed material would be expressed separately in disagreed statements, does not appear to be an exit from this box. If differentiation between two kinds of declarations, agreed and disagreed, is designed to be a matter of substance--that is, if agreed declarations thereby acquire more standing than the disagreed declarations--then it would obviously be very bad from US standpoint to declare our intention to continue air surveillance in a manner which accords it only second-class dignity. If, on other hand, the split into two different kinds of declarations is intended to be merely matter of form, then there is no point in having two different kinds of declarations.

6. Accordingly, you should seek meeting with Kuznetsov with a view to settling on one of the following procedures for wrap-up. Procedures are listed in order of strong preference:

(a) Unagreed statements are filed by US and USSR with SYG, who will distribute them to members of SC for information.

(b) Unagreed statements are made by US and USSR separately in whatever public manner they choose. (Ours would be at a Presidential press conference or in statement issued by White House.)

(c) Meeting of SC at which unagreed statements are made by US and USSR.

7. In none of these cases should a Cuban declaration be a part of the scenario. Disadvantage of SC meeting is that it would be impossible not to seat Cuba or to permit Cuban Representative to be heard, presumably at length, on all sorts of matters that are not germane to understanding between the President and Khrushchev. If SC route were taken, Soviets would have to agree at minimum not to take up cudgels on behalf Cuba. This would enable Cuban speech to be made, but not other member of SC would comment on it and it would not be regarded as part of IR-USSR discussion.

8. One tactical question remains: If we are sufficiently sure Soviets would turn down proposal in urtel 2189, it has been suggested that it be given to Soviets on take-it-or-leave-it basis, in order to demonstrate that reasonable terms for agreed declarations are not obtainable. But since we would not ourselves want to get into the double-declaration procedure for reasons outlined above, we do not believe it is desirable to make the offer."


1 Document 233. Back

2 Document 234. Back

3 Document 237. Back

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.3722/12-862. Top Secret. Drafted and approved by Cleveland.

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