DescriptionNikita Khrushchev Typed Letter Signed Three pages, 8.25" x 11.75", undated, but circa 1961. Addressed to Norman Cousins and Clarence Pickett of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy. Khrushchev responds to a proposal that Cousins and Pickett made to address the increasing threat of nuclear warfare during the Cold War. Translated from Russian:
I have carefully examined the appeal of your committee sent to me, as well as to the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr. McMillan, the newly elected President of the United States, Mr. Kennedy and the President of France, Mr. de Gaulle. We are well aware of your concern about the increasing danger posed by the continuation of the arms race and the ever-increasing possibility of accidentally unleashing a war as the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons expands. I have repeatedly pointed out that the Soviet Government is deeply convinced of the need to put an end to the dangerous and ruinous arms race as soon as possible, and therefore the Soviet Union makes and will make every effort to achieve a solution to the problem of disarmament and other urgent international issues. We sincerely strive to ensure that the new 1961 year is the year of successes in ensuring a peaceful and quiet life on our planet. The appeal of your Committee mentions several measures that could be implemented in 1961. Almost all of them are related to disarmament issues. For our part, we also believe that the problem of disarmament is the most important, truly, the main problem that is currently facing the world.
As is known, the question of total and complete disarmament was considered at the 15th session of the UN General Assembly in September-December 1960. The Soviet government made new proposals at this session, in which, on a number of issues, it went to meet the Western powers. These proposals detail the provisions on control, which ensures effective implementation of the treaty on total and complete disarmament. On behalf of the Government of the Soviet Union, I made a statement to the General Assembly that if the Western countries accept our proposals for disarmament, we unreservedly accept the proposal of the other party to control of disarmament. And I repeat this again in a letter to you. The Soviet government stands for the widest control with an agreement on disarmament.
During this session, India and some other countries have attempted to negotiate guidelines for further negotiations on disarmament. The Soviet Union considered it possible to support the draft resolution of 12 states on directives for total and complete disarmament, in spite of the fact that, in our opinion, there are a number of insufficiently clear descriptions in this project and some essential provisions are missing. However, a representative of the former US government, as is known, opposed this draft resolution, opposing himself to all the peace-loving forces who are in favor of an early resolution of the problem of total and complete disarmament.
We would like to hope that in the second part of the 15th session of the General Assembly, the Western powers will change their negative position and make it possible, therefore, to resume constructive negotiations on total and complete disarmament. The Soviet government and myself as the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR are ready to do everything possible to facilitate the achievement of an agreement on this great problem. Some of the measures referred to in the appeal of your Committee relate to the question of stopping the testing of nuclear weapons. We have always paid much attention to this issue, although, as it goes without saying, just stopping the testing of nuclear and hydrogen weapons would not solve the problem of eliminating the threat of atomic war and ending the arms race. A direct and right path to this goal is total and complete disarmament. The Soviet Union patiently and persistently sought an agreement at the Geneva meeting of the three Powers, which has been continuing its work for more than two years. And despite the fact that we have made a series of serious concessions to the United States and Britain, despite the fact that we actually accepted many of our partners' proposals for the Geneva talks, an agreement on the termination of nuclear weapons tests has not yet been reached. In particular, the issue of a moratorium on small underground nuclear tests and the research program to improve the methods for detecting such tests, as described in the appeal of your Committee, have not been resolved.
The Soviet Union, on the resumption of the Geneva meeting, will continue to strive in every possible way to agree to stop forever any tests of nuclear weapons of any size. I hope that the activities of your Committee, aimed at strengthening peace throughout the world, will bring real results and help solve urgent international problems and, first of all, the problem of disarmament. I can assure you that the Soviet government will continue to fight tirelessly in 1961 to ensure lasting peace on earth.
Citizen's Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy was founded in 1957, as a means to shine light on the dangers of nuclear testing. Though it began as a small organization, it soon found a national membership that included scientists and celebrities. Cousins and Clarence Pickett were co-chairmen of the organization. Ex. Norman Cousins Estate.
Condition: Horizontal creasing along bottom margin where pages were folded, light toning at lower right corner, else fine.
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