Message From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy
Moscow, December 29, 1962.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT, I am grateful to you for your wish to clarify the considerations by which, as you tell us, the U.S. Government was guided in taking the decision regarding making Polaris missiles available for the disposal of Britain. You note that the Polaris missiles will be given to small British submarine forces which will be assigned to NATO and that these missiles are not expected to be operational before 1969-70.
I took notice of your words that the President's chief concern in making the decision on availability for transfer of the Polaris missiles was to prevent or at least delay the development of national nuclear capabilities and that you seek to gain time for further efforts in the field of disarmament. I would like to regard what you said with understanding. But in your turn, please regard with understanding those thoughts which cannot but come to our mind in connection with the step which you are taking.
If one is to appraise this step objectively, i.e. not only from the point of view of its effect on the relations between the U.S. and Britain, between the U.S. and its other allies in NATO, not only from the point of view of what type of destructive weapons is more suitable or costs less for them to manufacture, then the conclusion can be only one--this still is a matter of expansion of armaments of states. Yes, the agreement regarding the Polaris missiles reached on the Bahamas is one more effort in the implementation of the plans for nuclear armament, armament that is, while the peoples are awaiting from statesmen and governments efforts in a completely different direction--to scrap the war machine of states, to destroy all means of annihilation of people.
We are sorry that the essence of the question on which you informed me is still armament. Measures on which you inform us lead not to creating conditions facilitating general and complete disarmament, not to clearing road to agreement but to further intensification of arms race. This can only grieve all those people who see in general and complete disarmament a really reliable guarantee of peace.
In the messages which we exchanged the two of us expressed more than once our desire to seek mutually acceptable solutions to the questions of disarmament. Unfortunately, however, in those U.N. committees and subcommittees where negotiations on disarmament are conducted, in particular, in the 18 Nation Committee in Geneva they do not yet go beyond declarations of readiness for disarmament.
I do not think that in this message I should touch more in detail on the negotiations on disarmament. I touched on this topic because I cannot but express my concern that every meeting of statesmen of the Western powers regardless of the level of these meetings is devoted first of all to working out new armament programs.
I was informed that you consider interesting the proposal concerning nuclear test ban which was contained in my recent message to you. This makes me hopeful.
I send you, your wife and your entire family good wishes and New Year's greetings from myself and my family.