Dictabelt 23C.2

John Kennedy, Harry Truman
White House Telephone

The recordings begins after the conversation has begun.

President Kennedy: . . . [Unclear] to talk to you about our test--where we're going with [Averell] Harriman out there in Moscow.1 I've got--we've more or less come to some agreement, it looks like, on the language. It covers tests in the atmosphere, in space, and in underwater, which we can, of course, detect.
Harry Truman: I see. [Unclear.]
President Kennedy: We can and will under this agreement continue underground testing. I don't know what the significance of this may be. It may be--have some importance because of the Chinese business and is, therefore, seem[s] to me that we ought to explore how far we can go with the Russians in relaxing the trouble.
Truman: It couldn't possibly hurt anything.
President Kennedy: That's what I didn't think. And, but I thought I'd send you overnight a copy of this, and then I'd be glad to have somebody come out and talk to you if you had any questions.
Truman: All right. All right. I'll have it in the morning then?
President Kennedy: I'll send it to you right now.
Truman: All right.
President Kennedy: And then you could look at it, and then perhaps we could talk again.
Truman: All right.
President Kennedy: How are you doing otherwise?
Truman: OK. I haven't got anything to complain about.
President Kennedy: [laughs] Well, you're very fortunate.
Truman: [laughs] I appreciate your taking the time out to tell me about this, because I'm very much interested in it.
President Kennedy: Right. Good. Fine, Mr. President. Well, I'll send it to you right now.
Truman: Yeah, all right.
President Kennedy: Thank you very much. OK.
  • 1. W. Averell Harriman was in Moscow where he was leading the American delegation negotiating with the Soviet Union for a proposed treaty banning some forms of nuclear weapon tests. These negotiations resulted in the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, which is more commonly known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT).