AUGUST 8, 1958
DENVER—Although the unpredictable Mr. Khrushchev now seems to have changed his mind about coming to a heads-of-state meeting at the U.N. in New York City, the possibility of such a visit has raised many interesting questions about the security precautions that would have to be taken to safeguard his person while here.
Some of the suggestions made during the past few days—such as using a helicopter to transport him from the Russian-owned residence in Glen Cove, Long Island, where he presumably would stay, to the U.N. headquarters in New York—struck me as being little short of ridiculous.
He would be here for such a short time that it seems to me we should take advantage of every opportunity to let him become acquainted with the American way of life. The drive by car from Glen Cove to the U.N. is a short and pleasant one, and he should make it by as many different routes as possible, so that he could see several different aspects of both the countryside and the city. Just sitting in U.N. meetings and living with his fellow-countrymen in Glen Cove would give him no real idea of what the United States is like.
As for the "security risk," everyone knows that if a would-be assassin is willing to sacrifice his life in an attempt to kill someone, the chances of the most elaborate security precautions actually preventing him from doing so will be in the hands of God.
If Mr. Khrushchev ever does come to this country on such a visit, I think President Eisenhower should issue an appeal to all American citizens—and to any foreigners here who may have reason for bitterness against the Soviet government—to refrain from any act either of violence or of passive display of disapproval by parades, picketing with posters, etc.
The President's appeal should point out that this is the man who represents the Soviet Union and that regardless of what any of us may think of him, he is the head of his nation, here for a conference that should lead to the betterment of the world situation. And further, that since he trusts us sufficiently to come here even though he may be risking his life in doing so, we should respect his courage and his faith in us, by showing him that as long as he is here on this particular errand he will be safe, even if he walks alone along a country road or on the streets of New York.
Such an appeal by the President would, I am sure, carry great weight, both with foreigners and with our own citizens.
We should also, of course, take all ordinary security measures, as we would for any head of a foreign state when visiting our country. But the best security for Mr. Khrushchev will come from a genuine spiritual understanding, by all of us, of the value of the effort for peace which has brought him here, and our willingness to subordinate our personal feelings for the possible good that may come to the world.