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UNITED STATES-U.S.S.R. EXCHANGES PROGRAM
(Statement prepared by the Department of State)
The fourth in a series of two-year Agreements on Exchanges with the Soviet Union was signed in Moscow by U.S. Ambassador Foy D. Kohler on February 22, 1964. The U.S.S.R. is the only country in the world with which the United States conducts cultural, educational, scientific, and technical exchanges by means of comprehensive, formal intergovernmental agreement.
The first agreement in the series, sometimes called the Lacy-Zarubin Agree ment after its signers, was concluded in Washington on January 27, 1958, and covered the years 1958 and 1959. Subsequent agreements, negotiated alternately in Moscow and Washington, covered the two-year periods 1960–61 and 1962–63. The current agreement is valid for 1964 and 1965. Cultural, in the broad sense of the word, these agreements have a wide range of human activity: the fields of science, technology and industry, agriculture, medicine, education and scholarly research, motion pictures, performing arts, culture and art, the professions, informational media, sports, and tourism.
By the end of 1963, according to records of the Department of State, 5,495 Americans had traveled to the U.S.S.R. as the result of 520 exchanges projects, and 4,646 Soviet citizens had come to the United States under 550 exchanges projects. During this six-year period, the annual level of exchanges rose slightly, but the number of persons involved fluctuated from year to year, from a minimum of approximately 500 persons to a maximum of approximately 1,000 persons traveling in each direction. These figures, however, cover only exchanges arranged for under the several agreements, but not tourism which varied during the same period between an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 Americans annually going to the Soviet Union and from 77 to 450 Soviet citizens annually coming to the United States.
Since 1955, exchanges with the U.S.S.R. have enjoyed the support and encouragement of three administrations, those of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. Both American and Soviet national leaders have, on various occasions, made favorable public references to the program of United StatesU.S.S.R. exchanges, probably with somewhat different or overlapping purposes and objectives in mind but, nevertheless, in recognition of mutual advantage from the program.
AIME AND OBJECTIVES
Since the internal systems and external policies of the United States and the U.S.S.R. differ radically, it is to be expected that the goals and methods of the two countries in a program of bilateral exchanges are considerably at variance. Soviet society, which, under Stalin, was virtually sealed off against unwanted foreign influence, remains largely a closed and controlled one despite perceptible influences for change from within and without. U.S. society is open. In deciding to engage in a program of exchanges with the United States over six years ago, Soviet leaders knowingly accepted the calculated risk of complicating their tasks in the field of internal control. Although, in any real sense, "private" exchanges with the Soviet Union are still impossible, acceptance of the principle and practice of exchanges has obliged the U.S.S.R. to adopt at least a permissive attitude towards a degree of direct personal, professional, and scholarly contacts with Soviet citizens and groups. The United States has, at the same time, insisted on a balanced program of exchanges with reciprocal opportunity and mutual advantage in all areas, and has been able, in the main, to carry out successful exchanges in fields outside primary Soviet interest.
As far as exchanges with the United States are concerned, Soviet primary goals appear to be twofold: to obtain scientific and technical information, and to paint a favorable picture of the Soviet Union and Soviet policies.
Considering the first goal, the Soviet Union is still a developing country, very successful in fields to which it gives top priority, far behind the West in many other fields it considers less important. În pursuing this goal of industrializa. tion and economic development, the Soviet leaders have been assiduous in study. ing the achievements of the West and borrowing from them, and the exchanges program is considered as a vehicle for obtaining information, especially scientific and technological data. The United States takes adequate steps against a one-way flow of information. All exchanges are carefully and continuously examined by the Departments of State, Commerce, and Defense, as well as other government agencies, with an eye first of all to the protection of the national security. The exchanges program is carried out under directives of the National Security Council, and considerations of security take first place in all planning. Reciprocity is the basic principle that is applicable in all areas of exchanges, but particularly in the areas that touch on the national security-science, technology, and industry. Moreover, the visa laws and regulations that govern the entry of Soviet citizens include security safeguards, and itineraries and technical visits must be checked with the Department of State. In sum, Americans need not fear that the exchanges program is a one-way street, or that any reasonable safeguard is omitted in the protection of the national security.
The second Soviet goal is to portray the U.S.S.R. in the best possible light. This may be done through artistic groups, through motion pictures or magazines, or through Soviet visitors who speak to the press along official Soviet lines. Since our system is based on freedom of information, Americans can reasonably cope with propaganda ; but since the Soviet system operates on the basis of propaganda, providing Soviet citizens with factual information becomes of great importance and has a potentially great effect.
The long-term American goal in U.S.-Soviet exchanges is the normal flow of information and persons between the two countries. In pursuing this goal, American participants have been heartened by the popular Soviet response visitors from this country and information about it. The official magazine Ameril circulated in 62,000 copies in the U.S.S.R. every month in Russian, has, since 1957, proved to be popular with Soviet citizens, as have American motion pictures. Many observers have noted the enthusiastic response to American representatives ranging from symphony orchestras to basketball teams. The six American exhibitions that have appeared under the Exchanges Agreements have drawn capacity audiences and highly favorable comments. All these have had their effect--as has the presence of over 60,000 American tourists and exchange visitors in the U.S.S.R. since 1958. At the same time, Soviet visitors to this country are bound to receive profound impressions—and more than 6,000 tourists and exchange participants have come since 1958.
But these effects should not be overemphasized. The exchanges program is severely limited in scope and numbers; ordinarily, it does not reach the mass of the Soviet population. Moreover, the influencing of Soviet society by es: changes is a long-term and indirect process. One cannot point to immediate elfect, but must only hope that increased exchanges taking place over many years will eventually bring useful results. There is a need to keep channels of com. munication open, and one channel is the exchanges program. Attention is also given to short-term aims, primarily obtaining information in order to evaluate the Soviet Union and its changing society. In this area, the Exchanges Agree ments have yielded much fruitful information and many opportunities have been presented for examining elements of the Soviet system. The exchanges program has been a boon to scholars, to those in private industry interested in de velopments in comparable fields, and to all those in government and private life wanting to know more about Soviet activity in many areas.
Thus, the United States carries on exchanges with the Soviet Union in full knowledge of the limitations of those exchanges : they are not a strong enough vehicle to reform the Soviet Union or to solve fundamental problems. But thes are useful in learning more about the world's second strongest power, and over the long term they may help to influence that power in more constructive direc tions.
ORGANIZATION OF EXCHANGES
The Role of the Government.-The Soviet and Eastern European Exchanges Staff in the Department of State develops and coordinates policies for exchanges with the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe, carrying out negotiations and arrangements in consultation with governmental agencies and private organizations. The Exchanges Staff depends for policy guidance upon the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. Other areas of the Department of State play important roles in the program, particularly the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which is generally responsible for American exchanges programs around the world. For the Soviet and Eastern European program, this Bureau provides funds for educational, cultural, and athletic exchanges, as well as specialist and leader grants for persons in these and other fields.
The United States Information Agency has several major functions in the program. In general, it has operational responsibility for the very important informational exchanges, such as constructing and staging exhibits, publishing Amerika for distribution in the U.S.S.R., and preparing radio and television programs for exchange use.
Other agencies of the government play significant roles. The Department of Commerce has made arrangements for many Soviet industrial delegations, and advises the Exchanges Staff when problems arise concerning the export of technological data. Numerous agencies have sponsored, organized, and financed exchanges in their fields: the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Interior, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Public Health Service, the Office of Education, the Atomic Energy Commission, and others. The Library of Congress has played a large role in the exchange of publications, and the National Science Foundation has furnished support for scientific exchanges. The Department of Defense gives advice on visits to technical installations by Soviet exchange participants, and provides financial support for the holding of many scientific conferences.
In short, the Department of State makes exchanges policy and negotiates and makes arrangements for exchanges. It depends for information, advice and sponsorship of specific exchanges upon many other agencies of the government.
The Role of Private Organizations.-Governmental funds for exchanges and resources for carrying them out are limited. Within the Department of State, funds of the Exchanges Staff are limited to administrative costs, interpreters' expenses and staff travel; only the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has had funds to finance exchanges in certain fields. Elsewhere in the government, USIA has received funds for informational exchanges—such as exhibits or magazines—while other agencies have financed the specific exchanges they sponsored. In some fields, governmental agencies are equipped to take over an entire field of exchanges—medical exchanges, for example, may be planned and financed by the Public Health Service—but for most planned exchanges the government is dependent upon private bodies for financing and programing. The majority of exchanges in the technical and industrial field have been sponsored and financed by industries and industrial organizations such as the American Iron and Steel Institute, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Association of Railroads. It has been estimated that private financial support of exchanges has been at least half as great as government support, and perhaps even larger. Obviously, then, the exchanges program could not have taken place without the generous support received from private American organizations and individuals.
Some of these organizations have played major and continuing roles in exchanges. The Inter-University Committee on Travel Grants, partly supported by the Ford Foundation, has coordinated, on behalf of its participating universities, the exchange of graduate students. And the National Academy of Sciences, under a separate agreement with the Soviet Academy of Sciences, has sponsored and arranged exchanges of scientists. The American Council of Learned Societies has undertaken a similar program with the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the humanities and social sciences.
IMPLEMENTATION OF EXCHANGES PROGRAM The four Exchanges Agreements since 1958 have followed a similar structure but, with the years, provision for increased exchanges. Although total numbers of exchanges have slowly increased, the number of persons in officially sponsored exchanges has remained fairly constant. At the same time, some of the diffi.
culties in implementing specific exchanges, notably in the exchange of performing arts groups, bave been eased by the Soviet general acceptance of the principles of early selection of groups, equal conditions and comparable itineraries
. For example, four American groups performed in 1963 in 23 different Soviet cities, as contrasted with visits to four different cities by two groups in 1960.
The difficulties in the implementation of exchanges usually stem from the disparity of the two systems and the goals of each country. Because of the priority it gives to obtaining technological and scientific information, as noted above, the Soviet Union has always emphasized this phase of exchanges, while partially or wholly ignoring other areas. The United States has responded by in. sisting on a balanced program, emphasizing the broad and longer term ex changes, as well as the narrow technical ones. When the Soviet negotiators have proposed a larger number of technological delegations, the United States has insisted on a comparable increase in other fields, such as education or culture. As a result, the program has been more or less balanced among the various fields, but this balance is maintained only by continued United States insistence.
Even under the several Agreements, the Soviet Union has sought its own advantage by pressing for implementation of exchanges it desires—and by often proposing additional ad hoc exchanges in the same fields—and by moving as slowly as possible to implement other sections. For example, the radiotelevision section of the 1958 Agreement was never implemented, and implementation of similar provisions in the 1959 Agreement did not begin until a year after it was signed. Accord on fulfilling the exhibits section of the 1959 Agree ment was not reached until January 1961, and the first exhibits did not open until May. Similar delays occurred in the exhibits planned under the 1962 Agreement, and only two of the agreed three on each side were exchanged. In the educational field, American students in the U.S.S.R. have been hampered by excessive restrictions on travel and by lack of access to certain research materials. Even in the field of technology and industry, implementation of er. changes has produced protracted negotiation because of Soviet attempts to avoid reciprocity—to which the United States has responded with insistence on equal opportunities in subject matter, technical visits, itineraries, and number of delegations.
Soviet scientists continue to attend a significantly greater number of scientific and technical conferences in the United States than do their American counterparts in the Soviet Union. Although this is partly caused by the larger number of conferences organized in the United States and the initiative of some American organizers in seeking Soviet attendance, the Department of State continues to press the Soviet authorities to correct in greater measure the imbalance which exists in scientific conference attendance, and reserves the right to insist on advance assurances of comparable opportunities in the Soviet Union when it is considered necessary.
The negotiations for the 1964–65 Agreement, which were concluded on February 22, 1964, after 46 days of negotiations, illustrated two Soviet policies in the exchanges field. First, the Soviet negotiators rejected all efforts to widen or increase informational exchanges and, in particular, refused to consider the commercial sale of American books, journals and newspapers and, despite the section on radio and television exchanges, to give clear indication of any increase in this field; and the Soviet side agreed to a continuance of the exhibits program only under considerable pressure. Second, the Soviet negotiators sought to obtain formal approval in advance of all activities of Soviet organizations and to equate these organizations with private American groups. These efforts were rejected because of the official nature of Soviet organizations and the need for the Department of State, in order to maintain the reputation and public acceptance of the exchanges program, to determine whether a particular exchange came within the provisions of the officially sponsored program. It was pointed out that visits not considered as exchanges under the Agreement, such as mutual visits between American and Soviet women's and youth groups, could be arranged as tourist visits. At the same time, it was emphasized, as Ambassador Kohler said at the signing ceremony that "travel between the United States and the Soviet Union is not and should not be limited to any officially sponsored erchanges program.” He went on to say that "there are ample opportunities for tourist travel, providing person-to-person contact, and we hope that the present modest number of Soviet tourists coming to the United States will substantially increase."
The new Exchanges Agreement, although similar to the previous ones, is better balanced and provides for a possible fifteen percent increase. However, the Soviet reluctance to use scarce convertible currency fur exchanges activity may affect this possible increase, and current indications are that the program will not be expanded, at least for 1964.
The new Agreement is noteworthy in several respects. There is a more
varied and acceptable group of technical exchanges in fields such as oceanogi raphy, organization of production and management, scientific and technical si information, plastics, urban planning and others. The somewhat expanded agri
cultural and public health sections include provisions for long-term research.
Although educational exchanges will remain about the same level, the con$tinuance of this portion of the program which includes long-term study for
graduate students and shorter term visits of more advanced lecturers and researchers under gradually improving conditions, is significant. Despite the
strong resistance to any increase in informational exchanges, an acceptable ex$ bibits section provides for three traveling exhibits in the Soviet Union (Commu
nications, Architecture and Hand Tools) in three cities for four weeks and efforts ** are being made to insure that all three exhibits agreed upon by each side will & actually be shown. The Soviet Union will exhibit in the fields of Conquest of
Space Children's Creative Activities and Public Health. Especially welcome are is the provisions for specific exchanges in the cultural and professional fields in
cluding writers, composers, artists and sculptors, architects, theatrical scene y designers, choreographers, professional women, legal specialists and others; and
steps are in progress to implement these exchanges. Considerable interest is e expressed in carrying out the provisions for exchanges of museum specialists
and museum exhibitions. Finally, the performing arts exchanges, which have developed well, should continue the success of the previous two years.
APRIL 18, 1964.