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Hubert H. Humphrey

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From the Estate of Llewellyn E. Thompson,

United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union

I am particularly eager that we explore the possibilities for working with the Soviets

in using the food resources of the seas to combat hunger and malnutrition in the less developed countries.

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, 1911-1978.  Vice President of the United States, 1965-1969; United States Senator from Minnesota, 1949-1964, 1971-1978.  Typed Letter Signed, Hubert H. Humphrey, one page, 8" x 10½", on engraved stationery of The Vice President, Washington, [D.C.], December 19, 1966.  With carbon copy of reply and copies of related correspondence.

Humphrey seeks input from Ambassador Llewellyn E. Thompson on ways in which the United States might cooperate with the Soviet Union to promote peaceful uses of the seas.  At the same time, he congratulates Thompson on his most recent appointment as United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, a position that he held under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and to which President Lyndon B. Johnson had now reappointed him.  Humphrey writes, in full:

As you know, the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development has been considering programs for expanding international cooperation in the exploration and use of the seas.  I believe that it is particularly important that we give increasing attention to the possibilities for strengthening our cooperation with the USSR, both bilaterally and multilaterally, as a part of our overall international programs in the marine field.

As indicated in the enclosed copy of a recent letter to Mr. Kohler [present], the Marine Council is looking forward to receiving recommendations from the Department of State about new approaches for working with the USSR in promoting the peaceful uses of the seas.  Suggestions and advice from your new vantage point in Moscow will be of invaluable assistance in identifying new opportunities for cooperation.

I am particularly eager that we explore the possibilities for working with the Soviets in using the food resources of the seas to combat hunger and malnutrition in the less developed countries.  Also, we may be able to expand our fruitful bilateral collaboration in fishery activities into other related areas.  I shall be very pleased to receive your comments on these and other approaches.

On the eve of your departure, may I extend to you my very best wishes for a  Happy Holiday Season and for success at your new post.

In his reply, the carbon copy of which is included with this letter, Thompson wrote:  “In reply to your letter of December 19, 1966, concerning cooperation with the USSR in the field of marine resources, I can assure you that during my stay in Moscow I shall be alert for any opportunities that may be develop in this field.  While I doubtthat any very meaningful arrangements can be made in the near future, it seems to me quite possible that some cooperative arrangements could be reached later on.  /  One thought that occurs to me is that I gather both countries are engaged in undersea mapping.  It might be possible in view of the vastness of the oceans to work out some division of labor in this undertaking.  /  With much appreciation for your good wishes and the very best to you and Mrs. Humphrey during the New Year,  /  Respectfully . . . "

Thompson (1904-1972) was a career American diplomat who served at a critical time in history as the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson.  He joined the Foreign Service in 1928, and during his long and distinguished career he served as the United States Ambassador to Austria from 1955 to 1957 before Eisenhower appointed him Ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1957.  Kennedy reappointed him to Moscow in 1961.  He resigned in 1962, but Johnson reappointed him in 1967, and he served until 1969.  He also held the posts of Career Ambassador and Ambassador At Large.  He was part of the Executive Committee to the National Security Council, or ExComm, which advised Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, and he was present at Johnson's summit with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin at Glassboro, New Jersey, in June 1967.  He came out of retirement to advise President Richard Nixon on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) negotiations with the Soviet Union and represented the United States in the SALT talks from 1969 until he died in 1972.

Humphrey has signed this letter in black fountain pen with a large 2¾" signature.  The letter has a two horizontal mailing folds, neither of which touches the signature, and staple holes at the upper right corner.  Overall the letter is in fine to very fine condition.  The carbon copy of Thompsonʼs reply is on onion skin paper.  It is toned at the top and also has staple holes at the upper right.  The two items are accompanied by copies of Humphrey's letter to Deputy Under Secretary of State Foy D. Kohler and Kohlerʼs reply.

Provenance:  These letters come directly from the Thompson estate.  They have never been offered on the autograph market before.


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