"In spite of our serious doubts," wrote Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to President Eisenhower last week, Russia is "prepared to try out" the Eisenhower proposal for joint technical studies on nuclear-test detection. Even with the "serious doubts" attached, this was a surprising concession; Russia had rejected similar U.S. proposals time and again.

With the wariness of a man accepting a cigar from a notorious practical joker, the White House noted that the letter "seems" to accept the U.S. position on the need for joint technical studies as a possible "basis for progress toward agreement on disarmament." Added Secretary of...

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