GENEVA: The Exposure

In a single afternoon's work last week Russia's pedestrian Andrei Gromyko swept away nearly seven months of diplomatic maneuvering over Berlin and nakedly exposed the Geneva conference as an exercise in futility.

Over the four weeks since the Big Four foreign ministers first assembled in Geneva's Palais des Nations, the Western position had boiled down to a single basic proposal: the U.S., Britain and France would give Khrushchev a summit meeting in return for Russian agreement that the Western powers are entitled to maintain occupation forces in Berlin, and to unhindered access to the city via East Germany.

Last week, in...

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