DIPLOMACY: The Education of Mr. K.

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Khrushchev began to play fast and loose with his timetable. After canceling one San Francisco supermarket visit, he decided to invade another, and brought bedlam with him. He rolled unannounced into the hiring hall of the International Longshoremen's union, embraced the union's Red-lining Boss Harry Bridges as tovarish, genially swapped his felt hat for a longshoreman's white cap. Wearing his new cap, he paid a call on International Business Machines Co. President Thomas Watson Jr., toured the IBM plant at San Jose, watched a thinking man's brain as it chattered through its electronic paces, lined up for lunch in the company cafeteria. There, for the first time he uttered a telling sentence that upset a hoary party line: "We want to have friendship with the American people and the American Government—and I draw no line of distinction between the people and the Government of the United States."

Pigs & Digs. For Kukuruznik (corn man) Khrushchev, the big treat of the week was his trip to Iowa for an inspection of advanced farming practices, corn and beef production near Coon Rapids. His host: crag-faced, cranky Millionaire Roswell Garst, who has been to Russia twice to sell corn seed to the U.S.S.R. There amid the alien corn the Premier of the U.S.S.R., Garst, and the tenuous U.S.-Soviet relations nearly got trampled for good under a 300-man brigade of shouting, shoving newsmen (see PRESS).

Khrushchev happily drove on. At Ames, where he toured the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, he was at his bubbling best. More and more, as tensions slacked, he made Brahmin-born Cabot Lodge his straight man. Said he in a hog barn: "In all his life, Mr. Lodge probably hasn't taken in as many smells as today." When it came time for the predictable message, Khrushchev was, as always, prepared: "These Soviet and American pigs can coexist—why then can't our nations coexist as well? . . . If I may say something in a joking manner—slaves of capitalism live well. But slaves of Communism also live well."

"Don't Be So Sure." In Pittsburgh, the skies were uncommonly dark in the absence of the glares from strikebound steel hearths, but the city's lights were blazing as thousands of people choked the streets near Khrushchev's hotel, gave him the biggest, loudest welcome of the whole tour, even awarded him his first "key to the city."

Charging into an operating steel factory, the Chairman missed not a thing, questioned one worker about his wages ($85-$90 a week), hefted tools, examined huge machines, freely offered his comments. When a guide showed him a machine and said, "I'm sure that you have better ones in your country," the New Nikita replied without a trace of rancor: "Don't be so sure. We have better ones; we have the same kind—we even have worse. I don't say that all you have is bad and all we have is good. We can learn from you."

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