Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Mr Adlai Stevenson, enjoyed a friendly battle of wits, Sept. 23, as they lunched side by side -- following the Russian leader's visit to a farm at Coon Rapids, Iowa.
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Background: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Mr Adlai Stevenson, enjoyed a friendly battle of wits, Sept. 23, as they lunched side by side -- following the Russian leader's visit to a farm at Coon Rapids, Iowa.
In a large brown tent set up for lunch outdoors, Premier Khrushchev stood in line with other guests and helped himself to portions of the generous spread. He sat at a table next to Adlai Stevenson, unsuccessful Democratic candidate in two presidential elections, and chatted jovially. On his other side, was his host, Robert Garst, whose farm he had just visited. Premier Khrushchev and the former Illinois Governor, exchanged wisecracks and jokes. Afterwards a reporter asked the Soviet leader if he would reveal their conversation. Both he and Stevenson agreed to do so.
Adlai Stevenson, who had met Premier Khrushchev in Moscow, described himself as "a retired politician."
"It often happens that a person may be retired today and in the front rank tomorrow", reassured Khrushchev.
Quipped Stevenson: "It's a question of how many times you can be retired in the United States".
"I think honest effort always pays in the end", added Khrushchev. Replied Stevenson: "My efforts are honest but they have never paid".
"One should never be discouraged", Khrushchev went on.
Turning to the Premier, Stevenson said "We all wish him a long life and a long tenure in office".
During the lunch, Stevenson had invited the Soviet leader when he retires, to come and live on an Illinois farm with him.
"Do you have a pond with fish?", asked Khrushchev. "No, but I'll dig one", Stevenson replied.
He advised the Russian visitor to bring his own sturgeon. Premier Khrushchev immediately promised to put through a phone call to Moscow and have a sturgeon sent to Stevenson on the next plane. "I can treat you to some sturgeon while I am here", he added.
After his 40-minute talk with Premier Khrushchev, Stevenson told reporters: "This is the first time I have felt encouraged about disarmament". He was certain that the Russian was "sincere" in his general disarmament proposals put before the United Nations, and thought the plan could be accomplished "phase by phase".