It is our hope-- and the purpose of allied policies--to convince the Soviet Union that she, too, should let each nation choose its own future, so long as that choice does not interfere with the choices of others.


The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today.


For there can be no doubt that, if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.


This will require a new effort to achieve world law--a new context for world discussions.


It will require increased understanding between the Soviets and ourselves.


And increased understanding will require increased contact and communication.


One step in this direction is the proposed arrangement for a direct line between Moscow and Washington, to avoid on each side the dangerous delays, misunderstandings, and misreadings of the other's actions which might occur at a time of crisis.


We have also been talking in Geneva about the other first-step measures of arms control designed to limit the intensity of the arms race and to reduce the risks of accidental war.


Our primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament-- designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms.


The pursuit of disarmament has been an effort of this Government since the 1920's.


And however dim the prospects may be today, we intend to continue this effort--to continue it in order that all countries, including our own, can better grasp what the problems and possibilities of disarmament are.


The one major area of these negotiations where the end is in sight, yet where a fresh start is badly needed, is in a treaty to outlaw nuclear tests.


The conclusion of such a treaty, so near and yet so far, would check the spiraling arms race in one of its most dangerous areas.


It would place the nuclear powers in a position to deal more effectively with one of the greatest hazards which man faces in 1963, the further spread of nuclear arms.


It would increase our security--it would decrease the prospects of war.


Surely this goal is sufficiently important to require our steady pursuit, yielding neither to the temptation to give up the whole effort nor the temptation to give up our insistence on vital and responsible safeguards.


I am taking this opportunity, therefore, to announce two important decisions in this regard.


First: Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking toward early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty.


Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history--but with our hopes go the hopes of all mankind.


Second: To make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on the matter, I now declare that the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so.


We will not be the first to resume. Such a declaration is no substitute for a formal binding treaty, but I hope it will help us achieve one.


Nor would such a treaty be a substitute for disarmament, but I hope it will help us achieve it.


Finally, my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude toward peace and freedom here at home.


The quality and spirit of our own society must justify and support our efforts abroad.


We must show it in the dedication of our own lives--as many of you who are graduating today will have a unique opportunity to do, by serving without pay in the Peace Corps abroad or in the proposed National Service Corps here at home.


But wherever we are, we must all, in our daily lives, live up to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together.


In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because the freedom is incomplete.


It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government--local, State, and National--to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within their authority.


It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all levels, wherever that authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate.


And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of all others and to respect the law of the land.


All this is not unrelated to world peace.


"When a man's ways please the Lord," the Scriptures tell us, "he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights--the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation--the right to breathe air as nature provided it--the right of future generations to a healthy existence?


While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests.


And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both.


No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion.


But it can--if it is sufficiently effective in its enforcement and if it is sufficiently in the interests of its signers--offer far more security and far fewer risks than an unabated, uncontrolled, unpredictable arms race.


The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war.


We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war.


This generation of Americans has already had enough--more than enough--of war and hate and oppression.


We shall be prepared if others wish it.


We shall be alert to try to stop it.


But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just.


We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success.


Confident and unafraid, we labor on--not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace.