Full Citation

  • Title Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report on plans being made by Martin Luther King, Jr. and his associates concerning King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize which is to take place on 12/10/64 in Oslo, Norway
  • Classification Level Secret
  • Imprint [United States: Federal Bureau Of Investigation, 1964]
  • Declassified Date August 29, 2001
  • Sanitization Unsanitized
  • Completeness Complete
  • Pages 5
  • Language English
  • Source Library Federal Bureau of Investigation
L~NITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION In RepLy, Please Refer to WASHINGTON, D.C. 20533 File No. 55 MRTINL[JHER ING November 12, 1964 MA TI L T E KI , JR. Confidential sources of this Bureau who have furnished reliable information in the past have supplied the following information concerning plans being made by Martin Luther King, Jr., and his associates concerning King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize 'which is to take place December 10, 1964, at Oslo, Norway. On November 3, 1964, Bayard Rustin contacted the secretary of Dr. Ralph Bunche, Undersecretary for Special Political Affairs, United Nations (UN). Rustin stated that he was speaking on behalf of Martin Luther King, Jr., and requested to see Bunche regarding the receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize by King. Subsequently on November 3, 1964, Rustin conferred 'with Bunche and told him that upon King's return to Ne'w York City, after receiving the Nobel Prize, there is to be a welcoming affair at either a large dinner at a hotel or an activity at Carnegie Hall. Rustin told Bunche that King wanted to know whether Bunche would be prepared to be chairman of the welcoming committee which will include civil rights leaders and "a number of key liberals." Bunche said that he would be glad to be chairman, but that he would have to be informed as to the others who will be on the committee since there are some people 'with 'whom he will not work. Bunche told Rustin that he had sent a letter to King advising King that the Secretary General of the UN was hoping that King 'would visit the UN upon his return. Rustin told Bunche that he would personally meet 'with Bunche later and go over the details relative to King visiting the UN. Rustin also told Bunche that an invitation had been extended by the President of Brazil to have King visit Brazil on his 'way back to the United States. Rustin stated that he felt that this 'was not 'wise due to certain aspects of the regime in power in Brazil and inquired as to what Bunche's thoughts 'were on this matter. Bunche agreed that it 'was not a very good idea for King to visit Brazil at this time. Group 1 C ZXj Excluded from automatic downgrading and declassif icationJ co UU UBWLY RE: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. On November 3, 1964, Rustin was in contact with Harry Wachtel concerning King's return to the United States from Norway. Rustin stated that King is considering making a speech at Carnegie Hall and selling tickets for the affair, the minimum price to be $100. Wachtel said that King has inquired about the possibility that President Lyndon B. Johnson might attend such an affair, but that the President would not give an answer until after the election. According to Wachtel, Lee White, a White House aide, has stated relative to the President's attendance "the answer is not no."' White has indicated that if the President could not attend , the President would send the Vice President in his place. Rustin indicated that a cocktail party would be held before the Carnegie Hall address by King. Rustin and Wachtel then discussed who might assist in the arrangements. Wachtel stated that Saul Mills had handled the arrangements for a concert for "us" and had made $45,000 for "us." According to Wachtel, Mills is interested in the King affair and has submitted a memorandum of ideas on the subject. Rustin and Wachtel agreed to meet with Mills to discuss the matter. Wachtel stated that he would send Rustin a copy of the memorandum by Mills and in reference thereto Wachtel said that he thought the plans in the memorandum were too ambitious for they included an address by King before Congress and a ticker tape parade. Wachtel told Rustin that he is handling the details concerning King's trip to Norway and has spoken to the Norwegian Ambassador. Rustin then informed Wachtel that King desires to have Dr. Bunche and some white person to act as cochairmen of the affair welcoming King back to the United States, but that Bunche will not accept until he knows who the white person will be. Rustin indicated that he had considered having Senators Robert Kennedy and Jacob Javits as cochairmen so that there would be a nonpartisan element present. Rustin stated that after due consideration he thought it would probably be best to just have Bunche as chairman and have a subcommittee assisting him. Wachtel agreed with this idea. Rustin also informed Wachtel that King had been invited by the President of Brazil to visit that country, but that King -2- CM~ L2J LBamy RE: MARTIN WJTHER KING, JR. should tell the Brazilian President that while he would like to visit that country, he will be unable to do so on his return trip from Norway and would be unable to visit Brazil until after the beginning of the new year. On November 7, 1964, Wachtel contacted Rustin concerning the plans for welcoming King back to the United States and Wachtel stated that he had spoken to the White House and "the Kennedy front" regarding this matter. Wachtel said that he has Louis Martin of the Democratic National Committee "lined up." It is Wachtel's belief that President Johnson vill come to New York City. Wachtel stated that he is waiting to hear from Senator Robert Kennedy in this matter as well. Wachtel instructed Rustin to speak with Dr. Bunche and tell him that if the UN gave a luncheon for King, it would be better if held after King's return to the United States, but that the final decision is being left to the UN people. Wachtel suggested that if the UN affair was held before King's departure for Norvay, December 4, 1964, would be a good date because it is just after the opening of the General Assembly at the UN and there will be many prominent people there. Wachtel noted the possibility of Leonid I. Brezhnev, First Secretary,, Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana, being at the UN. Wachtel asked "Can you imagine Brezhnev embracing Martin like Khrushchev did Castro?" Rustin replied in the af firmative. Wachtel stated that no plans will be made for a ticker tape parade for King until an answer is received from President Johnson. According to Wachtel, Louis Martin of the Democratic National Committee should be given something to do "even if it is just selling tickets." Rustin mentioned the possible use of an armory and stated it would be necessary to contact Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York who is vacationing in Spain. Wachtel indicated that this could be done later by telephone since there will be additional ideas for the Governor's participation. Summarizing, Wachtel mentioned that Mayor Robert Wagner of New York City could have the ticker tape parade; U Thant, Secretary General, UN, could have the dinner for King; and Governor Rockefeller could have the reception for King. -3- W"~ U.I LffRlwy RE: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. On November 7, 1964, Rustin was in contact with King and mentioned that he is beginning the draft of the major speech which King is to deliver and that King can complete it. On November 7, 1964, Rustin also contacted Peggy Duff, a resident of London, England, who is Executive Director of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Rustin told her that King will be in London on December 6 and 7, 1964, and that Rustin wanted to know if Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of England, would be prepared to receive King. Duff indicated that she would check into this. Rustin said that it should not appear as though this was King's idea and that it was preferred that Wilson announce that he is inviting King to visit him. Rustin inquired of Duff as to whether there is a group of "peace-minded people" in London who would work to raise money for "our work in Mississippi." Duff replied in the affirmative and Rustin explained that the reason for raising funds is that "we" are some $2,000,000 "in the hole on the Mississippi business" and that there are about 17 churches which have to be rebuilt. Rustin suggested that arrangements might be made to have the London Embassy of some African nation have a reception for King while he is there. On November 9, 1964, Rustin told an associate that he was departing for London on November 11, 1964, for the purpose of clarifying a confusion which has developed surrounding King's trip to Europe in December, 1964. The confusion arises from the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury desires to receive King, but has been opposed by certain elements since King is a Baptist. Rustin also indicated that while in London he is going to determine whether or not King will be able to meet with Prime Minister Wilson. Bayard Rustin is a frequent advisor to King and is a former member of the Young Communist League, an organization which has been designated as subversive pursuant to Executive Order 10450. Harry Wachtel, also a frequent advisor to King, is the Executive Vice President of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights, a fund-raising adjunct of the Southern Christian Leadership Confer'ence, which Conference is headed by King. On March 5, 1944, a source of this Bureau advised -4- __coEt tEu__ RE: MARTIN UTHER KING, JR. that Wachtel's name was on a list of names, significance not known, maintained at the headquarters of the Kings County Communist Party, New York. The same source also advised on March 5, 1944, that the name of Wachtel's wife, Leonora, was maintained on a list of names of nevly elected officers of the Bath Beach Club of the Kings County Communist Party, New York. Saul Mills vas a member of the Communist Party, USA during the period 1938 to 1947. -5- CM~ L2J UwmAy