NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 1959 (UPI) - Russian Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev apologized today to the "working people" of this city for having "no meeting with them."
Then he took off for the West Coast and the beginning of his sightseeing trip of the United States.
Before boarding an Air Force VC-137, the military version of the Boeing 707 jetliner at Idlewild Airport, Khrushchev spoke in Russian for more than 20 minutes.
"I will personally make every effort to advance the cause of disarmament and cause of peace throughout the world," he promised, in a followup to the dramatic disarmament proposal he unveiled at the United Nations yesterday.
In apologizing for not mingling with the people of New York, Khrushchev said, "This was not because of any activity of the authorities in charge, but because of conditions prevailing here now.
"As an old worker, a miner, I took special pleasure to be among the working people of the city. The working people might ask why I had no meeting with them.
"I was told that if I took the opportunity to visit in working class districts, I might be used by some elements for provocations. And I was told it might cause difficulties for security reasons," he said.
On his way to the airport, Khruschev was taken at his own request through the crowded Negro and Puerto Rican tenement district of Harlem.
At the airport, Khrushchev smiled, bowed and doffed his hat to newsmen, police and airport workers before boarding his plane.
The plane left Idlewild at 9:42 a.m. EDT. Khrushchev's plane will land in Los Angeles about 3:30 p.m. From there he will be driven to Hollywood for a luncheon (4 p.m. EDT) with the brightest of the Hollywood stars.
After lunch, the Soviet leader will watch the filming of a scene in a motion picture, tour Disneyland, if time is available, and inspect a housing development.
Khrushchev, after his West Coast visit, will then swing back through the Midwest, visiting farms, factories and whatever may interest him.
So far, Khrushchev has not had a chance to see much of the U.S. During his Washington visit, he was too busy with President Eisenhower and diplomatic affairs.
His two-day visit to New York was marred because of the elaborate security measures taken to protect him. He was driven through the city's streets at fast speeds and got only fleeting glimpses of the city.
But Khrushchev had a panoramic view of the city yesterday from the observation tower of the Empire State, the world's tallest building. He later expressed a preference for Moscow.
Col. Henry Crown, owner of the Empire State, gave Khrushchev an 11-inch silver replica of the building.
The highlight of Khrushchev's New York visit was his 73-minute address to the U.N. General Assembly in which he proposed abolition of all armies, navies, air forces and foreign bases in four years.
Nevertheless, President Eisenhower was carefully studying the text of Khrushchev's speech at Gettysburg, where he is resting before resuming his talks with the premier at secluded Camp David when the Soviet visitors return.
Khrushchev was guest of honor last night at a U.N. dinner given by Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.