740.5/1–1051: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium ( Murphy ) to the Secretary of State 1

confidential

1131. General Eisenhower departed for Hague at 1600 local today. We understand from MacArthur that he is reporting political aspects of visit and that defense considerations are being handled by Eisenhower’s military staff. Belgian visit served useful purpose. General Eisenhower’s personal prestige and popularity extraordinary. This was evidenced both by crowds greeting him in streets, as well as in attitude Belgian military and civilian leaders whom he met.2

It is our opinion that visit has provided urgently necessary stimulus and encouragement to Belgian defense effort. It has sharpened Belgian understanding of urgency of what is required of them and aroused their determination to meet requirements. We feel visit unqualified success.

Murphy
  1. Repeated to The Hague for MacArthur.
  2. Regarding General Eisenhower’s meetings with Belgian leaders on January 9 rand 10, see telegrams 1006, infra; 603, January 11, from Copenhagen, p. 410; and 1152, January 12, from Brussels, p. 415.