396.1 LO/9–754: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

Dulte 10. Eyes only Acting Secretary and Merchant from Secretary. Re Tedul 15.1 I now have personal message from Eden (cabling text separately2) expounding his program for nine-power meeting “in London in course of next week” and suggesting I return via Europe to attend this meeting. He also says, “You will know how anxious we would be on all grounds to have you here. Indeed your presence seems essential if results are to be achieved.”

I feel September 14 too early for nine-power meeting and that British may be deliberately attempting to rush us in order to put across some plan of their own which we may or may not approve. I feel that probably I personally should attend and both Senators Smith and Mansfield feel Bruce inadequate in view of his long absence from US and inevitable lack of sensitivity to Congressional opinion. However, I think it unwise for me to attend without first talking with President and with State and Defense representatives Washington. Therefore, I propose that we seek delay preferably until Foreign Ministers are in New York for UN meeting.

Believe important from public relations standpoint not to put British in position where they can plausibly blame us for delay. We can, therefore, take position with British that in view of my physical [Page 1151] presence here and Eden’s own statement that he considers my presence essential to success of nine-power meeting, there must be delay to enable me to prepare for nine-power meeting and to re-establish contacts with President, Congressional leaders and recent thinking of State and Defense Departments. I could conceivably do this and go to London Thursday night, September 16, getting back on twentieth for UN opening. This would be burdensome but possible if deemed necessary to facilitate participation by Churchill and Adenauer.

For your information tentative planning now to proceed Formosa September 9, Tokyo September 10, and arrive Washington via Denver September 12.

  1. Supra.
  2. Infra.