Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers, Memoranda of Telephone Conversation

No. 568
Memorandum of Telephone Conversation With the President, by the Secretary of State

personal and private
Speech on Peace. I told the President we had worked hard over the week end and now had a draft, which was being rewritten, and which I thought deserved his study.1 I told him that I thought it was even more essential that he make such a speech, in view of Malenkov’s speech of yesterday.2 The President seemed disposed to move ahead, and said it was too bad that he had not made his speech before Malenkov.

U.K. Bomber. I mentioned that the U.K. bomber, shot down near the border, according to our information had been trespassing rather deeply into Soviet territory as a result of operating on dead reckoning under overcast conditions.3

[Here follows a brief discussion of the Egyptian situation.]


Bohlen. I spoke of the Bohlen situation4 and the President indicated that he had not the slightest intention of withdrawing Bohlen’s name.5 He asked me to speak to Sen. Taft.6 I told him of certain [Page 1131] rumors afloat which he asked me to check with Doug MacArthur. I subsequently did and reported back to the President, who said that fitted in with his own judgment.

I told the President that if security investigations ever indicated any risk we would deal with the matter from the Executive Department in our own way. I reminded the President that the Senate had unanimously confirmed him to be Counselor in 1947 and in 1951, a high policy-making position, whereas the position to which he is being nominated now is essentially an observation post—not a policy-making position.

John Foster Dulles
  1. The Mar. 20 draft is not printed. (PPS files, lot 65 D 563, “President’s Speech”) For text of the address, see Document 583.
  2. In a brief statement on foreign affairs to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on Mar. 15, Chairman Malenkov spoke of the readiness of the Soviet Union to settle peacefully all unresolved or disputed questions with other nations, including the United States, by mutual agreement. For the translated text of Malenkov’s address, see Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1953, pp. 11–13.
  3. On Mar. 12, a British RAF bomber on a training flight in Germany was shot down by Soviet fighters for allegedly penetrating over East Germany.
  4. Regarding the nomination of Charles E. Bohlen to be Ambassador to the Soviet Union, see Document 546.
  5. Secretary Dulles telephoned Bohlen on Mar. 16. Bohlen was at home with the measles. According to Dulles the conversation proceeded as follows:

    “The Secretary told him that he had talked with the President and that there was no weakening of the President’s determination to stand by his nomination. The Secretary said that he called him because he wanted to be very sure that Bohlen would not do anything to embarrass the President. Mr. Bohlen mentioned his previous testimony and said that there wasn’t any criticism of the Administration in, etc.

    “The Secretary said that he wanted to be sure that no matter what happened, in the middle of the fight, or regardless of the testimony, that Bohlen would not just say he would quit, because that would leave the President in an embarrassing position.

    “Mr. Bohlen said he had no intention of it, none whatever.” (Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers)

  6. According to his memorandum of a telephone conversation with Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio on Mar. 16, Secretary Dulles explained that President Eisenhower was determined to stand behind the Bohlen nomination:

    “Senator Taft said he didn’t think there was anything to worry about, some of them would make speeches but there wasn’t much doubt of the outcome. Bridges [Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire] felt that it would help him in New Hampshire to be against Bohlen.” (Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers)

    Dulles also had telephone conversations on the Bohlen nomination on Mar. 16 with Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin; with Sherman Adams, Assistant to the President; and with Maj. Gen. Wilton B. Persons, Deputy Assistant to the President. (Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers)