Presidential Correspondence, lot 66 D 204, “Churchill Correspondence with Eisenhower

No. 1107
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Aldrich) to the Department of State

top secret

4780. Eyes only Secretary. Please deliver the following message from Prime Minister to President:

[Page 2002]

Begin text “1. I had a talk with Aldrich when he delivered your message this morning. (February 25.) The time factor is important to me and Menzies as Slim is needed in Australia by the end of April, but of course if you so prefer, the decision can await Eden’s talks with you and Dulles.

“2. I am sure you will consider my suggestion in relation to Ridgway’s front now so advantageously extended to Turkey. All the Egyptian theatre lies behind Ridgway’s right wing and if cut away might be source of weakness to the whole position in Western Europe. The Canal of course is a lateral communication in the whole potential front which we believe you would wish to see sustained southward from the North Cape to Korea. Our British interest in the Canal is much reduced by the post-war changes in India, Burma, etcetera, and we got on all right round the Cape for a long time in the war. I cannot regard it as a major British interest justifying the indefinite maintenance of 80,000 British troops at immense expense. There are lots of places where they could be used better or the money saved.

“3. On the other hand we are not going to be knocked about with impunity and if we are attacked we shall use our concentrated strength to the full.

“4. It seems to me that you might be standing with us in the approach to Naguib on the lines on which we have agreed bring about a peaceful solution in the truest harmony within the military and moral interests of the anti-Communist front. This is no question of British imperialism or indeed of any national advantage to us, but only for the common cause. If an Anglo-American team, military and diplomatic, puts our agreed plan firmly to Naguib all may come well without bloodshed, and other blessings would flow from the success of this decisive accord. Please think of a potential regrouping of forces as a part of your bitter problem in Korea.

“5. We were very pleased to see the line Ambassador Caffery has taken since your hand was on the tiller.

“6. Please talk everything over with Anthony, including the atomic point I made to you. I hope that he can be shown the same kind of picture I was given at the Pentagon last year.

“7. Every good wish, your much older friend, Winston.”