No. 1111
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

top secret


  • The President
  • Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Great Britain
  • Ambassador Makins
  • Secretary Dulles

The meeting was essentially social and held in the living quarters of the White House. There was a general exchange of views with reference to the world situation, the effect of Stalin’s death, and finally the discussion settled primarily on Middle Eastern matters.

Mr. Eden1 emphasized the importance of developing MEDO as a bulwark against possible deterioration of conditions in Iran. The President emphasized, in this connection, the importance of peace between Egypt and Israel without which MEDO would be rather meaningless. Mr. Eden agreed but felt that the first thing to do was to push through the Suez settlement and that Naguib could not make peace with Israel without first the prestige of getting the British out of Suez.

Mr. Eden urged that we should promptly send a high-ranking general to begin the negotiations with Slim. The President suggested that if we did this, it might be in order to ask General Hull to go but the President did not in any way commit the United States to participation in the initial phases of the negotiations.

The President suggested that the United States might have to exercise a freer hand with relation to Iran and the oil situation.

  1. Regarding Foreign Secretary Eden’s visit to Washington, see footnote 3, Document 1104.