Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers, “Berlin 1954”

No. 168
The Secretary of State to the President1

top secret

Dear Mr. President: I enclose herewith a memorandum of a conversation2 which I had with Mr. Molotov alone with the addition only of his interpreter Troyanovski. This talk followed a talk which I had with him on atomic energy procedure at which Merchant, Bohlen and Zarubin3 were present. At this point they left as indicated in the enclosed memorandum.

The fact of having had this private talk is of itself of considerable importance. I particularly wanted to be sure that Molotov appreciated the seriousness of possible developments in Asia.4

I am not at all certain as to the degree of influence which Soviet Russia can exert on this situation. It is entirely possible that the Chinese Communists will continue to run amuck until we recognize them and deal with them directly rather than through the Soviet Union as an intermediary. On the other hand, there can be no assurance [Page 362] that if we do recognize them, they will not continue to misbehave.

Our Conference here breaks up on Thursday.5 I hope to be back by Friday afternoon after stopping off to see Adenauer6 briefly en route.

I understand that you will be away but that we are having breakfast on Wednesday. I will go into these matters more fully at that time, but I thought it might be useful and of interest to you in the meantime to see the enclosed memorandum, which is of course highly secret. Nothing that happened made it seem useful for me to report the talk to Eden or Bidault.

Sincerely yours,

  1. The source text is filed with a letter of the same date from Dulles to Walter Bedell Smith, asking him to transmit this letter and enclosure to the President.
  2. Dulles’ memorandum of the conversation which took place on Feb. 13 is scheduled for publication in volume vii.
  3. Georgiy Nikolayevich Zarubin, Soviet Ambassador to the United States.
  4. According to Dulles’ memorandum of the conversation, he told Molotov that he feared the Communist Chinese regime was “recklessly seeking to show off its strength and extend its power,” that this could “lead by one step after another to a chain of events which would have a result none of us wanted,” and that he hoped the Soviet Union would exert some restraint on the Chinese.
  5. Feb. 18.
  6. Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.