Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers, “Meetings with the President”

No. 180
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

top secret

Memorandum of Conversation with the President

[Here follows discussion concerning the proposed European Defense Community and Indochina.]

I mentioned that it might be preferable to slow up the Chinese Communists in Southeast Asia by harassing tactics from Formosa and along the seacoast which would be more readily within our natural facilities than actually fighting in Indochina. The President indicated his concurrence with this general attitude.

I said that, as I previously mentioned, it would be useful for me in my speech Monday night1 to talk about Indochina and its importance [Page 397] to the free world, and also to clarify and emphasize our attitude toward non-recognition of Communist China and its exclusion from the United Nations. I said that there was developing somewhat of a landslide psychology in favor of “appeasement” of Communist China, and I felt that something strong needed to be said publicly to check it. The President fully agreed, emphasizing the misconduct of the Chinese Communists, their seizure and retention of Americans as prisoners, etc. I recalled the many violations and promises made by the Communists, starting with the Litvinov Agreement, which was part of the Soviet recognition arrangement. The President thought it would be well to catch this history in my speech, and to call for “deeds” rather than “words”. He suggested, however, that we should not imply that we would give recognition or agree to United Nations membership if certain tests were met. He suggested that we should merely say that under present conditions recognition could not be considered by us.

[Here follows further discussion concerning Indochina.]

  1. The text of Dulles’ speech, made before the Overseas Press Club of America in New York on Mar. 29, is in Department of State Bulletin, Apr. 12, 1954, pp. 539–542.