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

No. 350
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State


top secret

Memorandum of Conference with the President, The White House, 8:00 to 9:00 A.M.

. . . . . . .

2. I discussed the matter of a security treaty with Nationalist China to cover Formosa and the Pescadores coupled with UN action to deal with the offshore islands under National control such as Quemoy. The President agreed that we should follow this procedure. He said that as far as he was concerned, the United States would never tolerate Formosa and the Pescadores going into unfriendly hands. He also reaffirmed the point I had mentioned, namely, that Formosa and the Pescadores had a distinctive juridical status under the Japanese Peace Treaty. They were not technically under Chinese sovereignty since Japan had made no cession in favor of China. The President agreed, however, that once we made a security treaty with Nationalist China covering Formosa and the Pescadores, it would be necessary for them to refrain from offensive operations from their “privileged sanctuary”.

I expressed the view that we ought to explore this situation as rapidly as possible with Senate leaders. I stated that we had already done so with Senator Knowland, who was in accord. I felt we should also cover Senator Wiley 1 and Senator Smith, the latter of whom I knew favored such a treaty. On the Democratic side, there was Johnson,2 George,3 Sparkman 4 and Mansfield. The President agreed that we should try to have contact with them as rapidly as possible.

I said that I doubted that the UK would proceed in the Security Council before I had had a talk with Eden in Paris,5 and I felt that [Page 771] it would be important for me to tell Eden the line upon which we were thinking. The President concurred.

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  1. Senator Alexander Wiley (R–Wisconsin), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  2. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson (D–Texas), Senate Minority Leader.
  3. Senator Walter F. George (D–Georgia), ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  4. Senator John J. Sparkman (D–Alabama).
  5. Dulles attended the Nine-Power, Four-Power, and North Atlantic Council Ministerial meetings in Paris, Oct. 20–23; for documentation pertaining to the meetings, see vol. v, Part 2, pp. 1404 ff.