711.5890/2–453: Telegram

No. 76
The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Department of State


4296. For the President from the Secretary.1 Info: Acting Secretary Matthews (no other distribution). Mr. Eden plans to make the following statement on his own responsibility in the Commons debate tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.

Stassen and I see no objection but if you have any contrary views we should bring them urgently to Eden’s attention.2

“It is important not to read into this statement anything more than it says. President Eisenhower has made it clear that the Seventh Fleet will no longer be employed to shelter Communist China. The President went on to say that ‘this order implies no aggressive intent on our part.’ Her Majesty’s Government are convinced that this clearly states the American position. Indeed as a result of the close and cordial relations established by our first discussions Her Majesty’s Government feel quite confident that we shall develop with the new US administration the type of collaboration which will have the result that no step which could have far-reaching international reactions will be taken without our having an opportunity of expressing our view beforehand. I say this on my own responsibility because as was made plain before Mr. Dulles and Mr. Stassen left no commitments would be made by them on their journey.”3

  1. Secretary Dulles and Director for Mutual Security Harold E. Stassen were in London Feb. 3–5; regarding their discussions with Eden and other British leaders, see telegram 3654 from Bonn and the letter from Dulles to Eisenhower, both Feb. 5, vol. v, Part 2, pp. 1564 and 1567, respectively. A copy of telegram 4296 was sent to the White House with a covering memorandum of Feb. 4 from Matthews to the President. (711.5890/2–453)
  2. A memorandum of Feb. 5 to Matthews from Ann Whitman, President Eisenhower’s personal secretary, stated that the President agreed with Secretary Dulles’ view in the matter. (711.5890/2–553)
  3. The substance of this statement was included in a speech given by Eden before the House of Commons on Feb. 5. (Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 210, cols. 2058–2059)