5. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the President and the Secretary of State, Washington, January 10, 1955, 12:05 p.m.1

1. I reported what Cabot Lodge had told me as to the messages from Hammarskjold.2 I indicated that it would probably be wise to [Page 9] try to keep the lid on, at least until Hammarskjold got back and we would have a fuller story. The President agreed, indicating that he doubted the country or the Congress was prepared to go to war about this matter.

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  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, Meetings with the President. Extract. Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by the Secretary of State. The time of the meeting is indicated in the President’s appointment diary. (Ibid., President’s Daily Appointments)
  2. Lodge’s reports on January 7 and 10 of messages from Hammarskjöld which the latter’s executive assistant, Andrew W. Cordier, had transmitted orally to him, are recorded in notes by Dulles’ personal assistant, Phyllis Bernau, of telephone conversations between Dulles and Lodge. On January 7, according to Bernau’s notes, Lodge reported a message from Hammarskjöld that Chou was “relating the question of the flyers to the whole complex of questions”. On the morning of January 10, Lodge reported a message that Hammarskjöld and Chou were issuing a joint communiqué that day in Peking and that “the meetings have been useful and they intend to continue the contact. Privately, Hammarskjöld says the outside reaction at his departure may prove decisive.” In a later conversation, Lodge explained that Cordier thought that by “reaction,” Hammarskjöld meant “to be calm as we have been the last few weeks.” (Memoranda by Phyllis Bernau of telephone conversations with Lodge, at 2:13 and 3:25 p.m., January 7, 1955, and 9:44 and 10:24 a.m., January 10, 1955; both ibid., Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations) For text of the communiqué issued in Peking on January 10, 1955, see Public Papers of the Secretaries-General, vol. II, p. 436.