8. Message From the Secretary of State to the President 1

Dear Mr. President: This morning’s NATO Meeting was marked by discussion of the Middle East and Far East.2 It is the first time that the Council has gone into these global problems and the experiment was generally greeted with enthusiasm. The Turkish Foreign Minister took the initiative. I followed with a brief explanation of our “Northern Tier” concept, and Harold Macmillan came next. Then we went on to the Far East and I made a rather extensive presentation of our Far Eastern policy, and particularly our position regarding Formosa and Quemoy and the Matsus. In the afternoon the discussion was resumed.3 There were very general expressions of appreciation for the explanation which I had given. Spaak mixed approval with criticism, particularly of the personality of Chiang Kai-shek. … I said that it was not unusual for politicians to make extreme statements, but that I was confident that he would be loyal to his promise not to attack the Mainland without agreement with us.

I am confident that this phase of the discussion was very valuable, and while, like my trip to Canada,4 it did not bring total agreement, it nevertheless did bring a far better understanding.

Between the morning and afternoon sessions, I talked with Adenauer about our proposal to the Russians, and as I cabled you separately,5 he thought very highly of it and that the drafting was wisely done. At the end of the afternoon session, I reported that the Three had sent a message to Moscow and outlined its general character. There was reason to believe that by then the story had pretty well leaked from the European capitals. I know this must have been embarrassing to you and made a problem for Jim Hagerty; but I do not know how these things can be handled with the British, French and Germans without leakage. …

This afternoon we made a Declaration to please the Italians to the effect that we regarded them as “equal” members of the Atlantic [Page 23] Community. They feel somewhat badly because since theirs was the first peace treaty, it was the most discriminatory. …

The Greeks called on me to plead for aid to meet their economic plight in view of the earthquakes, and the Portuguese came to plead for a more sympathetic understanding of their problem of Goa. I think perhaps they have a better case than we have generally assumed.

Tonight after dinner I shall be meeting with the French on a further Indochina conference. My guess is that they will back down on their previous threat to withdraw the FEC.

A crisis has arisen regarding Austria and the economic clauses. It might even prevent the signature of the Austrian Treaty, and incidentally prevent having there a preliminary meeting to pave the way for the “summit” meeting. I am sorry at this unexpected development, but I do not want to see the Austrians in the position where they would from the beginning be in violation of the economic clauses of the Treaty and wholly dependent upon the mercy of the Russians to accept a lesser performance as to which we have no official cognizance and no right to take a position. I feel that either the Austrians should really undertake to comply with the Treaty as written, or if there is a substitute, there should be some kind of a reference to it in the Treaty so that we will be in on that phase of the picture.

Faithfully yours,

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DullesHerter Series. Top Secret; Priority; No Distribution. Transmitted to Washington in Dulte 25, May 10, at 9 p.m. A handwritten notation on this telegram, initialed by Goodpaster, states it was seen by the President on May 11.
  2. See Document 6.
  3. See Polto 2278, supra .
  4. Dulles traveled to Ottawa, March 17–19, 1955.
  5. A summary of Dulles’ conversation with Adenauer on May 10 about the note sent to the Soviet Union that day by the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France inviting them to a Four-Power Conference is in Dulte 20, May 10. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 445) For text of the note, see Department of State Bulletin, May 23, 1955, pp. 832–833. Documentation concerning the preparations for the Meeting of the Heads of Government at Geneva, July 18–23, 1955, is scheduled for publication in a forthcoming Foreign Relations volume.