115. Telegram From the Department of State to the Secretary of State, at Vienna1

Tedul 28. Eyes only Secretary from Acting Secretary. After Cabinet this morning the President asked me to review your latest telegrams with him (Dultes 30 and 362).

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He was in full agreement that the meeting should be held in an atmosphere of continuing negotiation, and it was desirable to build up this conception wherever possible.

The President expressed strong concern about the tentative timing of the meeting for late summer. He felt it desirable to hold the session as early as possible, perhaps the first part of July, for the following reasons:

The purpose of the meeting was to be exploratory only, and no substantive problems or decisions should be considered. It would locate areas of tension and disagreement, and assign them to working groups or to organization such as the UN. He felt the sooner the meeting could take place the better chance there would be of holding the conference within these terms of reference. He was fearful that delay would provide time for hardening of issues with danger of having to be faced with decisions.
He also foresaw danger that the Communists would make a drive to bring in the ChiComs as a party to the conference, or at least attempt to force substantive decisions on related subjects.
In addition, he was apprehensive that delay would allow false hopes and speculation to rise unnecessarily in many areas, as well as unnecessary opportunities for unwarranted propaganda.

(Senator George’s attitude on same subject is outlined in next following Tedul3).

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1/5–1355. Top Secret; Niact. Drafted by Hoover. Secretary Dulles was in Vienna to sign the Austrian State Treaty.
  2. In Dulte 30 Secretary Dulles reported that he had discussed with Macmillan arrangements for another working group which would coordinate Western positions for the Four-Power Conference. The Foreign Ministers agreed that in the first instance the United States and the United Kingdom should discuss the issues and that this could be done by Ambassador Makins in Washington. (Ibid., 396.1/5–1255) In Dulte 36 Dulles reported that he was leaving for Vienna on May 13. (Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 447)
  3. In Tedul 29, May 13, Secretary Dulles was informed that Senator George believed the timing for a summit meeting late in the summer was excellent as it would allow ample time for preparation and Congress would have adjourned. (Ibid., Central Files, 110.11–DU/5–1355)