170. Letter From President Eisenhower to Sir Winston Churchill1

Dear Winston: Soon Anthony and I will be meeting with the French and the Russians at Geneva. As you know, I feel sure that the Western nations could not, with self-respect, have earlier consented to a Four Power Summit meeting. Yet I cannot escape a feeling of sadness that the delay brought about by the persistently hostile Soviet attitude toward NATO has operated to prevent your personal attendance at the meeting.

Foster and I know—as does the world—that your courage and vision will be missed at the meeting. But your long quest for peace daily inspires much that we do. I hope that in your wisdom you will consider that we there do well; certainly we shall do the best of which we are capable in the opportunities we may encounter at Geneva.

Personally I do not expect, and I hope the people of this country and of the world do not expect, a miracle. But if we can inch a little closer to the dream that has been yours for these many years, if together at the meeting table we can create a new spirit of tolerance and perhaps, in concert, come to the realization that force and the threat of force are no longer acceptable in dealings among nations, we shall gain much that will help us in the long and complicated processes that must come after the Summit meeting.

As I leave Washington,2 my thoughts are with you, as indeed they are on many, many days. I hope you are enjoying to some degree the greater leisure that is yours.

Please give my affectionate regard to Clemmie, and, as always, the best to yourself.

Your old friend,

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries.
  2. President Eisenhower left Washington at 8:30 p.m. on July 15; stopped briefly for lunch at Keflavik, Iceland, at 1 p.m. on July 16; and arrived at Geneva at 8 p.m. on that day. For the texts of his address to the American people just before departure, his statement on arrival at Keflavik, and his speech on arrival at Geneva, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1955, pp. 701–707. Detailed descriptions of the trip are presented in Ann Whitman’s and Major John S.D. Eisenhower’s diaries in the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.