227. Memorandum of the Conversation at the Swiss Government Dinner, Palais Eynard, Geneva, July 21, 1955, 8:30–11:05 p.m.1
- United States
- The Secretary
- United Kingdom
- Sir Anthony Eden
- Marshal Bulganin
- Mr. Molotov
- 1. China—Industrial and Military Aid
- 2. Tuapse Crew
At dinner, I discussed with Marshal Bulganin a number of matters about China. He spoke of his visit there with Khrushchev a year ago and made some comments about the economics in the country.2 He said he thought we should get in touch with the Chinese People’s Government. I said that we had already taken steps toward doing so but they had apparently bogged down because the Chinese thought we had misspelled the word “Peiping”. We had quite a little discussion about that, and Bulganin was obviously ignorant of the significance which the Chinese Communists apparently attached to the spelling. He asked whether we would talk just about the nationals on both sides or whether talks could be broader. I said we expected first to talk about the nationals but we had not excluded some broadening of the talks. However, I said do not expect much very fast. I mentioned to Bulganin that it had been 17 years before the United States recognized the Soviet Union, and I also asked whether there had not also been a long period of time when the Soviet Union did not recognize the Swiss Republic. He admitted this was so.
I spoke of the large amount of aid that Russia was apparently giving to China. He said they were giving a good deal of economic aid to help them industrialize. I said: you were also giving a lot of military aid.3 He said: we are not giving them MIGs any more. We find the more we give them, the more they want. I repeated my inquiries so as to be sure there was no misunderstanding, and again got a categorical statement that they were no longer supplying direct military aid.
Later after dinner, Marshal Bulganin, Prime Minister Eden, Mr. Molotov and I sat together and resumed talking about China. We referred to the spelling matter, and no one of the group seemed to know what it was all about. Someone suggested that perhaps “Peiping” had been the spelling given by the Japanese.
Bulganin said he would look into the situation right away, as he was greatly interested in the matter and wanted talks to get started.[Page 464]
I spoke to Molotov about the release of the Tuapse crew. Molotov said he knew about the plans and that some were supposed to come to the United States. He said this would make a very bad impression in the Soviet Union. I said that I had worked very hard on this matter since he had talked to me in San Francisco and that I understood about 30 were going back to Russia. He said the number was 29. In reply to his statement that it would make a very bad impression that some were going to the United States, I said that it had made a bad impression when some American POWs had decided to go to Communist China, but that these were things one had to accept.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–2155. Secret. In his brief description of the dinner, John Eisenhower notes that in addition to the President and the Secretary of State, Ambassador Willis, Anderson, Hagerty, Walters, and Bill Draper attended for the United States. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, John Eisenhower Diary)↩
- Bulganin and Khrushchev visited China in October 1954 for the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.↩
- Another copy of this memorandum has the following two sentences at this point in the text: “He said: we were doing that, but we had now stopped. I said China is full of MIGs.” (Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/7–2255)↩