262. Letter From President Eisenhower to Chairman Bulganin1

Dear Mr. Chairman: Now that the Four Power Conference has become a part of history, I want you to know how deeply I believe that our combined efforts during the past week produced an effect that will benefit the world. Good results should certainly spring from the solemn and repeated assurances by the leaders of both East and West that we intend, hereafter, to discuss our differences in conciliatory fashion and to seek in every case an answer that may satisfy the requirements of each side.

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I do not minimize the gravity of the problems which must be solved before world tranquility can be achieved. In your opening statement at Geneva,2 you named some of the matters that so greatly trouble the Soviet Union. In turn, I specified others profoundly disturbing to the entire population of the United States. Only statesmanship of a high order and an unshakeable resolution not to revert again, on either side, to some of the practices of the past, will permit progress toward and final solution of these critical problems.

I personally feel that some of the world tensions, of which we so often spoke at Geneva, have been eased by the fact of our meeting face to face and, during that eventful week, giving to the world a record of long and meaningful discussions and debate without either side, in any single instance, challenging the sincerity of the other or resorting to invective.

Since last Saturday evening, I have been thinking over your farewell words to me, which were to the effect, “Things are going to be better; they are going to come out right.” To you and to your associates, I renew my own expressions of friendly interest and intent, and my lasting appreciation of the opportunities that were mine at Geneva for joining with you, Mr. Khrushchev, Mr. Molotov and Marshal Zhukov in so many fruitful discussions.

If we can continue along this line, with earnest efforts to be fair to each other and to achieve understanding of each other’s problems, then, eventually, a durable peace based on right and justice will be the monument to the work which we have begun. This is the profound hope of our Government.

Will you please convey my greetings to those who accompanied you to Geneva3 and with best wishes to yourself,


  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File.
  2. For text of Bulganin’s opening statement, see Geneva Conference, pp. 37–43; for a report on the First Plenary Session at which it was made, see Document 182.
  3. On July 27 Eisenhower also wrote to Zhukov, expressing his pleasure at seeing the Marshal again and sending him some fishing equipment. A copy of this letter is Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower Papers, Whitman File, DDE Diaries.
  4. The source text is not signed.