369. Telegram From the Department of State to the Secretary of State, at Geneva1

Tedul 88. Eyes only Secretary from Acting Secretary.

At meeting early this morning with Adams and Hagerty we discussed your Dulte 752 regarding plans for return from Geneva and activities in Washington and Gettysburg immediately thereafter.
I pointed out that your plans, and particularly any statements you would wish to make yourself or in conjunction with UK and France, would depend to great extent on public posture which we would adopt at end of the conference, and that this posture could have far reaching significance in our plans for the future. I said I knew you would appreciate thinking of the President in closing days of the conference, both in regard to reaction domestically as well as in relations with our allies. Adams suggested we see the President immediately, before he left for Gettysburg.

Meeting with the President took place shortly thereafter, including Adams, Hagerty and myself, with Miss Whitman taking notes. I opened with brief statement along the lines of para 2 above. Transcription of Whitman notes follows:

“Subject was theme to be used by Secretary Dulles as he leaves the Geneva Conference and returns to Washington.

The following are quotes from the President:

‘Terrible as this thing is that the Russians are doing, we are not going to be easily discouraged.’ This should be the keynote of statements.

‘I think we have got to admit that the Conference was a great blow to progress toward peace, but we will have no change in our policy of peace through strength, and we are never going to give up on the idea that even the Russians will come to understand that this kind of road block is pure suicide.’

Hagerty suggested that some of the domestic newspapermen believed that it would be important if a tripartite statement were issued before the Four Powers left Geneva, stating the three agenda items that were under discussion, the position of the Western Powers, and how they were blocked on each one.

The President agreed that was a good idea.

‘We came here seeking nothing for ourselves, only seeking decency and justice for Europe and the world. This was a discouragement but we are still going to work for peace.’

President agreed that the Secretary of State should come to Gettysburg to report to him as soon as convenient after he returns (details [Page 778] to be worked out). At that time they will figure out plans, as far as possible for the future. In his statement to the people after his return, he should include some direct quote from the President.

The President stated in talking about future:

‘The results of this Conference mean that you can’t let down an inch. In certain ways we will probably have to step up our precautions because there seems to be no idea on the part of the Soviet leaders that such matters as justice and decency in Europe and the world are the fundamental things that are at stake. It is essentially a matter of our moral purposes as opposed to theirs.’

Governor Adams brought out that at the Summit Conference, the President had the initiative; that now the Russians have the initiative. Hoover agreed, pointing out that they had moved into the Near East and were trying to put themselves into the position of being the one hope of unification of Germany. The President pointed out that their idea of a unified Germany was a satellite Germany, while our idea of Germany was a Germany free to choose its own form of government. We shall push ahead with every peaceful means at our disposal.

President suggested that perhaps Secretary Dulles would like to stop to see Adenauer. Hoover said that the Secretary had considered this, but for the present had decided not to do so.

Going back to the plans for President to see Secretary, he mentioned the drama of having the Secretary change planes in Washington, hop into a little plane and come directly to Gettysburg. He said that in the main their talk would be a calculation of what the Secretary is going to do now, what the President is going to do now, and what our country should do now.

With regard to statements in Geneva, the President said he thought the tripartite statement was the important one, and that he did not care so much about the formal communiqué that might be issued.”

Meeting lasted about twenty minutes.

With regard to specific plans for your return, Hagerty points out that Gettysburg is now the news capital of the United States. Radio, live TV, and news coverage are excellent. In making specific plans he suggests Friday night as being much preferable to Saturday from audience standpoint. Nothing of course will be done until hearing from you.
Since preparing above your Dulte 783 regarding final communiqué has come in. The President’s comments seem apropos, though fuller answer prepared in Department is also being sent.4
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–1455. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Hoover.
  2. In Dulte 75 Dulles stated that he would report to the Cabinet and National Security Council on the conference, see President Eisenhower at Gettysburg, and perhaps address the nation. (Ibid., 110.11–DU/11–1355)
  3. Document 366.
  4. Infra .