430. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Hoover) to the Secretary of State1

The President called me on the telephone this morning.

He asked me to tell you upon your return2 that he would have [Page 810]no objection to Eden’s coming over in January.3 In making arrangements he preferred that Eden would not be there during a weekend, as he finds it desirable to rest up. I told him that Ambassador Makins had hinted that Eden might like to come over earlier, and would be ready to come at any time we called for him. The President did not indicate that he thought an earlier meeting was necessary, though he had no objection if you thought it desirable.

The President raised the matter of the Aswan Dam and I told him that we were fairly well agreed to proceed with the project, and that we were now endeavoring to assess our position and how far we would be committed.

In regard to the Middle East situation generally, I told the President that we had many disquieting developments within the last few days. I said that I was going to recommend that Bob Anderson should go to Cairo within about the next week, after we had cleared our own position on the Aswan Dam, in order to try our best to arrive at an understanding with Nasser.4 The President suggested that Milton Eisenhower5 might be useful in such a capacity. I said I felt sure he could be at a suitable opportunity, but we were trying to keep the matter confidential during the earlier stages and I thought Bob Anderson would probably attract less attention than Milton.

I said that the Aswan Dam project was the largest single project yet undertaken anywhere in the world, and the complications were almost unbelievable. He said he had no appreciation before of the magnitude of the proposal and he could well see that it was not a thing where a solution could be found on short notice; nevertheless, we were hopeful that we would be able to make a commitment to go ahead on a general basis within the next week or 10 days.

The President suggested that late tomorrow morning when he goes to the office in Gettysburg you might wish to call him on the secret telephone from theWhite House. A definite time should be set up in advance.6

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers,White House Telephone Conversations. Secret. The source text bears a notation indicating that Secretary Dulles saw this memorandum.
  2. According to Secretary Dulles’ Appointment Book, he was vacationing at his retreat on Duck Island in Lake Ontario from the afternoon of November 23 until the early afternoon of November 28. Upon his arrival in Washington, he went to the Department of State, where he met with Hoover. (Princeton University Library, Dulles Papers)
  3. Eden suggested such a visit in a personal message of November 23 to Eisenhower, stating that the main purpose would be “to talk over the world scene together.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File)
  4. No documentation has been found in Department of State files to indicate that Anderson journeyed to Cairo at that time.
  5. The President’s brother, who was President of Pennsylvania State University.
  6. The Secretary spoke with the President late in the afternoon of November 29 about Eden’s projected visit, and Eisenhower reiterated his approval. (Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by Bernau; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers,White House Telephone Conversations)