15. Diary Entry by the President1

[Here follow President Eisenhower’s views on the need to maintain the United States strategic raw materials stockpile.]

This afternoon the Secretary of State and the former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert Anderson, came to see me. Our discussion centered around the forthcoming visit of Bob to the Mid East, where we hope he can make some progress in bringing about a rapprochement between Israel and Egypt. He is one of the most capable men I know. My confidence in him is such that at the moment I feel that nothing could give me greater satisfaction than to believe that next January 20th, I could turn over this office to his hands. His capacity is unlimited and his dedication to this country is complete.

Because of this feeling of confidence, the Secretary of State and I have requested him to have the frankest kind of talks with both Nasser in Egypt and Ben Gurion in Israel. We feel certain that if a practicable peace treaty could be arranged between these two nations, that our people and our Congress would authorize almost any kind of material aid for the two of them that they could effectively use. But we are convinced that the interests of this country will not be served by attempting to arm one against the other, and we would regard it as tragic if the USSR began to arm one while we undertook to defend the other with weapons and financial support. Consequently, we are ready to do anything within reason to bring them closer together and to start between them the cooperative process, particularly in economic matters.

Bob is starting for the Mid East next Sunday.2

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries.
  2. January 15.