165. Memorandum of a Conversation With the President, White House, Washington, March 6, 1956, 10:45 a.m.1


  • Secretary Hoover
  • Colonel Goodpaster

Secretary Hoover informed the President of information that continues to reach us indicating that the USSR is continuing to supply arms to the Arab nations. The President thought that if this activity is kept up for very much longer, it might be necessary to give defensive arms to the Israeli—particularly those for ground forces (since air and naval support in event of aggression against them could come from outside sources). He thought it was very important to keep in close touch with the situation in Iraq, and keep the Iraqi aware of our support and interest.

Mr. Hoover said that State Department is drafting a resolution for consideration by the United Nations relating to the situation in the Middle East. The basic thought would be to establish a United [Page 308] Nations mediator with substantial powers—greater, in fact, than those that were held by Count Bernadotte, and greater than those now held by General Burns.

Following further discussion concerning the manner in which intransigence on both sides has contributed to the present situation, Secretary Hoover reported that Mr. Dulles had told Eban that there are pressures for moderation which could be used vis-à-vis the Arabs at the present time, but for the tendency on the part of the Israeli to take extreme actions which deny us the use of these moderating influences.2

No decision was taken. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss these matters, with a view to common understanding.

Colonel CE, U.S. Army
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster.
  2. See Document 151.