105. Message From the Secretary of State to the President1

Dear Mr. President: I had my third meeting with Shepilov this noon2 when he came to see me about our US paper. Nothing of great significance transpired except that he expressed his “disappointment” that our paper might not prove acceptable to the Soviet Union.

At our session this afternoon Menon made a long speech and introduced his proposals which were all right as generalities but which could be accepted by Nasser without there being any assurance whatsoever that the Canal could not be one hundred percent operated purely in the political interests of Egypt and as an instrument of its national policy. There are references to international bodies but they are pure scenery.

I put in the US paper as a Conference document and just got it under the wire ahead of Menon’s so that ours will presumably be the first to be considered. Several of the Asian countries, primarily under Turkish initiative, are meeting to try to devise some relatively minor amendments to our proposal which will enable them to accept it.3 We are doing all we can to encourage this, but the Soviet Union and India are exerting strong political pressure to break up the group. Also Pakistan faces a difficult political problem at home.

We adjourned early to permit of further study and inter-delegation consultation.

Shepilov is giving a dinner for all of the Arab ambassadors here in London on Thursday night so he is presumably not expecting the [Page 246]Conference to come to an early end. I myself had hoped of getting back to Washington by Thursday to partake at least by TV in your acceptance speech.4 From the draft I saw I know it will be the speech of a great man worthy of a great occasion.

Faithfully yours,

Foster Dulles5
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8–2056. Secret. Transmitted to the Department of State in Dulte 17 from London, August 20, 8 p.m., which is the source text, with the instruction “Eyes only Acting Secretary for President from Secretary”. The telegram was received at 4:15 p.m. A copy is in the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles–Herter Series.
  2. See Document 102.
  3. Dulles discussed the subject with Turkish Foreign Minister Birgi at 9:45 that morning. The memorandum of conversation is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 756.
  4. On August 22, the National Convention of the Republican Party unanimously renominated Dwight Eisenhower as its candidate for President of the United States. Eisenhower delivered his acceptance speech to the Convention on August 23.
  5. Dulte 17 bears this typed signature.