108. Memorandum of a Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles and Foreign Minister Macmillan, 10 Downing Street, London, August 21, 19561
As I was leaving Sir Anthony Eden’s Reception last night, Harold Macmillan said he would like to speak to me privately. We went into one of the private rooms. Macmillan asked first of all whether I planned to stay on as Secretary of State. He said that he was thinking of perhaps going back to take over the Foreign Office in the reasonably near future and that his decision in this matter would be influenced by whether I would be his vis-à-vis in the United States. He spoke of the very happy relations we had together when we were both Foreign Ministers and that he would very much like to renew this.
I said I had no definite plans but that it was a pretty gruelling job and that I did not expect to stay on indefinitely. Probably if [Page 249]President Eisenhower were re-elected as anticipated, there would be no immediate change.
Macmillan then urged me most strongly to take on the negotiation with Nasser. He said he did not have confidence that anybody else could pull it off. He was particularly concerned with the idea of their going to Cairo. He would have no fear if I should go to Cairo, but he felt that the atmosphere would almost surely influence others to weaken unduly.