125. Message From the Secretary of State to the President1

Dear Mr. President: The conference is now history. We adjourned an hour ago after wrangling for several hours about whether there should be a communiqué, and if so, what it should say. In this maneuvering we gained ground with Indonesia, India and Ceylon. They wanted a communiqué, and we were able to agree with them on a text and get the agreement of all of our friends. In the end Shepilov stood alone to reject it, and thus while we did not get these three Asian countries to go along one hundred percent with us, at least they ended on a note of discord with the Soviet Union and not in the Soviet camp.

I note your suggestion of a possible message to Nehru.2 I think this is a good idea, and I am suggesting a text by separate cable.3

I have asked Loy Henderson to act as my deputy on the Committee of Five,4 which will handle the next stage of approaching Nasser on behalf of the eighteen countries. We expect to have our first meeting tomorrow. Bob Menzies will head it up.5 Then I expect to get back, leaving tomorrow evening and possibly stopping at Bermuda for a swim before getting back to the heat which will no [Page 281] doubt be generated by the political campaign. I hope you will get a few days of good rest in Southern California. Faithfully yours,

Foster Dulles6
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8–2356. Secret. Transmitted to the Department of State in Dulte 26 from London, August 23, 9 p.m., which is the source text, with the instruction “Eyes only Acting Secretary for President from Secretary”. The telegram was received at 8:20 p.m. A copy is in the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles–Herter Series.
  2. The suggestion was contained in Tedul 20, Document 114.
  3. The proposed text is substantively the same as that sent to Nehru on August 25, not printed. (Dulte 30 from London, August 23, and telegram 523 to New Delhi, August 25; ibid., 684A.86/8–2456 and 974.7301/8–2556, respectively)
  4. Reference is to the Suez Committee, composed of representatives of Australia, Ethiopia, Iran, Sweden and the United States. See Document 128.
  5. Menzies recalled in his memoirs that he was awakened at 2 a.m. on August 22 by a phone call from Ambassador Aldrich, who asked Menzies to come immediately to Aldrich’s residence for a meeting with Dulles and Lloyd. When Menzies arrived, Dulles and Lloyd stated their strong desire that Menzies should be the chairman or chief spokesman of the committee which would present the Five-Nation Proposal to Nasser. Menzies replied that he would have to consult his government. The following day both Eden and Dulles sent messages to Australian Deputy Prime Minister Sir Arthur Fadden, which urged that Menzies be allowed to accept the chairmanship. According to Menzies, Fadden agreed to the request within 12 hours of the receipt of these messages. (Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, Afternoon Light, Some Memories of Men and Events, London: Cassell, 1967, pp. 156–158) Dulles’ message to Fadden was transmitted to Canberra in telegram 13 from London, August 22, and repeated to the Department of State as Secto 36. (Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–2256)
  6. Dulte 26 bears this typed signature.