126. Memorandum of a Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles and Foreign Secretary Lloyd, London, August 23, 19561

Following dinner Mr. Lloyd and I sat apart and he expressed to me his very great preoccupation with the plans of his Government for military action. He said that no doubt Sir Anthony would talk to me about this when I saw him the next day. However, he could say that the plans were such that in effect there would be a button pushed early in September and after that everything would happen automatically and be irrevocable. He thought I was the only person who could alter these plans. He said he was gravely concerned because they did not take any account of UN pledges nor did they “set the stage” so that the military action would have a justifiable basis and not be “open aggression”, which was not in keeping with the times.

During this conversation Mr. Lloyd showed obvious emotional strain.

John Foster Dulles2
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Memoranda of Conversation. Top Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by Dulles on August 24. The source text bears a handwritten marginal inscription that reads: “MacArthur, Rountree has seen.”
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.