213. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the British Ambassador (Makins) and the Secretary of State1


M. said he has a message from Lloyd—he says there is a lot of talk in the lobbies about attributing the plan to the Sec. and he wants M. to explain that they have done nothing to do that. They would like to give the Sec. all the credit for it but L. does not think the Sec. wants it. The Sec. said he does not. M. wanted to explain. L. said in his message that they are deeply grateful to the Sec. for all the work which he has done but their official line has been and will be that this is a plan jointly prepared. The Sec. said that is what he wants.

The Sec. said we have tried to reach a conclusion as to how we can meet their wishes about next week.2 Hoover is going to be out for a while—the Sec. thought maybe he could but is afraid we may not be able to count on it. He is somewhat perplexed and may not be able to give an answer until tomorrow, but the Sec. thinks it is unlikely we will be able to have anyone there before Monday.3 The Sec. does not think Paris is a good idea. The atmosphere is highly charged. The Sec. said he does not know if it will be he or Loy Henderson and Phleger. M. said they would be terribly pleased if the Sec. went. The Sec. said a great deal depends on whether we can get together a high-level group representing the 18. Most of the ambassadors are up to date on it. The Sec. said he does not think he can go but is considering it.

M. said if the Sec. can give him a reply tonight, he will wait for it but in the meantime he will send a message that the Sec. would prefer to have it the way L. said and on the other matter we can have no one in London before Monday and will let M. know as soon as we can.

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The Sec. said he is worried about the pilot situation. M. is too. The Sec. said that may precipitate things before we can carry out the other scheme. M. pointed it out and does not know how it got to this stage. The Sec. told of his giving out the two sentences from the paper he handed M. to the press. The Sec. mentioned a further paper to M. tomorrow.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Bernau.
  2. At 12:15 p.m. on September 12, Makins telephoned Rountree to convey a message to Dulles from Lloyd, suggesting that an early high-level U.S., U.K., and French meeting be held to coordinate planning on the Canal users association plan. Lloyd suggested that the meeting be held in Paris on September 14–15; a larger meeting would then be convened on September 17 in London, attended by representatives of as many of the 18 nations as possible. Makins also conveyed Lloyd’s hope that the Secretary would find it possible to join Lloyd and Pineau in Paris. (Memorandum of telephone conversation by Rountree; Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/9–1256)
  3. September 17.