224. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the President and the Secretary of State1

[Here follows discussion of unrelated matters.]


We then discussed the Suez Canal situation. I said that I thought that probably all of the 18 Governments would be represented at London, the only possible exception being Pakistan where a new Government was being installed. I said that despite the fact that the Users’ Association proposal had gotten off to a bad start through Eden’s presentation, it was now being better understood and I thought might be widely acceptable, although Spain was reluctant to go along and was always tempted to play with the Arabs and take a course somewhat opposed to that of France and the United Kingdom, with which it had considerable differences.

[Page 506]

I reviewed with the President the Egyptian course of conduct and indicated that it showed no single move of a conciliatory nature. The President remarked that with the arrival of Soviet pilots which I had long forecast there was really a close partnership between Egypt and the Soviet Union. I said this was so, but that I did not believe that any such partnership was durable. I pointed out that where countries were physically adjacent to the Soviet Union and where Soviet troops were there to sustain a pro-Soviet government, the people had little recourse. However, that was not the case where a country was not adjacent to the Soviet Union and where Soviet military power was not available to support the government. The President recalled, in this connection, Guatemala.

I then went over with the President the statement which I thought I might make after leaving him. The President read it and approved it and gave it to Mr. Hagerty to be mimeographed, (copy is attached)2
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, Meetings with the President. Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by Dulles.
  2. Dulles’ statement, subsequently released at the White House, noted that President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles had consulted on the Suez situation in advance of Dulles’ departure for London and affirmed, among other points, that the United States was dedicated to seeking a solution through peaceful means which would protect the rights granted to Canal users by the 1888 Convention and that there must always be ways to assure the movement of vital supplies, particularly oil, to Western Europe. See The Suez Canal Problem, July 26–September 22, 1956, pp. 350–351.
  3. Macomber initialed for Dulles.