36. Editorial Note

While Dulles was attending the 9:45 a.m. meeting at the White House, Murphy and other United States officials in London contacted Rountree and Howe at the State Department via teletype. During the exchange, Rountree and Howe said that the Secretary particularly wanted Murphy’s evaluation as to whether the international conference would be a “rubber stamp operation”. Murphy responded that he believed that France and the United Kingdom desired a broad-based conference but “with a minimum of risk to the proposition that some form of international control of the Canal must be established”. Murphy continued:

“British and French do want a representative conference with a built in guarantee of favorable action. In that sense the rubber stamp element is certainly present. Their main fear is Soviet participation in the first stage. Mind you we are talking really in terms of two conferences. The British and French want the Soviets out of the first meeting. I have told both that I personally do not share their apprehensions about Soviet participation. The latter may refuse the invitation. In that case we are in good public posture. If they accept they would be in the minority, I believe, if they oppose some form of international control. I believe British fear is that USSR will insist on participating in whatever international Canal control authority may be established. British and French want conference essentially to endorse action they are prepared I believe to take anyway.” (Telecons between London and Washington, beginning at 2 p.m. from London and 9:30 a.m. from Washington, July 31; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 725. The copy of the [Page 72] outgoing message is incorrectly identified as between Washington and Paris.)