433. Memorandum of Telephone Conversations Between the President and the Secretary of State, Washington, October 30, 1956, 3:40 and 3:50 p.m.1


3:40 p.m.

The Pres. said he has a second message from Eden 2 with an explanation—he will send it over—he read the end of it. Here is something at last he is anxious for us to understand. The Pres. told Hagerty not to issue the paper3 until the Sec. saw this. The Sec. said it has gone to London and Paris but we don’t have to release it. The Pres. does not think it does any damage to let them have it but maybe instead of releasing it we should say we have sent a communication urging them to use the greatest caution etc. The Sec. said now they have done it they are going to try to get us to go along with them. The Pres. said they could have sent it yesterday. The Sec. said yesterday we might have tried to stop it. The Pres. said if we let it go along etc. etc. where do we get along with them against Communism. The Pres. does not want to be associated with them in the Arab world. They discussed handling it and the Sec. said he would call after reading it.4

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3:50 p.m.

The Sec. called and said he is not impressed by its sincerity. The Sec. thinks Hagerty should say it has been sent. The Pres. said he just told him to write such a statement. The Pres. will see the Sec. gets it.5

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Bernau. Another memorandum of this conversation, prepared in the Office of the President is ibid., Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. It incorrectly indicates that this conversation began at 5:24 p.m.
  2. Infra .
  3. Reference is to Document 430. At 3:24 p.m. Hagerty called Dulles and told him that “the Pres. wanted it [the message] differently. H. will sit and wait till he hears re releasing it.” (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations)
  4. i.e., Eden’s second message.
  5. Later that day the White House issued a statement indicating that upon learning of the ultimatum, President Eisenhower sent an urgent personal message to Eden and Mollet. It also noted the President’s hope that the United Nations would be given full opportunity to settle the controversy through peaceful instead of forceful means and that the United States continued to believe that it was possible to secure by peaceful means a solution which would restore the armistice conditions between Egypt and Israel and achieve a just settlement of the Suez Canal controversy. (Department of State Bulletin, November 12, 1956, p. 749; United States Policy in the Middle East, September 1956–June 1957, p. 142)