589. Memorandum of a Conference With the President, White House, Washington, November 19, 1956, 11:07–11:37 a.m.1


  • Secretary Hoover
  • Colonel Goodpaster

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

Mr. Hoover said he was inclined to feel that there has been some improvement in the general situation in the last day or two, although nothing marked as yet. He referred to indications of difficulties within the Soviet ruling group, and also to recent exchanges between ourselves and the Arab countries, including instructions to Wadsworth to give King Saud our thinking regarding the developing oil situation.2 The President reiterated strongly his feeling that we should be trying to build up Saud as an element of strength and stability in the Middle East.

Mr. Hoover reported that pressure is being generated by the British for large UN forces to go into Egypt. They evidently feel they need this action as a means of saving face regarding their own withdrawal from Port Said. Mr. Hoover said, in his opinion, we must back up Hammarskjold regarding UN insistence that the British and French withdraw very strongly. The President said that when the UN forces go into the area, so long as they are of reasonable size—enough to prevent brigandage—the whole UN prestige is pledged, and the question of exact numbers is not too important.

Mr. Hoover referred finally to reports that are being received of tensions within the British Government and Cabinet at the present time.

Colonel CE, U S Army
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster. The time of the meeting is from the record of the President’s Daily Appointments. (Ibid.)
  2. Telegram 182, Document 586.