94. Message From the Secretary of State to the President1

Dear Mr. President: We have finished the “General Debate” today2 except for Menon, who refused to speak although there was ample time because he wants to do something special apart from the rest, and we will probably hear from him on Monday.

In the meantime we have finally worked out with the British and the French a draft of concrete proposal which we will be quietly circulating to the other delegations tonight and on Sunday.3 We expect to introduce it formally sometime Monday afternoon. It will go in as a U.S. paper and not a tripartite paper as I felt it wiser to have the control of the situation which goes with its being a U.S. paper. Also I believe it will be more acceptable as such. This is also the view of our British and French friends.

More important than the formal proceedings today was the talk of an hour and a half which I had with Shepilov4 this morning. It was a frank and businesslike talk on both sides, or at least I know it was on my side, and it seemed to be so on his side. I feel that the Soviets would be open to making some kind of an arrangement with us and perhaps join to impose it upon Egypt if on the one hand it were couched in a way which would not gravely prejudice the Soviet Union with the Arab world and if on the other hand we would more or less make it a two-party affair with some downgrading of the British and the French. I doubt whether Soviet agreement is worth having at that price but I shall do everything possible short of disloyalty to the British and the French to get Soviet agreement.

We have no meeting tomorrow, and while I have plenty to do, I hope at least to get to church and to have lunch in the country.

Faithfully yours,

Foster5
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–LO/8–1856. Secret. Transmitted to the Department of State in Dulte 10 from London, August 18, 9 p.m., which is the source text, with the instruction “Eyes only Acting Secretary for President from Secretary”. The telegram was received at 6:14 p.m. A copy is in the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles–Herter Series.
  2. Reference is to the fourth plenary session which convened at 2:45 p.m., August 18. A summary account of the meeting is in Secto 19 from London, August 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–1856)
  3. See Secto 20, infra .
  4. See the memorandum of conversation, supra .
  5. Dulte 10 bears this typed signature.