18. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Planning (Bowie), Washington, January 12, 1957, 10:10 a.m.1


The Secretary telephoned Mr. Bowie re the former’s forthcoming statement before the Senate on Monday.2 The Secretary said that Mr. Bowie believed the root of the problem was the difference between the Israelis and the Arabs and that unless that could be solved, there was no use doing anything. The Secretary said he believed that the root of the problem could not be eradicated. He said he had been reading the Old Testament and they had the same problems as we have today. He said it did not make sense to think that he could solve problems which Moses and Joshua with Divine guidance could not solve. The Secretary said of course we were going to keep on trying to solve these problems but you could not get maneuvered into a position to the effect that there is no use trying anything along the lines of this resolution. The Secretary said he did not think that we would get anywhere reasoning in this way. The Secretary said further he was not prepared to recognize that the resolution by itself held success. He thought you could keep Communism out of the area without solving all of the problems of the area. The Secretary said he thought that Mr. Bowie’s views called for some form of expression but not to put it in the way he suggested.

The Secretary said he had been before the House Committee for three sessions of questioning and that so far no one had raised this point. The Secretary said he had closer contact in Congress than Mr. Bowie had.

The Secretary and Mr. Bowie then had some discussion of the wording of the present draft statement (#1).3

The Secretary asked Mr. Bowie to get in touch with Bob Barnes and ask him to get together for him some figures before the 4 o’clock mtg. today. (The material arrived in advance of the meeting.)

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Asbjornson.
  2. For text of Dulles’ statement before a joint session of the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees of the Senate on January 14, see Department of State Bulletin, February 4, 1957, pp. 170–174, or United States Policy in the Middle East, September 1956–June 1957, pp. 30–38.
  3. Not attached to the source text.