2. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, January 10, 19551


  • Afro-Asian Conference


  • The Secretary
  • Sir Roger Makins, British Ambassador
  • Mr. Adam Watson, Counselor of British Embassy
  • Mr. Murphy
  • Mr. Merchant

During a call on another subject Sir Roger Makins said that he had now received London’s views on the Afro-Asian Conference. London believes that it would be a mistake to oppose holding of the conference or to attempt to keep invitees from attending. They thought any signs of anxiety on our part should be avoided and that in general we should encourage good people to attend from friendly countries but otherwise develop an attitude of aloofness.

The Secretary mentioned that our views had been cabled to London on Saturday.2 In our judgment the decision of Egypt will be decisive in the attitude of other Arab countries. He agreed that if the conference is going to be held in any event it was important to ensure that competent representatives attend it from friendly countries. He referred to the astute preparation and thought which had gone into the conference, citing as an example the failure to invite either North or South Korea and also the omission of Israel.

The Ambassador then handed the Secretary an aide-mémoire3 on this general subject which he passed to Mr. Murphy.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 670.901/1–1055. Secret. Drafted by Merchant.
  2. January 8. Reference is to telegram 3563 to London, which contained the substance of the Secretary’s views as summarized in the last paragraph of the memorandum of conversation, supra. (Department of State, Central Files, 670.901/1–855)
  3. Not printed. (Ibid., 670.901/1–1055)