97. Editorial Note

From July 18 to 23, President Eisenhower, Prime Minister Eden, Premier Faure, and Premier Bulganin met in Geneva. Their discussions centered on disarmament and the German question, but there was some discussion of the desirability of expanding the exchange of people and information between East and West. Texts of four statements by President Eisenhower at the meeting, including one on July 22 on East-West contacts, are in Department of State Bulletin, August 1, 1955, pages 171–176. Further documentation on the formal sessions of the meeting, as well as delegation meetings and informal conversations between the Heads of Government, is in volume V, pages 361 ff.

On July 23, the Heads of Government issued a directive to their respective Foreign Ministers requesting that they continue discussion [Page 211] of the issues raised at a meeting of the four Foreign Ministers scheduled at Geneva in the fall. (Department of State Bulletin, August 1, 1955, page 176)

On July 25, in a radio and television report to the American people on the results of the Geneva meeting, President Eisenhower made the following remarks about the issue of East-West contacts:

“In the matter of increasing contacts, many items were discussed. We talked about a freer flow of news across the Curtains of all kinds. We talked about the circulation of books, and particularly we talked about peaceful trade. But the subject that took most of our attention in this regard was the possibility of increased visits by the citizens of one country into the territory of another, doing this in such a way as to give each the fullest possible opportunity to learn about the people of the other nation. In this particular subject there was the greatest possible degree of agreement. As a matter of fact, it was agreement often repeated and enthusiastically supported by the words of the members of each side.

“As a matter of fact, each side assured the other earnestly and often that it intended to pursue a new spirit of conciliation and cooperation in its contacts with the other. Now, of course, we are profoundly hopeful that these assurances will be faithfully carried out.” (Ibid., August 8, 1955, page 217)