168. Memorandum of a Conference With the President, White House, Washington, November 5, 1956, 10:20 a.m.1


  • Vice President Nixon
  • Secretary Hoover
  • Mr. Phleger
  • Mr. Hagerty
  • Colonel Goodpaster

[Here follows discussion of the Middle East. For text, see volume XVI, page 986.]

Mr. Hoover said the whole matter of East-West exchanges and trade fairs must be reconsidered. The President thought we should suspend all of this, and that there should be no attendance at the November 7 celebrations of the Soviet Union.2 Mr. Hoover said he would arrange this.

Mr. Phleger reported that on the Hungarian resolution the Arabs and India abstained and that there is some appearance that they may have made a deal with the USSR to abstain on the Hungarian question in order to have strong Soviet support on the Middle East question.3 He thought that the General Assembly would take up the question of sanctions on November 6th or 7th.

Mr. Phleger said that Cardinal Mindszenty is in our legation. We will refuse to turn him over. We will try to keep him quiet. Our international position is not too strong on trying to safeguard him. Perhaps we can get the UN into the matter to help him.

Mr. Phleger said the Soviet trap was such that they were able to get almost all political leaders in Hungary out of hiding to negotiate with them, and then seized them all.

The Vice President asked why Nehru is supporting the USSR by abstaining, and the President suggested that Nehru thinks of only one thing, which is colonialism, by which he means the white over colored people. The President said he thought it might be well for him to write to Nehru, bringing out that we are witnessing colonialism by the bayonet in Hungary. Mr. Nixon said he thought that if Nehru would [Page 395] line up with us in this matter, Russia would be ruined in Asia. He asked if Nehru’s visit to the U.S. could be expedited and the President said he was afraid that Nehru might find that things are so active that he cannot leave his Government at this moment.4

There was discussion over the release of the President’s letter to Nehru and the President said that the question is one of protecting the ability to exchange such letters without having them released for propaganda purposes.5


Colonel, CE, US Army
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. Top Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster.
  2. In telegram 1071 from Moscow, November 5, Ambassador Bohlen expressed his hope that the celebration of the anniversary of the 1917 Revolution would be boycotted. (Department of State, Central Files, 607.1161/11–556) Telegram 550 to Moscow, also sent to London and Paris, November 5, advised that U.S. Government officials had been instructed not to attend the November 7 celebration. (Ibid.) Regarding implementation of the decision to suspend exchanges with the Soviet Union, see telegram 588 to Moscow, November 13, vol. XXIV, p. 253.
  3. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and the Sudan had abstained on Resolution 1004 (ES–II).
  4. Nehru visited the United States in December 1956.
  5. On November 4, the Indian Government informed the U.S. Embassy that Prime Minister Nehru was prepared to release to the press the text of the letters which he had sent to President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles on October 31 and the replies which Eisenhower and Dulles had sent to Nehru. (Telegram 1154 from New Delhi, November 4; Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/11–456). The signed original of Nehru’s letter to Eisenhower of October 31 is in the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. A copy of Nehru’s letter to Dulles of October 31 is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, Prime Minister Nehru’s Correspondence with Eisenhower/Dulles 1953–1961. Eisenhower’s response to Nehru was transmitted to the Embassy in New Delhi for delivery in telegram 1149, November 2. (Ibid., Central Files, 684A.86/11–256) Dulles’ reply to Nehru was transmitted to the Embassy in New Delhi for delivery in telegram 1152, November 2. (Ibid.) Nehru’s request was discussed by Hoover and Eisenhower on November 4. The President determined that while he had no objection to Nehru’s releasing his own letters, he would prefer that his own replies not be released. (Memorandum for the record by Greene, November 4; ibid., 764.00/11–456)