177. Editorial Note

Speaking to the Bipartisan Legislative Leaders meeting at the White House on the morning of November 9, President Eisenhower made the following remarks:

“The President wanted to note particularly that Hungarian developments have served throughout most of the world to convict the Soviet of brutal imperialism. This was the opposite of the old situation when neutral nations would never view Russia as being guilty of either colonialism or imperialism, and when Russia would never be disbelieved and we would never be believed. Further, the Hungarian situation warns us again that the Soviet is capable of changing its face almost instantly.”

The Director of Central Intelligence followed the President:

“Mr. Dulles stressed the ruthlessness and brutality of Soviet repression, citing the language of Soviet directives over radio communications. He concluded that Russia had lost a satellite and gained a conquered province, that in the outside world the myth of sweet reasonableness of communism has been destroyed with a resultant denunciation of it by former Party members and that the Soviets now realize that satellite armies are not at all trustworthy.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Legislative Meetings)

Acting Secretary of State Hoover also addressed the legislators, reading from a paper prepared at the Department of State entitled “White House Congressional Presentation.” He concluded, in regard to Hungary:

  • “1. The other Soviet satellites and Yugoslavia have been profoundly stirred. The pressures in East Germany have been stepped up.
  • “2. Some of the Asian nations are awakening to the true nature of Soviet ‘assistance’.
  • “3. The Western European nations have been brought to realize that the Soviet threat is again menacing and are looking to the tightening of NATO bonds.
  • “4. Irreparable damage has been done within the Soviet European empire despite the setback to Hungary’s freedom. The Soviets cannot tighten their rule without creating new strains throughout the entire [Page 424] bloc. They have been forced to make concessions in Poland, as they did to Tito, which carry the seeds of disintegration.” (Department of State, Central Files, 764.00/11–1356)

At the end of the meeting, the participants adjourned to a conference room where they saw “the Hungarian atrocities film.”