88. Letter From the Secretary of State to the President1

Dear Mr. President: We spoke yesterday of Stevenson’s reference to the “liberation” pledge in the Republican Platform.2

There was no such “pledge”. It was stated at one point that it would be made clear “that United States policy, as one of its peaceful purposes, looks happily forward to the genuine independence of those captive peoples”. And at another point it was said, “The policies we espouse will revive the contagious, liberating influences which are inherent in freedom. They will inevitably set up strains and stresses within the captive world which will make the rulers impotent to continue in their monstrous ways and mark the beginning of the end”.

Certainly you and I have consistently made it clear, and you notably at the Geneva Summit Conference, that we seek the genuine independence of the captive peoples. Also I believe this Administration, [Page 244] through the Voice of America, etc., has done much to revive the influences which are inherent in freedom, that we have thereby contributed toward creating strains and stresses within the captive world, such as were manifested by the East German outbreaks of June 1953 and the Poznan outbreaks of this year. Also of course there are the very major adjustments going on within the Soviet Union to adjust domestic policies to take greater account of the aspirations of the people.

Faithfully yours,

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DullesHerter Series.
  2. Reference is presumably to the 1952 campaign platform. The following portion of a telephone conversation between Dulles and Hagerty, September 5, 9:15 a.m., makes this clearer:

    “The Secretary called Hagerty and said McCardle thought the President might be quizzed on Stevenson’s reference to our breaking the pledge concerning liberation of satellite countries which Stevenson had stated was in 1952 Republician Platform. The Sec. said no pledge was broken, that he was in the city at the time of the Poznan riots, etc. Sec. said we had, through Voice of America and in other ways, been keeping alive in the satellite countries the love of liberty. To have taken action which misrepresented us as being the instigator of this thing would have been to Communist gain.” (Ibid., Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations)

    Adlai Stevenson was the Democratic Party’s candidate for President in 1956.