253. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the President and the Secretary of State, White House, Washington, August 11, 1955, 9:15 a.m.1

[Here follows discussion of a subject unrelated to Yugoslavia.]

2. We discussed the problem of Yugoslavia. I said that the Defense people had choked off the military pipeline so that from now on nothing would be going forward. I said that I felt that they saw the matter primarily in terms of building Yugoslavia into a strategic group linking Turkey and Greece with the forces of NATO in Western Europe, and that with this prospect dim, the Defense people, or at least the JCS, saw no future in military aid to Yugoslavia.

I said that I considered it extremely unlikely that Yugoslavia would ever again go under the yoke of Moscow leadership because it would be very stupid of them to do so unless pressed by powerful economic necessity. I said I rather foresaw that Tito now had the ambition to make himself the leader of a group of Communist states and attract them away from Moscow. I had particularly in mind Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria. I said that Tito had stood for the [Page 661] Bukharin brand of Communism which believed that you would have Communism on a national basis and that Communist countries need not necessarily be under the iron discipline of the Soviet Communist Party as the leader of the world proletariat.

I said that if this was his ambition, it was one that we could afford quietly to countenance.

I reported that we felt there was need to take some new soundings in Yugoslavia; that the suggestion had been made that General Collins should go but I thought that Murphy would be better qualified, having regard to the delicate political nature of the task. The President expressed himself as very strongly of this same view and said he did not think that Collins would be the right person to send.

Subsequently speaking with the President on the phone, he said that I could authorize Murphy, at his discretion and if he thought it was important, to convey an invitation from the President to Tito to visit the United States sometime during the latter part of this year. He did not want this used unless it seemed really necessary.

[Here follows discussion of a subject unrelated to Yugoslavia.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers. Top Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by Dulles.