256. Letter From President Eisenhower to President Tito1

Dear Mr. President: When Secretary of State Dulles informed me that he had arranged for Mr. Robert Murphy to visit Belgrade again3 to engage in discussions concerning various matters of mutual interest, I was happy to have this opportunity to address myself personally to you and to express my hope and expectation that his conversations with you and other members of your Government will result in a useful contribution to the good relations between our countries.

I know that we both firmly share a common desire to see an evolution and improvement of the international atmosphere take place so that the world will be freed from the threat of war and human and material resources now used for military purposes can be diverted to improving living standards. The United States Government is now engaged in working on the many diplomatic problems involved, some of which will be discussed at the forthcoming conference of Foreign Ministers in Geneva. The interim period, during which the outcome of new trends is still uncertain, is, of course, a difficult time for us all, and I can appreciate the pertinence of the many ideas on world issues expressed from time to time by representatives of your Government to American officials, even when they do not wholly accord with the outlook prevailing in my country. It is my hope that in the trying but hopeful months ahead, nations such as ours, which have stood together through the adversities of recent years, will continue their close association and will work to resolve mutual problems in a spirit of conciliation for their common benefit and as part of the general attempt to relieve the world-wide tensions which have been so menacing to us all.

I know that Mr. Murphy will wish to exchange views with you and your officials on the general trend of world affairs and that also some of the joint programs in Yugoslavia in which the United States participates with your Government will enter into his conversations. It is hardly necessary for me to observe that the United States has always sought to implement these programs in all countries in a spirit of full equality corresponding to the conviction that any effective international cooperation depends on the free and voluntary [Page 670] choice by the people and government of each side of the agreed course of collaboration. In pursuance of this fundamental principle, Mr. Murphy will wish to discuss various questions bearing upon our military relationships and the United States military assistance program for Yugoslavia. The purpose of the aid program has always been clear to me. I have assumed that we shared a common objective—the achievement of a posture of Yugoslav military strength sufficient to discourage incursions onto Yugoslav soil by potential aggressors. You will, no doubt, agree that it would be untimely to relax vigilance while international affairs still remain in an unsettled state.

I am sure that Mr. Murphy will be anxious to be helpful in discussing any matters which you feel can profitably be raised at this time and that he will faithfully relay to Secretary Dulles and to me your views on questions of mutual concern.

With my warm personal regard and best wishes for the success of our common endeavors,


Dwight D. Eisenhower
  1. Source: Department of State, S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, Yugoslavia. Secret. Delivered by Murphy during his visit in Yugoslavia September 27–October 1.
  2. The President was recuperating from a heart attack in Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver, Colorado.
  3. Murphy visited Belgrade in September 1954 in an effort to resolve the Trieste controversy.