264. Message From the Secretary of State to the President, at Denver1

I had 2 unusually interesting days with the reopening of the Vienna Opera on Saturday night and then at Brioni with Tito on Sunday.2

At the opera I had a chance to talk with the President of Austria, with Chancellor Raab and FonMin Figl.3 The fact I had come not on official business but merely to appreciate and pay tribute to the Viennese opera made I think a considerable hit with the government and people.

The day with Tito was one of the most interesting I have ever spent. He was extremely open and friendly. After a luncheon at his Brioni residence, he took me in his small two-seater speedboard to an adjoining island where he amuses himself with simple construction, planting, some exotic animals and the like. Others of the company joined us at a more leisurely pace. (His boat makes 40 miles per hour.)

We had a 3 hour talk partly in the sunlight and partly in a stone hut.4 Topics were Geneva Conference and its problems, particularly problem of Germany and about Near East where he goes to visit Nasser next month. We also talked about Balkan Alliance and about the satellites.

The talk confirmed me in my opinion that while Tito undoubtedly likes to be in a position to get the best of both worlds he has no intention whatever of falling back into clutches of Soviet and he feels that while Bulganin and Khrushchev are definitely trying to substitute new and more tolerable policies than those of Stalin there is still a very strong Stalinist element within the Soviet Union representing those who were indoctrinated in their youth with Stalinism and there is always danger that they could take over and resume rough policies.

While we did not always agree we had a very understanding talk. At close I remarked that while the decreased risk of war somewhat loosened ties between non-Communist nations because it diminished bond of fear it must also be remembered that a comparable process is going on within Soviet bloc and that authority there is being diluted and diversified. Tito feels strongly that this is case and [Page 699] was able to document this thesis on the basis of his knowledge more intimate than ours as to what is going on, particularly in satellite states. He is convinced Communist China is in no sense a satellite.

Following our interview we went back to Brioni and there I had press conference in which he participated with me. I was able there to make a highly significant statement in which he concurred regarding independence for the states of Eastern Europe.5

I had expected to fly back to Geneva before dinner but Tito and his wife were insistent we should stay. We had early supper with them and then he personally drove Mrs. Dulles and me and his wife to harbor were he embarked for mainland and airport.

I delivered your letter6 to him which he read with appreciation and at main luncheon his principal toast was for your quick and complete recovery.

We got back to Geneva about midnight. Harold Stassen me me and we are working today getting read for that item of agenda which may be reached later this week.

Faithfully yours,

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DullesHerter Series. Secret. Transmitted to Denver in Toden 16, which is the source text.
  2. Saturday, November 5, and Sunday, November 6.
  3. Theodor Körner; Chancellor Julius Raab; Minister of Foreign Affairs Leopold Figl.
  4. See supra.
  5. At a press conference held on Brioni following the November 6 discussion, Dulles stated in part: “The final subject of our talk was the problem of the States of Eastern Europe. We reached common accord on recognizing the importance of independence for these States, noninterference from the outside in their internal affairs, and their right to develop their own social and economic order in ways of their own choice.” (Department of State Bulletin, November 21, 1955) According to a report of Dulles’ visit, transmitted in despatch 540 from Belgrade, November 10, the foreign correspondents present at the news conference asked Tito if he agreed with the Secretary’s statements on Eastern Europe and Tito answered in the affirmative. (Department of State, Central Files, 110.11–DU/11–1555)
  6. Document 262.
  7. Toden 16 bears this typed signature.