218. Letter From Prime Minister Eden to President Eisenhower1

Dear Mr. President: Thank you so much for your message.2 I am very happy that we can talk again.

I do not think that we should take too gloomy a view of the Geneva failure.3 It was hardly to be expected that our summer weather could have been continued into winter.

The worrying part of this business is its effect on West Germany. It cannot be good for Europe that a great country should be divided for an indefinite period. I think we must do all we can to bring the bear to understand how dangerous is the part he is playing in this. If Bulganin and Kruschchev do come here in April you may be sure that we shall do all we can in this sense.

Kardelj has just been here.4 The Yugoslavs seem to take a sensible and balanced view of Europe and urge that we should give time for these German-Russian problems to be solved. They were delighted with FOSTER’s visit.5

Thank you so much for your help in my calculated indiscretion about the Israelis and Arabs.6 I really think that we have a chance to bring about a settlement in this area. The Arabs seem now to accept that there must be an Israeli State and the Israelis would be wise to accept that a peace guaranteed by us both is worthy of more than an Armistice. As far as we can see the position militarily the Israelis could win all the battles, but would they win the war? And even if they did how could they survive without any trade with their Arab neighbours? Nuri7 has sent me an encouraging message and Nasser does not seem [Page 609] entirely negative. If the Israelis will move a little we may yet pull off an agreement on the Trieste model. The trouble with this particular problem is that it is likely to get worse rather than better if we cannot eliminate it.

Forgive these random thoughts. You will know what sincere good wishes go with them.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. Top Secret. Transmitted to the President by Ambassador Makins on November 17 as the enclosure to a brief letter. The handwritten initials “DE” appear at the end of the source text.
  2. On November 12, the President had acknowledged Eden’s message of that date congratulating him on his return to Washington after his heart attack on September 24. (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204)
  3. The Foreign Ministers of the United States, France, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union met in Geneva, October 27–November 16.
  4. Edvard Kardelj, First Vice President, Yugoslavia Federal Executive Committee, visited London, November 14–19. No record of his London conversations has been found in Department of State files.
  5. The Secretary visited Yugoslavia on November 6.
  6. Referring to the Arab-Israeli dispute, Eden, in his speech at the Guildhall on November 9, said, “If, for instance, there could be accepted an arrangement between them about their boundaries, we, and I believe the United States, and perhaps other powers also would be prepared to give a formal guarantee to both sides.” For text of this speech, see The Times, November 10, 1955, p. 10.
  7. Major General Nuri al-Said, Iraqi Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
  8. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.