223. Editorial Note

By the end of December 1955, a list of topics to guide the discussions between President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Eden during their talks in Washington had been agreed. The topics were: 1) general estimate of Soviet objectives and policies, particularly with respect to the Third World; 2) general situation in Europe and European integration; 3) Middle East; 4) interests and objectives in South and Southeast Asia and 5) the Far East; 6) disarmament; and 7) communiqué. Briefing papers setting forth the policy issues involved in each topic were prepared by various bureaus of the Department of State. These background papers are in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 648, 648A, and 648B, and the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File.

Following the lead of Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan and Counselor Douglas MacArthur II, as explained in MacArthur’s memorandum of December 9 (Document 221), two Working Groups were established in preparation for the talks. The first, comprising delegations headed by Evelyn Shuckburgh, Assistant Under Secretary in the Foreign Office, and Francis Russell, met January 13–19, and considered Anglo-American interests and objectives in the Middle East, policy with respect to conflicts between Saudi Arabia and the Sheikdoms of Eastern and Southern Arabia, [less than 1 line of text not declassified], and the Baghdad Pact. Details of these discussions are in Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Eden Talks, Washington, Jan. 28–Feb. 1, 1956 (Background Papers), and Alpha–Middle East Defense and Soviet Objectives in ME; and ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. See also volumes XV and XVI. From January 23 to 27, Rear Admiral George Thring of the Ministry of Defense led a British team which met with representatives of the Department of State, Atomic Energy Commission, Disarmament Staff, and Department of Defense, and examined the status of the review by each country of disarmament policy. Details of these discussions are in Department of State, Central File 600.0012.