267. Memorandum of a Conversation, Mid-Ocean Club, Bermuda, March 20, 19571


  • President Eisenhower
  • Secretary Dulles
  • Prime Minister Macmillan
  • Foreign Secretary Lloyd

Colonialism. There was very considerable discussion of this topic. The PM felt that there was a tendency to move too fast but that the UK was responding to world pressures to which the US was contributing. He spoke of Africa as an area of particular concern because of its importance to Europe. He also spoke of Malaya and Singapore. The President spoke at some length and with great eloquence with reference to the possibility of getting peoples to stay within the old framework on some autonomous basis if only it were made clear in time that they had the freedom of choice and if the choice to stay were made attractive. He referred to Puerto Rico in this connection.

JFD spoke of certain areas of considerable strategic importance and relatively minor importance from the standpoint of the possibility of developing independent nations. The PM suggested that it might be useful to make a concrete review of some of these cases. JFD spoke of our present intention to stay on in Okinawa. Selwyn Lloyd said he fervently hoped that we would do so.

[1 paragraph (10 lines of source text) not declassified].

The Role of “Great Powers”. There was considerable discussion of the relative role of so-called “great” and “small” powers. The PM felt that great powers should still play the dominant role and not surrender it to others who were less well equipped. The President and JFD said that it was necessary to take account of changing conditions and while the fundamentals of power remain unchanged the methods of its manifestation would have to change and be adaptable to changing concepts.

China. JFD said that one of the places where divergent policies hurt most from the standpoint of public relations was the UK policy toward China as it was popularly understood. The President spoke at length with reference to the unwillingness of the US under present circumstances to recognize the Communist regime or bring it into the UN. He spoke of their being condemned by the UN for aggression in [Page 708] Korea, the detention of US civilians, etc. He said he felt that public opinion was more aroused about the casualties in Korea than about the far greater casualties in World War II.

JFD suggested that it would be a good idea if the UK would adopt our political policy of non-recognition of Communist China and non-admission to the UN. If so, that would make it easier to meet the British views on some of the trade matters and the alignment of the Cocom and Chincom lists. Lloyd said that the UK had gone along with the US on the “moratorium” in the UN. JFD admitted this but said that it had always seemed that they did so reluctantly and only under US pressure. What was needed was a wholehearted acceptance by the UK of US political policy. The PM said this might be considered. Lloyd said that he had come to feel that probably US policy was more right than theirs. The PM and Lloyd recalled that the recognition of Communist China had come under the Labor Government and not under the Conservative Government.

JFD spoke of the importance of holding the present anti-Communist positions, insular and peninsular, around the Communist land mass and the need for joint policies by the US and UK in this connection. He recalled that in 1951 or 1952 when he was working on the Japanese Peace Treaty he had attended a meeting in Washington with Eden and Acheson2 and had urged that a joint committee be set up to try to evolve common policies, but nothing had ever been done about this. He spoke of the change which had occurred in SEATO and that whereas two years ago the UK did not want even to mention Communism, Lord Home had said at last week’s SEATO meeting, “Communism is evil. We must meet it and beat it.” He said he had quoted this to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and it has had a good impact.

John Foster Dulles3
  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 865. Secret. Drafted by Dulles. This memorandum records a continuation of the conversation on Cyprus; see supra.
  2. Dean G. Acheson, Secretary of State, 1949–1953.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.