284. Editorial Note

In an article from Bermuda which appeared in The New York Times on March 26, Drew Middleton reported that “President Eisenhower suggested at last week’s Bermuda conference with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan that the United States and Britain should re-establish their intimate wartime cooperation, including joint intelligence and planning systems, to meet international problems”. Middleton went on to report that Dulles had removed sentences referring to this agreement from the final communiqué. Eisenhower immediately cabled Macmillan in Bermuda that “the publication of this item disturbs me mightily” and “this leak creates doubt in my mind that we can talk frankly to each other in confidence on matters of import to us both.” In a letter to Macmillan expanding on his cable, Eisenhower stressed his dismay at the leak because he and Dulles had just assured Congressional leaders that no secret agreements had been reached at Bermuda. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File) Dulles ascertained [less than 1 line of text not declassified]that the leak had come from a British source (Ibid.,DullesHerter Series), but Macmillan steadfastly denied that British sources were responsible. In a letter on March 28, he wrote: “For my part, I would certainly be relieved if our meetings in future could be on a quite different basis—that they should be more personal, with a very limited number of advisers, and with no publicity at all. But I do hope that the embarrassment of this article will not make us lose faith in the need for us to talk frankly and with confidence to each other.” Eisenhower agreed with Macmillan’s conclusions, and the matter was allowed to drop. (Ibid.)