307. Record of a Meeting, Secretary of State Dulles’ Office, Department of State, Washington, October 17, 1957, 5 p.m.1

PRESENT

  • The Secretary
  • The Under Secretary
  • Mr. Dillon, W (part time)
  • Mr. Smith, S/P (part time)
  • Mr. Elbrick, EUR
  • Mr. Jones, EUR
  • Mr. Greene, S
  • Mr. Howe, S/S

Action: The Secretary asked Mr. Jones, the Coordinator, to prepare a new agenda2 which would focus particularly on the structure and means for a closer collaborative US–UK planning and on broad concepts rather than on specific subjects of immediate concern. (No record of action)

Discussion

The Secretary, having read the first proposed agenda,3 pointed out that the “subjects of immediate concern” and “measures for strengthening and uniting the free countries” were not along the lines of what we thought the meeting should address. He mentioned that he had conceived of the need for closer US–UK workings during the time of the visit of Macmillan’s Special Assistant4 and that he felt that the Macmillan letter5 followed closely along these ideas.

The Secretary referred to a paper he had worked on with Bob Bowie, perhaps two years ago, which called for a meeting of the members of all of the Security Pacts we now have and considered the possibility of setting up consultative committees.6

The Secretary also referred to the study group which he had asked Mr. Becker to head on our Security Pacts.

The Secretary said that he felt the UK was beginning to feel dissatisfied with our present alliance and was seeking to improve it. He thought this was only the first amongst our allies who would feel this way.

The Secretary felt that we were in a psychological crisis in the world and Prime Minister Macmillan’s offer and suggestions give us an opportunity and a peg for constructive action. He remembered the Russian error in Korea which shook us out of complacency. He thought we have in recent Soviet moves a comparable situation. The Secretary also expressed the view that the Soviet Union has as yet not [Page 791]fully exploited its capability to cause havoc with the free world by economic warfare and that we must prepare ourselves much better and jointly with the UK and other allies to meet this threat.

The Secretary felt that our effort should be first with the UK but that we should project any new collaborative elements into our other alliances. In response to Mr. Elbrick’s caution that US–UK collaboration causes offense to the others, the Secretary stated that perhaps we are at a stage where we must adopt steps if they are intrinsically good and timely even though there may be short-run disadvantages. It was generally agreed, however, that we should take full advantage of Spaak’s7 presence to devise means of fuller use of NATO and perhaps develop plans for a significantly different NAC in December.

The Secretary thought that we should probably need a communiqué following the Macmillan talks if we were to take full advantage of any new directions on which we are embarking.

The Secretary felt that the agenda should be oriented more in the discussion of new concepts, structures, and organization for closer US–UK collaboration; something that could produce joint policies, coordinated effort and combined planning in the field of production, defense and economic warfare.

To give more strength to the planning in this organization line, the Secretary called Ambassador Merchant8 and asked him to return to concentrate on this in the next few days of planning.

Fisher Howe9
  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Secret. Drafted by Howe.
  2. The final U.S.-proposed agenda for the MacmillanEisenhower talks was shown to the British on October 19 and transmitted to London in telegram 2913, October 19. (Ibid., Central Files, 033.4111/10–1957)
  3. Not found in Department of State files.
  4. For documentation on Frederick Bishop’s visit to Washington, September 2–7, see vol. XIII, pp. 670 ff.
  5. Supra.
  6. Not further identified.
  7. Paul-Henri Spaak had discussions with the President and Dulles in Washington, October 24–26.
  8. Livingston T. Merchant became Ambassador to Canada on May 7, 1956.
  9. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.