311. Memorandum of a Conference With the President, White House, Washington, October 22, 19571


  • Secretary Dulles, Mr. Berding, Ambassador Whitney, Ambassador Merchant, Mr. John Jones, Mr. Hagerty, General Goodpaster

Secretary Dulles began by reviewing with the President a proposed schedule for Prime Minister Macmillan’s visit. It was decided that the “supper” with the President the first night would be attended by the Secretary, Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Lloyd, in addition to the President. The dinner on Thursday night2 would be attended by a larger group.

Secretary Dulles then reviewed the briefing memorandum with the President.3 He said that we must recognize that there are some differences in purpose between ourselves and the British regarding the meeting. They wish to stress their special relationship with us. From our standpoint whatever is issued must demonstrate our interest in all of our allies. He said we must recognize that our alliances are approaching a somewhat precarious state. Our allies feel that they are increasingly dependent upon nuclear weapons, but they are remote from the decisions regarding these weapons. He felt it is quite essential to make some progress on the NATO atomic stockpile. He has been pushing the matter hard with Defense, who have been seven months at it already. [1½ lines of source text not declassified] He said he was meeting with Defense later in the day to try to whip the matter into some shape. Also, he felt that it is time to close up the IRBM agreement with Britain and then to extend it to other countries. [8 lines of source text not declassified]

Mr. Dulles pointed out that some of the proposals would require a change in the legislation, and he and the President agreed that we should announce that we will ask for changes in the legislation.

Mr. Dulles next referred to our policy regarding China. Many Britishers now are coming to think that we are right in our policy on non-recognition. In the Persian Gulf, we should press the British to get [Page 801] together with King Saud. With regard to the common market, there are some signs of undercover resistance by the British, and we should tell them that this will not do. He said we also need a position on the Turkish-Syrian situation and Tunis-Algeria.

The President advanced an idea of much more intimate collaboration between the British and ourselves in the military field. If each assigns truly outstanding men to the Standing Group, they could meet quite informally and see that we have complete understanding and unity of view.

The President said the UK agenda4 (which Secretary Dulles showed him) tends to suggest that they are trying for a formally recognized two-country relationship, which could then be extended to others. He wondered if we could turn this around and work through our alliances to maintain the closest possible contact with the British on matters of common concern. Mr. Dulles said we should take the kinds of action that we can broaden to the whole alliance. The President asked if we could stress that we and the British are the only countries producing atomic weapons and that we are meeting to see how we can help our allies. Secretary Dulles thought it would be best not to overstress the two-country monopoly, but rather to talk in terms of the alliance as a whole.

The Secretary raised the idea of a meeting of Heads of Government at the NATO session in Paris in December. The President could attend that without a series of ceremonial visits to other capitals. Mr. Spaak should have a major part in such a suggestion.

The President said that he has frequently wondered how it might be possible to meet and talk for just a few hours every now and then with Macmillan, perhaps at some intermediate point such as Gander. Secretary Dulles said he agreed as to the desirability but did not see how it could practically be done.

Brigadier General, USA
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster on October 31.
  2. October 24.
  3. Enclosure 1, supra.
  4. The British agenda proposed that the main problems of policy and defense which faced the free world be considered, specifically, that an agreed assessment be made of the Soviet threat in the Middle East and elsewhere, that ways to counter it be considered, that means be established to ensure continual and close U.S.–U.K. coordination, and that coordination be sufficiently flexible to enable other countries and organizations to contribute. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 927)