288. Memorandum of Conversation Between Stassen and John Foster Dulles.1

Governor Stassen said he hoped I would be in a position to support his recommendations coming up at the NSC. I said I was very skeptical as to the recommendations. I said I felt that they would involve a practical abandonment of our proposals dealing with the substance of the matter, i.e., the cut-off of fissionable material for weapons purposes, the supervision against surprise attack, and the use of outer space for peaceful purposes only.

Governor Stassen argued that he felt on the contrary that if we started with suspension of nuclear testing and supervision of such suspension that would make it more likely rather than less likely that we would gain our further objectives.

We discussed the problem of opening up the Four Power Proposals as approved by NATO and the danger that by opening up one point everything else would become unbuttoned. Governor Stassen felt there was no such danger.

Governor Stassen contended broadly speaking that the Four Power Proposals were very heavily weighted against Russia and that they should be moderated in Russia’s favor. I asked in what respect he felt they were so weighted and he said it was largely because of the zones for inspection that we had urged. I pointed out that we had [Typeset Page 1233] agreed to discuss other zones in Europe if the Soviets wanted, and that they had not responded.

Governor Stassen also referred to the 55–45 formula. I agreed that this was probably somewhat weighted in our favour but that in these matters it was necessary to have some ground to give in negotiation and that I did not feel that our position as a negotiating position was unfair and certainly the Russians did not expect it to be our final position.

  1. Source: Four-power disarmament proposal. Secret. 1 p. Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Memoranda of Conversation.