298. Record of Telephone Conversation Between Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles 1

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TELEPHONE CALL TO THE PRESIDENT (IN AUGUSTA)

Sec said he would like to ask for quite a bit of the Pres’ time tomorrow afternoon. Sec said we have a briefing Cutler set up, but perhaps right after that. Sec said there were two things coming to a crisis. (1) There were considerable reports around with credibility that the Soviets after their present series of intensive tests are making a unilateral announcement of suspension of testing. Sec said he thought Pres should do something comparable e.g. announce that this series next summer will be the last during his Administration. Sec said this would only mean a couple [Typeset Page 1248] of years, you could not bind your successors, and would be dramatic. Sec said it should be announced tomorrow. Sec said he had seen Strauss yesterday and was seeing Strauss and Quarles this afternoon. Sec said if it was not done soon the Soviets would do it first and we would be aping them. Sec said it would be quite dramatic and would not cost much. Sec said McElroy if he was back from Cincinnati, or Quarles, Strauss, the Joint Chiefs and himself should talk to the Pres re this. (2) The Brit are pressing hard to do something on a Summit conference and are more or less prepared to concede in the preparatory talks a 5–5 basis. Sec said he was reluctant to do that. Sec asked Pres what he would think of the possibility of asking the NATO people to ask Macmillan to go to Moscow to explore the possibilities and report back. Sec said it might give Macmillan the prestige he needs; of course there was the risk that he is under great political pressures at home, personally he was the best of the lot. His talks might prove it was not worthwhile to have a Summit conference, although he might be reluctant to come to that conclusion.

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Sec said he could not come much before 3 because he was giving a luncheon for Erhard, and then the briefing was at 3, but they could talke about these matters right after it. Sec said if Pres did decide to do this he should call Macmillan on the phone to tell him by 10 p.m. which would be 5 p.m. our time. Sec said he could not come in the morning as he was giving his major presentation on MSP before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

  1. Source: Possible announcement of nuclear testing; summit preparations. No classification marking. 2 pp. Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations.