601. Memorandum of Conference with the President1

[Facsimile Page 1]


  • Prime Ministers Menzies and Macmillan; Ambassador Beale, Lord Home, Mr. de Zulueta, Secretary Herter, General Goodpaster

The President, after greeting Prime Minister Menzies, said he could not understand why the rest of the world had not reacted with shock and resentment to the resolution by the five neutral nations calling upon Khrushchev and himself to meet. He was especially surprised at Nehru joining in this, since Nehru certainly understands the Communist tactics. However, Nehru had said that his mind was confused regarding the situation that has developed. The President said he does not have much use for the others (Nkrumah, Nasser, Tito and Sukarno).

Mr. Menzies said that it is an old trick of Nehru’s to sit silent, not giving his views on matters up for discussion, in order to embarrass the [Typeset Page 2179] other man. He recalled that Sukarno had objected to a summit meeting of four people, noting that he was now joining in proposing a summit meeting of two people.

The President said that he has been working hard on a reply to the five neutral leaders. The key point is that the problems are not problems of the United States and the USSR alone, but affect the whole of humankind. Mr. Menzies noted that in Cabinet meetings, when he has a problem it seems impossible to solve, a good technique is to refer it to a committee. He thinks the action of the neutral leaders is of this character—If [Facsimile Page 2] Hammarskjold, as well as the Western nations, were going to be kicked around in the UN, then he thought those doing the kicking should be allowed to go ahead and break up the UN, since there would be no point in pretending that we have anything of value in those circumstances. The President concluded by saying that there is one Khrushchev recommendation he favored and that is to get the United Nations out of New York City. Having the United Nations there imposes a great burden on a free country, with a free press that people like Khrushchev and Castro can exploit for their own purposes.

Lord Home brought up one additional point—Khrushchev wants to add five “Neutrals” to the Disarmament Committee which now consists of ten members. He said his thought was to say that the Soviets may propose the addition of five, but we would like to add five also. Lord Home said it would be very difficult and undesirable to vote against the addition of Mexico, the UAR and one or two of the other nations proposed by the Soviets. Mr. Herter pointed out that the twenty-member committee would be getting quite unwieldy and discussion brought out that it is not desirable to approach this problem on a two-party basis.

A.J. Goodpaster
Brigadier General, USA
  1. Source: Resolution of five neutrals calling for a U.S.-Soviet summit. Secret. 2 pp. Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries.