55. Editorial Note

On August 12, President Eisenhower met briefly with Secretary of State Herter following a meeting of the National Security Council. The discussion was recorded in a memorandum of conversation by Staff Secretary Andrew J. Goodpaster, who was also present; the portion which related to the balance-of-payments problem reads as follows:

“The President gave Mr. Herter a copy of a set of papers submitted to him by Secretary Anderson on the subject of the balance of payments. These reflected reports from Switzerland as to thinking of key figures in the international money market in relation to possibilities and some faint indications that Kennedy, should he become President, would follow an ‘easy money’ policy and would take actions softening the dollar and causing a flight therefrom. The President asked that Mr. Herter show this to no one other than himself and Mr. Dillon.

“Mr. Herter said that a report, almost a rumor, had come to him that, during the conversations of de Gaulle and Adenauer, they talked about shifting the currency base from dollars to gold, in part as a means of putting pressure on the United States to accede to some of their ideas affecting NATO. The President said that if this were to happen, our immediate and necessary action would be to pull our forces out of Europe and that this would destroy at their very heart the security arrangements in Europe.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries)

The papers that the President gave to Herter have not been identified, but a memorandum of July 29 from Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Upton to Anderson with a similar report derived from his recent conversations in London is in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 56, Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury, Robert B. Anderson, Subject Files, Treasury Department, Assistant Secretary Upton.