188. Letter From President Eisenhower to Secretary of State Dulles0

Dear Foster: This note refers to your memorandum of your conversation with the French Ambassador.1 This whole question raises again—this time from the other side—the doubt that I have so frequently expressed that the command structure involving our United States Naval Forces in the Mediterranean is properly devised.

In short, I believe that the United States forces should be primarily assigned to SACEUR in the Mediterranean, but with the proviso that [Page 409] such forces can be used by the United States government for diplomatic and other special missions as required.

The agreement should specify that prior notice would be given to SACEUR.

I have previously spoken to Secretary McElroy about this matter.2 The receipt of this message from De Gaulle through his Ambassador indicates that we should do some thinking on this business. Possibly you and McElroy, and maybe even some of the other Defense officials, should have a little conference on the subject.

As ever,3

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles–Herter Series. Secret.
  2. Document 187.
  3. No record of this conversation has been found.
  4. Printed from an unsigned copy.