198. Summary of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles and His Special Assistant (Greene)0
The Secretary had read the Macmillan-Khrushchev communiqué.1 It struck him that Macmillan has given in on the issue of a conference with the Soviets, to the extent that he, Macmillan, is now associated with the Soviet position on the agenda. The Secretary also noted that the ideas [Page 412] about a Central European “thinned out” zone, which Macmillan had discussed with the Secretary in London, also seemed to be reflected in the communiqué.
Referring to the announcement that the President has invited Macmillan over here, I said that this had been privately proposed for the coming weekend. This was because of the President’s commitments for the middle of March. I also noted that there is just getting under way with Adenauer’s visit to De Gaulle2 a sort of round robin of visits. I thought there might be some advantage to having Macmillan come here at the beginning of that rather than at the end.
The Secretary indicated some unhappiness at the spectacle of Macmillan getting into the driver’s seat and at the likelihood that if Macmillan does come this next week end he, the Secretary, could not take any more than a scenic part in the discussions. I told him that Mr. Merchant had yesterday been thinking about this first point; moreover, as to the second, the timing of the visit was not yet firm, but the boys are rushing preparations and I would not wholly exclude the possibility that there might be time to get the Secretary prepared for a participation of at least some substance. I ventured the thought that this visit might provide the opportunity to stiffen Macmillan if it develops that the Secretary’s fears are borne out; the Secretary wondered whether, on the contrary, he might not soften us up.
The Secretary speculated that Macmillan would give in on the issue of substitution of the GDR for Soviet personnel controlling our access to Berlin. I commented that the British could not do that without us and the French going along. The Secretary asked if the French were all right on this issue and I said as far as I know from the reports I have seen, including the report of Mr. Murphy’s contingency planning meeting on February 28,3 they are.
Adverting to the matter of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Secretary noted that he has often said that no matter what agenda is set, anyone can bring up anything they want.