439. Editorial Note

On July 15 President Eisenhower replied to Secretary Herter’s message of July 14 as follows:

“I am interested in your observation about the general feeling at Geneva, to the effect that a Summit Conference some time this fall is inevitable. The existence of such a feeling must mean that our Allies are convinced that there will be sufficient progress at Geneva to justify such a meeting on the part of the Western Powers. Unless they do have this confidence in some progress, then they must be assuming that the West will surrender to pressure from the other side.

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“You and I have long ago agreed that we have no idea of being either belligerent or unnecessarily rigid. But we have stood and intend to stand on principle. Moreover, we have made it abundantly clear that we are ready to interpret progress at Geneva in a liberal manner. It would be most unfortunate if our associates should assume that regardless of the absence of progress, this government will consent to attend a Summit Conference. For us this would be such an unacceptable retreat that it would virtually spell surrender. This we will not do. (Department of State, Central Files, 110.11–HE/7–1559)