466. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower0


  • Vice President Nixon
  • Secretary Dillon
  • Major Eisenhower

[Here follow three paragraphs discussing various aspects of the Vice President’s trip to Moscow; for text, see volume X, Part 1, Document 93.]

The President then described the note he had received from Khrushchev1 last evening. In his own letter, delivered to Kozlov, the President suggested that if things go well at Geneva, a personal exchange prior to a Summit Meeting might be useful. Khrushchev’s reply had [Page 1030] allowed no link between results at Geneva and a Summit Meeting. The President advised Mr. Nixon, however, that he need not take this matter up unless Khrushchev does so himself. The President calculates that the answer to the Kozlov note will not arrive in Moscow before Mr. Nixon because he is studying the matter rather carefully prior to writing. It may arrive before Mr. Nixon leaves. He then read his draft reply to the Khrushchev letter in its present form.2

Mr. Nixon asked if the President desires to link the idea of exchange of visits with the idea of a Summit Meeting. The President said it was more important to link exchange of visits with progress at Geneva and agreed that the prospect of exchange visits is being used as a prod, to progress at Geneva. The President’s initial idea had been to meet with Khrushchev now to prod the foreign ministers. However, this had been discouraged by his advisors. He told Mr. Nixon that he could stress the adverse psychological effects in the United States of any scheme whereby the President would appear to go to a Summit Meeting under ultimatum.

Mr. Nixon then requested guidance in the event Khrushchev asks for the President’s definition of the word “progress.” The President said progress would mean assurance of our rights in Berlin, plus the setting up of machinery to study the overall problem. He admitted that this machinery could be amorphous in nature. As an example of the kind he has in mind, the President cited our proposal for a continuation of the meeting of the foreign offices with German advisors. This could be set up by the Foreign Ministers and confirmed that he would like to find soon a reasonable excuse for a Summit Meeting.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Top Secret. Prepared by John Eisenhower.
  2. See Document 464.
  3. Presumably an earlier draft of the reply referred to in footnote 4, Document 477.