66. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles0


The Sec read the proposed letter to Adenauer.1 The Pres thinks it is very guarded—at the same time letting him know the mere fact the Russians pull out—if their retreat from their obligations puts us in a hole—what they do by omission makes us to by commission. …2 He went on and suggested saying but of course if the Russians abandon their responsibilities then I suppose in this kind of low level business we would have to go along if we were going to keep things straightened out—the Pres then said he does not know if the Sec should say it—as long as he understands if that is done peaceably we have not really a cause. … They agreed it is implied in the letter as is. The Pres suggested Bruce might say something like this to show there is both a juridical and ethical position as well as a practical one.

The Sec said everyone is stirred up—the JCS want to do something fast and quick and Norstad wants us to fight our way through—the Pres thinks it is true but if the others go out and the East Germans try to stop convoys we say we can’t have that—if they want to do normal checking and searching for contrabands etc. …

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. Drafted by Bernau. Secretary Dulles was in Washington.
  2. No draft of this letter has been found; see Document 67.
  3. All ellipses are in the source text.