80. Memorandum of Conversation With President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles0


  • Dr. Milton Eisenhower
  • Mr. Merchant
  • Mr. Greene

[Here follows discussion of an unrelated matter.]

2. I referred to the Soviet note of November 27 on Germany and Berlin and suggested that despite its hostile tone we need be in no hurry to reply. I thought that the occasion called for a thorough review of our whole policy on German reunification, and that in our reply to this [Page 143] Soviet note we should not only reject it but also advance some constructive proposals of our own. The President agreed.

I referred to the importance of Berlin as an outpost and showplace of freedom. The President agreed but expressed unhappiness that here is another instance in which our political posture requires us to assume military positions that are wholly illogical.

I said that there is in prospect a meeting in Paris on December 15 of the Foreign Ministers of the US, Britain, France and the Federal Republic. It has been suggested that this might be followed by a meeting of the Heads of the same Governments thereafter. I thought this would have little point, although it might develop that at a later stage a meeting with the Russians at Head of Government level would be desirable. I said that I would in any event try to submit to the President new constructive proposals about Germany prior to the December 15 meeting.1

[Here follows discussion of unrelated matters.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, Memoranda of Conversation. Secret; Personal and Private. Prepared by Dulles.
  2. For text of Secretary Dulles’ statement following his conversation with the President, which included a reaffirmation of the U.S. position on Berlin, see Department of State Bulletin, December 22, 1958, p. 994.