89. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State0

902. For the Secretary from Lodge. Re: conversation with Adenauer.1 At lunch today Adenauer sent for me to join him in corner of room and said fol on summit mtg:2

“We need someone at summit who can talk for six days. What envisage is six days of talk and then all questions referred to Foreign Ministers.”
He then, with great feeling, expressed his dismay at atmosphere of “unrest” which he had found here in New York in connection with Berlin question. He had talked with Rockefeller, Harriman, McCloy, Javits,3 and they all manifested unrest. He recalled that President Eisenhower had recently wanted to change legal status of Berlin. All these things worried him.
I said that insofar as I knew attitude of the administration (and I thought I did know it) there was virtually no room for compromise at all on the Berlin matter, that we had made a pledge of honor to the people of Berlin and that as a matter of fact all our pledges all over the world hung on this one and that if we broke our word in one place we would shake confidence in ourselves everywhere. Nothing could be a greater victory for the Soviet Union than to maneuver us into a position where we had to break our word.
I told him what I had told Khrushchev in Moscow:4 that any American Government has a minimum of flexibility in an election year. What I told Khrushchev was true, and it was equally true when I told it to him (Adenauer). There would be no politician running for office in this country in 1960 on the platform that he wanted to sacrifice Berlin, or wanted to break our word toward Berlin.
I added that the Americans to whom he had talked, while all eminent men, could not speak for the administration and that I felt that on this matter I knew what the administration thinking was.
I do not feel I dispelled his skepticism.
Clearly one motive for his trip is to stir us up and to reassure himself. Perhaps President should know of this in view of lunch tomorrow (Tuesday).5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762A.13/3–1460. Secret; Priority.
  2. Adenauer visited New York on March 14 as the first stage of his trip to Japan.
  3. Lodge telephoned Herter at 3:55 p.m. to give him a summary of the meeting with Adenauer. (Memorandum of telephone conversation; Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, CAH Calls)
  4. Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of New York, and Senator Jacob K. Javits.
  5. Lodge conferred with Khrushchev in Moscow on February 8, during a 2-week visit to the Soviet Union. In their conversation, Khrushchev stated that Berlin was the most burning question at issue between the Soviet Union and the United States. For a more extensive account of their meeting, see telegram 2098 from Moscow, February 9, in vol. X, Document 146.
  6. See Documents 90 and 249.