95. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower 0


  • Secretary Herter
  • General Goodpaster

[Here follows discussion of unrelated matters.]

Secretary Herter then went on to say that he had spent a very bad evening with Adenauer the night before.1 He had given a very restricted dinner for Adenauer, following which the Chancellor became very difficult and contentious in his discussion. Adenauer started with a long argument on what the Soviets are going to be able to do to the West, economically, premised on a report that had reached him that the Soviets will pass the United States in economic output by mid 1965. He had mentioned this the night before to Bruce, Dowling, Allen Dulles, Clay and McCloy, all of whom told him that his information was quite erroneous.2 In addition, Mr. Herter said that last evening Adenauer had asserted that the President had not mentioned Central Europe as an area to be covered by the Norstad Plan.3 The President commented that he had said that Central Europe plus perhaps Siberia and Alaska would be included. He commented that the interpreter at the luncheon, where he had discussed this, had in other instances failed to give a complete translation. He was very clear that he had mentioned it, however.

Mr. Herter said that the Chancellor had asked if the United States would support his idea for a quick referendum.4 Mr. Herter had replied that we would certainly support the principle of self-determination, which was a basic element in U.S. foreign policy. The Chancellor then made clear that he had no interest in bringing East Germany into reunification with West Germany at all. He said that reunification is not practicable, and referred to the Socialist voting strength in East Germany. Mr. Herter said Von Brentano stayed after Adenauer left for half an hour to try to put things on a better plane. Mr. Herter said it is clear that Adenauer has become extremely suspicious, and ready to believe any rumor that the United States is doing something against the interest [Page 240] of himself or his party. The President commented there are clear signs of growing senility particularly in Adenauer’s tendency to focus on a single point, with loss of perspective on the whole range of considerations.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated matters.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower Papers, DDE Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster on March 18. The source text indicates the conference took place after the NSC meeting.
  2. See Document 94.
  3. See Document 254.
  4. See Document 90.
  5. See footnote 2, Document 94.