204. Memorandum of a Conversation, Washington, July 20, 1958, 10:30 a.m.1


  • Foreign Secretary Lloyd’s Visit


  • United States
    • Vice President Nixon
    • Secretary of State Dulles
    • Under Secretary of State Herter
    • William M. Rountree
    • G. Frederick Reinhardt
  • United Kingdom
    • Foreign Secretary Lloyd
    • Sir William Hayter, Foreign Office
    • Lord Hood, British Minister
    • Denis Laskey, Foreign Office

United Nations and Khrushchev Letter—Mr. Lloyd reported London’s view that we should complete UN consideration of the Lebanese and Jordan questions before any get-together with the Russians. The Secretary considered that any meeting in the kind of emotional climate the Soviets were producing would be very bad. He thought we might consider the calling of an extraordinary meeting of the Security Council. He read a draft reply2 to Khrushchev’s message calling for a Summit conference on Middle East questions which was discussed at some length.

Mr. Lloyd then read an analysis from the British Embassy, Moscow, which concluded that there were advantages in talking with the Russians: first, because of the danger of war that might arise from a Soviet miscalculation of Turkish intentions and secondly, because the make-up of the meeting Khrushchev proposed was better than might [Page 346] be expected. Mr. Lloyd thought Nehru and Hammarskjold would be helpful if our objective was some UN or international status for Lebanon. The Secretary saw some advantage in the UN forum as being more orderly and one in which agenda and other procedures had to be followed but there were certain disadvantages such as the participation of people not directly involved, the problem of Iraqi credentials, and others. Mr. Lloyd felt we should make some positive proposal in reply to Khrushchev’s letter. The Secretary observed that to accept the proposal would be to have a meeting at the Summit on terms we have always resisted. Such a meeting would be unprepared, limited to the Middle East and produce nothing but demagoguery. Mr. Lloyd thought we had a good issue in the independence of little states. The Secretary assented but pointed out that many of the little Arab states did not seem to want independence. He cited a recent report3 from the Arab Section of Jerusalem and referred to the Yugoslav Chargé’s view of the “historic inevitability” of the Pan-Arab movement. The Secretary believed our position in Lebanon and the British position in Jordan was going to become very dangerous shortly. To Mr. Lloyd’s question what the Russians meant when they referred to the “Middle East”, the Secretary recalled that last year Gromyko had interpreted it to mean all of the Middle East.

Baghdad Pact—With reference to the Baghdad Pact states, the Secretary said it would be a source of bitterness if we had a Summit meeting before talking to them. Our basis for action in Lebanon and Jordan was in response to the appeal of small countries. If we rushed into a Summit, it would jeopardize the support we have gotten on this basis. Mr. Lloyd recalled that the Baghdad Pact meeting was scheduled to be held in London next Monday.4 After some discussion as to whether there was any advantage in advancing it a couple of days, it was agreed that on balance it was better to hold it as scheduled. The Secretary undertook to reach London on Sunday and be available for informal talks and to stay on through Monday to attend the first day of the regularly scheduled meeting of the organization.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.4111/7–2058. Secret. Drafted by Reinhardt. The source text indicates that the conversation took place at a breakfast meeting at the Secretary’s residence.
  2. A copy of this draft reply was sent to London and Paris for comment on July 20 in telegrams 708 to London and 298 to Paris. (Ibid., 396.1/7–2058) Copies of these telegrams initialed by Eisenhower are in the Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International Series.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. July 28.
  5. Documentation on the Baghdad Pact meetings in London, July 28–29, is scheduled for publication in volume XII.