21. Letter From the President to the Secretary of State1

Dear Foster: I was tremendously interested in your conversation with Selwyn Lloyd on the subjects of Libya and Lebanon.2 Press reports this morning indicate that Lebanon has made some extraordinary demands upon us, accompanied by warnings that can be scarcely regarded as anything else than threats.3 Of course the press reports may be unreliable. At the very least it would appear that Lebanon expectations are much greater than we had anticipated. I believe the figure of 170 million dollars over a 7 year period was mentioned.

Thank you very much for your report. I hope you are keeping well.

As ever,

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783A.00/5–758. Secret; Priority. Transmitted to Copenhagen in Tedul 15, marked “For Secretary from Acting Secretary,” which is the source text. Drafted by President Eisenhower.
  2. Dulles reported on his May 4 conversation with Lloyd in Dulte 7 from Copenhagen. In commenting on the discussion of problems in Lebanon, Dulles noted that the British “are particularly anxious to have us do something for Lebanon.” Dulles added that he explained the possible gift of wheat in response to Lebanese requests for aid. (Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 1505)
  3. In telegram 3696 from Beirut, May 7, the Embassy reported that Beirut papers that day featured reports that the Lebanese cabinet had decided that Lebanon would renounce U.S. economic aid if it was not unconditional and sufficient. The press reported that the Lebanese Government intended to ask the United States for a total of $160 million over a 6-year period. (Ibid., Central Files, 783A.5–MSP/5–758)
  4. Tedul 15 bears these typed initials.