29. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles in Washington and Foreign Secretary Lloyd in London, May 13, 1958, 12:50 p.m.1

TELEPHONE CALL FROM SELWYN LLOYD

The Sec returned the call.

L said he wanted to have a word about Lebanon. Does the Sec have a telegram2 and the Sec said no. L said it is very bad—they have [Page 45]had a Cabinet about it and if we are disposed to give an affirmative answer they will play their part…. that we will come to his assistance if he needs it—this in the telegram.3 L said the Army looks queer. The Sec said it is not supporting him. L mentioned if it is known we are prepared to back him it might give him more courage. The Sec said Caccia is coming in. L said there is so little time he wanted this personal word. L said an Adm. Holloway is in London and if there is anything to be done their people would like to talk to him. There are big issues but it has to succeed. The Sec said he may be making a mistake trying to hold on. L said if he gives in and resigns then what happens.

[Here follows discussion of Indonesia.] The Sec said there will be a meeting at 4 re Lebanon. The Sec then repeated L’s judgment is to give the declaration and L said yes. Otherwise it is hopeless.4

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. Transcribed in Dulles’ office by Phyllis D. Bernau.
  2. Lloyd apparently was asking whether the Department of State had prepared a response to the message from Chamoun which was transmitted in telegram 3832, supra .
  3. Ellipsis in the source text. Presumably it indicates that Bernau could not hear the conversation.
  4. Dulles telephoned Eisenhower at 4:01 the same afternoon and discussed Lebanon, calling attention to the problems involved in cooperating with France in support of the Lebanese Government:

    “The Pres then asked re the British. The Sec said Caccia just left and he is having a meeting now with Defense—they are disposed to give a favorable response if we are. The French were invited and the Br don’t want them and the Sec thinks it would be a mistake because of their close ties with Israel and because of the complications of North Africa, Algeria etc. The Sec will talk with the military people to see what we can do. He thinks it important to get the support from an Arab country but it may get overthrown. The Sec said he would be in touch in about an hour.” (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations)