33. Editorial Note

Secretary Dulles was in London to attend the Baghdad Pact Meeting, July 28–29. Prior to the meeting, he met separately and jointly with the heads of the delegations of the pact on July 27 and 28 in discussions outside the formal sessions of the conference. On July 27 at 3 p.m., Dulles met with Iranian Prime Minister Eqbal at the Iranian Embassy and discussed bilateral relations as well as Baghdad Pact issues, especially the consequences of Iraqi nonparticipation in the pact. (Memorandum of conversation, July 27, London, USDel/MC/13; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 1061)

At 5:15 p.m. on July 27, Dulles met Pakistan Prime Minister Noon at the Claridge Hotel to discuss events in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Iran. Both agreed that it would be better if Iraq officially left the Baghdad Pact. Noon pressed Dulles to make a U.S. promise to join the organization when Iraq withdrew, but Dulles would make no commitment at that point citing the need for Congressional consultation. Dulles did stress the need to strengthen the northern tier countries. (Memorandum of discussion, July 28, USDel/MC/10; ibid.)

At 9:30 p.m. on July 27, the heads of all the delegations and their principal advisers met at Carlton Garden, London, to set an agenda for the formal sessions, exchange preliminary points of view, and agree on the general need for a public statement affirming the pact in light of the Iraqi coup. (Memorandum of conversation, July 27, USDel/MC/14; ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199)

At 10 a.m. on July 28, Dulles and his advisers met with Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and Foreign Minister Zorlu. The conversation began with Zorlu stating that he was authorized to speak for the Turkish, Iranian, and Pakistani delegations in appealing to the United States to join the Baghdad Pact in order to give it “new life.” Dulles responded that the pact was a “very loose” obligation requiring only consultation; perhaps, he said, what was needed was a “fresh start.” Dulles hoped that some “formula” could be found within the circumference of existing legislation such as the Middle East resolution. Dulles suggested that the members of the pact should decide upon starting anew or building upon the present organization. Zorlu stated that under either option the United States should be within the pact as a full member. The two men then discussed the effect of the Iraqi coup, possible withdrawal of U.S. and U.K. forces from Lebanon and Jordan, [Page 112] Nasser’s appeal, the inability of the West to compete with the Soviet Union for Nasser’s support, possible recognition of the new Iraq Government, and a possible Middle East summit. (Memorandum of conversation, July 28, USDel/MC/9; ibid., Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 1066)

In a pre-meeting report to Eisenhower on July 27, Dulles described a discussion he had with British Prime Minister Macmillan and Foreign Secretary Lloyd on July 27 as follows:

“Then with my advisers I had a two-hour meeting with Harold Macmillan and Selwyn Lloyd and their advisers. We canvassed the prospects for the Baghdad Pact meeting, including the possibility of finding another name and a new form in which to express the mutual security commitments for which all the Northern Tier countries are eager. Our experts are studying this further and we may be able to make some interim progress before I leave.” (Dulte 2 from London, July 27; ibid., Central Files, 780.00/7–2758) A more detailed account of this discussion is in Secto 6 from London, July 27; ibid., 396.1–LO/7–2758)

Eisenhower responded the same day as follows:

“Regarding a possible substitute for the Baghdad Pact, my present thoughts are about as follows: I believe we should listen and discuss but not now make decisions. Our Mid-East friends are currently tense and fearful, thus tending to make them more emotional than thoughtful. Their urgent and immediate needs we should seek to supply to the best of our ability but long-range planning should ordinarily be agreed on the basis of calm study and reflection.

“We of course must be loyal and friendly but we need not be in a hurry to exchange marriage vows.

“This is not especially helpful. But it is to be remembered that I just received your message a few minutes ago and of course I have had no opportunity for recent personal contacts with the responsible officials with whom you will be talking on Monday.

“My principal purpose now is to let you know that I shall be thinking of you and your work in the confidence that in your wisdom and knowledge we nave an asset of incalculable value.

“I shall be looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

“My warm greetings to all my friends and my best to you.” (Tedul 4 to London, July 27; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File)