34. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles and President Eisenhower0

The Secretary of State called at about 9:00 from London. He was there attending meeting on the Baghdad Pact. The Secretary said that the United States had to make some kind of statement1 on intention toward the three countries of Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.2 He read the President his proposed statement.

Of the telephone call the President dictated:

Foster Dulles feels that it is absolutely necessary that we give some special reassurance to our support for Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. He apparently thought this might put him in disagreement with my statement in the telegram I sent him last evening, where I advised going slow in trying to establish some substitute for the Baghdad Pact. Since, however, he intends to make only a statement of our purpose of living up to the Mid East Resolution passed in March of 1957,3 I see no harm in making such a statement.”

Further from monitoring the call itself:

The proposed statement limits cooperation to the nations attending the London meeting—which means Iraq is excluded.

The proposed statement agreed to entering into “special agreements” with those nations in accordance with Article I of the Mid East Resolution. The President was unhappy with the word “special” pointing out that the Congress would interpret that as something like SEATO or NATO. Dulles assured him wording did not go beyond what was already in Mid East Resolution—he said he had told the nations we could [Page 114] not undertake to make a treaty with them or join the Baghdad Pact. Dulles pointed out that before any military assistance was given to any nation, “special agreements” had to be made. Dulles thought the word “special” could come out.

The President said he had been thinking recently—in a digression—of how we were hopeful of helping the Arab people, on a friendly people-to-people basis, trying to keep all of us out of the Communist orbit. He cited letter from Dr. Elson.4

But back to the statement: Dulles said he did not think there would be any trouble with Congress on this one. The President suggested in public statement Dulles could emphasize “peace, tranquility, etc.” to show that it is defensive, not aggressive, in purpose.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. No classification marking. The President was in Washington.
  2. For text of the London Declaration, July 28, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1958, pp. 894–895.
  3. Secretary Dulles had someone in London monitoring his call to the President who could only hear the Secretary’s words. In this transcription, Dulles explained why the United States should sign the declaration:

    “The countries wanted us to join the Pact but the Secretary explained we were not able to do that now. The Secretary said that we could not undertake to make a treaty with them or to join the Pact and submit it to Congress at this stage. The Secretary said the draft declaration did not go beyond the Middle East Resolution. Before we give military assistance and the like to countries we have to have special agreements with them and the declaration refers to agreements of that kind. (Apparently, the President objected to the word “special” and the Secretary said we could strike out the word.) The Secretary said he did not think we would be in trouble with Congress because we were within the limits of the ME Resolution. The Secretary said it would be made public.” (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations)

  4. For text of the Middle East Resolution (the “Eisenhower Doctrine”), approved by the President on March 9, 1957, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1957, pp. 829–831.
  5. Not found.