76. Editorial Note
As suggested by Dillon (see Document 74), President Eisenhower met with the Turkish and Iranian Prime Ministers and the Pakistani Foreign Minister who were leading their nations’ delegations to the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) meeting in Washington October 7–9. President Eisenhower met on October 9 at 3 p.m. with Prime Minister Adnan Menderes of Turkey. Menderes’ opening comments were non-substantive, although he informed the President that he thought the CENTO meeting had greatly reassured the Pakistanis who, like the other members, had been concerned about the pact’s fate after the last meeting in Karachi.
According to the memorandum of conversation of the meeting, Eisenhower’s comments to Menderes read as follows:
“The President brought up the question of the radio propaganda attacks against Iran. The Secretary referred to the special declaration [Page 240]issued by the CENTO Council of Ministers in this regard. Mr. Menderes confirmed that these propaganda attacks were continuing and said that they had had the interesting effect of stiffening the resistance of the Iranian people and causing a ‘rallying to the throne’. The President then spoke to the Secretary regarding the editing of a statement re Iran which the President was to issue after seeing Eqbal.
“The President told Mr. Menderes that nothing would give him greater pleasure than to visit the CENTO countries. The trouble was that he was bound to his desk. He could not delegate his responsibilities to the Vice President. If it were possible to make the Vice President Acting President then Mr. Eisenhower would not be abroad as President. If he went abroad he would have to be pursued by a stream of papers on which only his signature would serve. Moreover, once he started visiting countries he would have to visit many countries. ‘It is impossible to visit 10–12 countries for two days each.’ Mr. Menderes said that Turkey understood the President’s problem, but nonetheless hoped sincerely it would be possible for him to visit Turkey at some stage. He said. ‘Your visit to the CENTO countries would be worth three American divisions.’ (Memorandum of conversation, October 9, USDel/MC/13; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1503)
The text of the CENTO declaration condemning the Soviet Bloc propaganda campaign against Iran, October 9, 1959, is printed in American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, pages 1027–1028.
Eisenhower next met with Iranian Prime Minister Manoutchehr Eqbal at 3:30 p.m. According to the brief account of the meeting, Eqbal’s comments were non-substantive and appreciative of the CENTO meeting and the reception he received. Eisenhower made the following comments to Eqbal:
“The President said that we consider the flank extending eastward from Turkey to Iran and Pakistan very important. Therefore, we must be sure not only that Iran’s economy is kept strong through a rising standard of living but also that Iran’s military strength and the heart of its people is maintained. We and Iran’s other allies can help Iran militarily and economically in this effort but it is up to Iran to find the necessary courage. That is why we are pleased that in the present situation Iran has given us so good an example of spiritual strength.” (Memorandum of conversation, October 9, USDel/MC/15; Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–WA/10–959)
After the meeting with Eqbal, the White House issued a statement condemning the campaign of Soviet Bloc propaganda against Iran and reaffirming U.S. support for Iran’s efforts to maintain its independence. The statement stressed that the United States viewed any threat to Iran’s territorial integrity and political independence with gravity. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, pages 1065–1066.
A memorandum of a telephone conversation between Major John Eisenhower and Herter, October 9 at 12:55 p.m., relates to the decision to issue a press statement on the President’s meeting with Eqbal. It reads: [Page 241]
“Telephoned Maj. Eisenhower. Secy said since he talked to the President this morning at which time they discussed communiqué after this afternoon’s meetings, we found the Iranians are very unhappy and feel there should be a separate communiqué on Iran. This has been discussed with Turks and Pakistanis and they are agreeable to being left out and just having communiqué on Iran meeting. Secy will have draft communiqué read to Maj. Eisenhower’s secy over the telephone. (Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations)
Pakistani Foreign Minister Manzur Qadir met with President Eisenhower from 4 to 4:55 p.m. His conversation with Eisenhower was the most substantive of the three, but it dealt almost exclusively with Pakistani-Indian relations. (Memorandum of conversation, October 9, USDel/MC/14; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1503; times for Eisenhower’s meetings are from Eisenhower Library, President’s Daily Appointments, 1959) The discussion between Eisenhower and Qadir is printed in volume XV, pages 187–190.