30. Memorandum of a Conference With the President, White House, Washington, July 25, 1958, 10:42 a.m.1


  • Secretary Dulles, Secretary Herter, Mr. Reinhardt, Mr. Hagerty
  • General Goodpaster

Secretary Dulles said the British are objecting to certain passages in our proposed reply to Khrushchev;2 a message setting out their objections would be available shortly.3

Secretary Dulles then said that he would be seeing Eban in London,4 and expected to get the Israeli views from him. He said that Eban has made a strong plea for the President to give Ben Gurion assurances that, if Israel got into difficulties like Lebanon’s, we would give them help. Mr. Dulles said he had told Eban that the Israelis should be assured by our action in Lebanon under the broad provisions of our commitments. Eban then said they would like to get the gist of the Secretary’s statement in writing. The President commented that the Israelis are much stronger than Lebanon, both in terms of internal cohesion and in their military forces. We extended help to Lebanon because it was so weak. Mr. Herter commented that any threat to Israel would be an external one, since internal subversion does not exist. [4 lines of source text not declassified] Mr. Herter said we must consider what we would do if they asked for us to back them if they attack the West bank of the Jordan. Secretary Dulles said he did not like the idea of a secret, written commitment by the President. The President commented that the Tri-Partite Declaration5 covers this area, as does the Middle East Resolution—and further evidence of our intent is shown by what we have done in Lebanon.

[Here follows discussion other aspects of the Middle East situation and Franco-German relations.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster.
  2. For texts of Khrushchev’s letter of July 23 and the President’s reply, July 25, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1958, pp. 999–1002.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. Dulles went to London for the Baghdad Pact Council meeting, July 28–31.
  5. For text of the Tripartite Declaration, May 25, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. V, pp. 167168.