222. Letter From President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Nehru 1

Dear Prime Minister: Paul Hoffman, who has just returned to this country, gave me an account of the interesting conversation he recently had with you.2 He was profoundly impressed by your clear dedication to the cause of a just and lasting peace.

Universally you are recognized as one of the most powerful influences for peace and conciliation in the world. I believe that because you are a world leader for peace in your individual capacity, as well as a representative of the largest of the neutral nations, your influence is particularly valuable in stemming the global drift toward cynicism, mutual suspicion, materialistic opportunism and, finally, disaster.

For my part, I shall without ceasing continue the attempt to convince the world, including the Soviets and Red China, of our non-aggressive, peaceful intent. I ask nothing more from them than the right, which I am equally ready to accord to them, for each side to satisfy itself that the other is sincere in its peaceful protestations.

A case in point is the seeming impasse that has been encountered in the progress of negotiations at Geneva on the techniques of preventing surprise attack and developing an acceptable plan for the cessation of nuclear tests. These negotiations, I feel, must not break down.

Quite naturally we, on our side, believe we have been eminently reasonable and conciliatory in our attitude. But our conviction in this regard does not necessarily mean that our people’s sincerity, so obvious here, is accepted by all peoples elsewhere.

This note is inspired not only by Mr. Hoffman’s recent report to me of his visit with you, but by my lively recollection of the friendly and, to me, profitable conversations that we had in 1956,3 as well as by the profound feeling I have that there is no greater task lying before any political leader today than that of helping to relieve the tensions that plague mankind.

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With assurances of my deep respect and continued warm regard.

Sincerely,

Dwight D. Eisenhower 4
  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Confidential.
  2. Paul G. Hoffman, former head of the Economic Cooperation Administration, visited India in November to discuss the cause of world peace and disarmament with Nehru and Indian officials. Bunker transmitted memoranda regarding Hoffman’s conversations with Indian representatives to Bartlett on December 9 under cover of a brief letter. (Ibid., SOA Files: Lot 62 D 43, India—1958)
  3. Nehru visited Washington, December 16–20, 1956; see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. VIII, pp. 319 ff.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.