72. Message From President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Macmillan 0

Dear Harold : I am in Washington today and have read the message which you sent to Foster in reply to the analysis of the Formosa situation which he dispatched at my request.1 I am delighted that in the basic elements of this situation, as in so many others, we stand together.

One major factor which is not readily understood by those not in direct touch with the situation is Chiang’s, temperament and purposes. Any proposal that seems to him to imply retreat from his position as head of the only legitimate Chinese Government, any thought of abandoning a single foot of his defense perimeter, is automatically rejected. Indeed, such rejection is so emphatic as to imply that if coercive efforts should be made to override his objection, that would end his capacity to retain Formosa in friendly hands.

Foster will shortly be communicating with you again in greater detail, but I wanted first of all to let you know my appreciation for your helpful exchange of information with us and also to recall this one point which stubbornly stands in the way of what many would consider the reasonable solution.

Since your message and since I have been in Washington, Chou En-lai has made his statement about resuming negotiations in the interest of peace. I hope this means that the immediate crisis will become less acute, at least temporarily. We have just issued a statement on our willingness to resume the Ambassadorial talks.

With warm regard,

As ever,

Ike 2
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, MacmillanLloyd Correspondence, 1958. Secret. Drafted by Dulles, approved by the President, and handed to Hood by Dulles at 5:10 p.m.
  2. Documents 70 and 69, respectively.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.