5. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower0


  • Secretary Herter, General Goodpaster

Mr. Herter recalled that, regarding the international political activity in connection with Laos, we had received conflicting and inconsistent recommendations from the British, French, Canadians, Cambodians and others.1 He recalled that the British had sent to us a text of a statement they would propose be sent jointly by the UK and USSR, in their capacity as co-Chairmen of the Geneva 1954 Conference, to India, in its capacity as Chairman of the ICC. Mr. Herter said he had amended this text to accommodate the suggestion of the Canadians that the first action should be to “explore” the situation. He showed the revised text, combining both the British and the Canadian thoughts, to the President, who approved.2


Brigadier General, USA
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster. The conference took place at the White House.
  2. The British recommendation for a possible intervention by the ICC in Laos to end the fighting is in a letter from Home to Herter, January 11, which was transmitted by Ambassador Caccia on January 12. (Department of State, SEA/Laos Files: Lot 65 D 169, 1961 Laos) On January 3, French Chargé d’Affaires Claude Lebel proposed to Parsons a tripartite U.S.-British-French approach to Moscow to see if the Soviet Union and the North Vietnamese were prepared to support an officially neutral Laos. (Memorandum of a meeting, January 3; ibid., Central Files, 751J.00/1–361) Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia wrote Eisenhower a letter on January 1 suggesting an enlarged 1954 Geneva Conference-type international meeting on Laos. (Telegram 782 from Phnom Penh, January 3; ibid.) Canadian Ambassador Heeney outlined to Merchant on January 11 a plan for an exploratory commission to Laos to discuss reactivating the ICC. (Memorandum of conversation, January 11; ibid., 751J.00/1–1161)
  3. The text, which was initialed by Eisenhower, is in the Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Laos.