110. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) and Secretary of State Rusk1

Telephone Call From Mr. Walt Rostow

R said that was the quickest sale he had ever made; Pres said he wanted Sec to get cable out to Bob Anderson and tell him to tell Nasser that if he lays off and puts Israeli flag [issue?] into the Court of Justice it might create an atmosphere in which we could be helpful in his other problems;2 Pres wanted Sec to get word to Bob Anderson and then we could get some Swiss out there to tidy it up.

R said second point was Pres wants Sec and Bob and R and Goldberg to figure out some move we can make militarily to show we are not scared of these Russian ships; R will put Bob working on that.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Calls. No classification marking. A handwritten notation indicates there was no distribution. Prepared by Carolyn J. Proctor.
  2. No such message has been found. Telegram 205677 to Cairo, May 31, sent at 9:17 p.m., asked whether Anderson was still in Cairo and whether he could remain one more day. (Ibid., Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 US/ANDERSON) Telegram 8296 from Cairo, June 1, received at 1:33 a.m. replied that Anderson was leaving at 9 a.m. and that it was not possible to alter the arrangements. (Ibid.)
  3. Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance called Rusk at 9:25 p.m. to say that Rostow had called to ask what Rusk, McNamara, Vance, and Eugene Rostow wanted to do about the Soviet ships in the Mediterranean. Vance said he and McNamara thought that if the President wanted to do something, they should announce the next day, after the Intrepid went through the Suez Canal, that they were holding it and two or three destroyers in the Red Sea pending events. Rusk said he thought this would be more inflammatory than Sixth Fleet action, and would “look like a doublecross.” He was inclined to say more about movements from the East Coast or the North Atlantic. Vance said they could look at this again the next day. (Notes of telephone conversation prepared by Proctor, May 31, 9:25 p.m.; ibid., Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Calls)