The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1955-1957

The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1955-1957

by Peter G. Boyle (Editor)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807882962
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/10/2012
Edition description: 1
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Peter G. Boyle is senior lecturer in the School of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of American-Soviet Relations: From the Russian Revolution to the Fall of Communism and editor of The Churchill-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1953-1955.

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The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1955-1957


The University of North Carolina Press

Copyright © 2005 The University of North Carolina Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8078-2935-8


Chapter One

Correspondence, Part I

From Eden's Accession to the Outbreak of the Suez Crisis, April 1955-July 1956

Eden to Eisenhower

April 7, 1955

Dear Mr. President,

I want to send this letter to thank you for the kind and generous things you said in your statement on my appointment as Prime Minister. They have encouraged me so much.

The memory of all the work done together with you in utter confidence and trust was always an inspiration to my great predecessor. It will be so to me as well.

I look forward to the closest cooperation with you and your administration at all times. I will do everything in my power to ensure that the good purposes which our two countries share as friends and members of the Atlantic community are steadfastly pursued.

Kindest regards.

Yours sincerely,

Anthony

Eisenhower to Eden

April 8, 1955

Dear Anthony,

Through this note I send my salute to you as the Prime Minister of Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom. It gives me tremendous satisfaction to do so, a fact concerning which I am sure you have not the slightest doubt.

I most earnestly hope that your Premiership will be notable in the history of your country and of the world by the progress toward world peace thatwill be achieved. I know there is no one better fitted than you to seize the opportunities inherent in your new office for helping to guide the world toward the goal we all so earnestly seek.

On the more personal side, I cannot tell you how delighted I am that my old friend Winston has been succeeded by an equally valued friend in an office in which friendliness and genuine readiness to cooperate can mean so much to my own country.

With my confident belief in the brilliant career ahead of you, and my very best wishes and warm regard,

As ever,

DE

P.S. Won't you please convey my warm greetings to your Lady?

Eisenhower to Eden

April 9, 1955

Dear Anthony,

Your letter of the seventh apparently crossed in the mails with one I dispatched to you on the following day. I merely repeat that it is a tremendous satisfaction to me that you and Harold Macmillan will be the old friends with whom Foster and I will be working as we attempt to concert our actions and thinking in reaching for our common goals.

With warm personal regard,

Sincerely,

D.E.

Eden to Eisenhower

April 11, 1955

My dear Mr. President,

It was more than kind of you to send me such a heart-warming salute. I am sure that you can have no doubt of the sincere admiration I have felt for so many years for the services you have rendered not only to your own country but to the world. More particularly I recall those dark days in Europe in the early nineteen-fifties when your name and leadership were the compelling factor in the first building of Western defence.

You will know that I will do everything I can to help the course of the relations between our two countries run smoothly. In the many anxious problems which face me here, nothing gives me more pleasure than to know that our common friendship will help us to find the joint solutions we seek.

I hope that you will allow me from time to time to address you where there is some particular aspect of a problem which I would like to present to you and that you won't hesitate to tell me of any reflections or criticism you may have. Foster and Harold will I am sure build up a close understanding and friendship.

Clarissa joins me in warmest greetings to Mrs. Eisenhower and yourself.

Yours ever,

Anthony

Eden to Eisenhower

May 5, 1955

Dear Mr. President,

You will have heard, no doubt, of our proposal to the joint meeting of officials in London that the time has come when "top level" talks, between heads of Government, could play a useful part in the reduction of world tension. This may be rather a surprise to you, but I do pray that you may give it earnest consideration. Of course we don't believe that everything can be settled in a few hours or days conversation. But I do really think that to arrange such a meeting would have great advantages.

After a full and frank review of the problems, a further programme of work could be drawn up, with a far better chance of success than by any other means, if only because the imagination of all the peoples of the world will have been stirred. Meetings of Foreign Ministers could follow, and any lines of progress explored. But to start off with such discussions may be the best hope of getting progress later. I do hope you will be willing to try this. The hopes of so many people, on both sides of the iron curtain, have been raised and a kind of mystique surrounds the idea. This may be foolish, but it is human. If our meeting was publicly represented more as a starting point than as a final solution these hopes would be kept alive. I must also tell you that much in our country depends upon it; this is not a party question here, but responds to a deep desire of our whole people.

Of course our Foreign Secretaries could have an earlier meeting to arrange the form of our talks if you thought this necessary. In any event they would come with us. Our meeting, so far as the principals are concerned, need not last more than a very few days. A great advantage would be that it would give us time-and we need time for things to quieten, especially in the East. I do not think that anyone would precipitate trouble and try rash adventures while such a meeting was in the air.

This would help us all. Moreover, I believe if we issue the invitation promptly it may get in ahead of any tiresome Soviet approach to the Germans. Of course, if the Russians turn it down, our people and the other peoples of our alliance would feel that at least we have tried. And a fresh and much needed impulse would be given to N.A.T.O. and the efforts of each member state.

Could you consider this, and Foster could discuss it further with Harold in Paris.

With kindest regards,

Anthony

Eisenhower to Eden

May 6, 1955

Dear Anthony,

While we are a bit surprised that you have gone so far in your thinking as to present your idea as a definite proposal, nevertheless Foster and I have together spent some hours on it, and I give you my immediate reactions as follows:-

We appreciate the importance to you of this project under existing circumstances, and are naturally disposed to do everything we can to further it. On the other hand, you will understand that we also have our local problems, including public opinion, to consider. We believe that it would be wholly impractical to have such a meeting with a previously announced specific agenda covering a global variety of subjects. At the other extreme, we think it would be most unwise to meet without giving the world some clear intimation of the generality of the subjects to be discussed. The reason for this is that almost every nation in the world will believe its interests are in some way to be affected by such a conference and would therefore be resentful at its lack of representation.

If there were to be a meeting, general subjects to be talked about might, we suppose, include some or all of the following:-

Exploration of ways and means of eliminating or minimizing atomic activity and armaments;

the general subject of disarmament by the large nations;

the limitation of forces in continental Europe that belong to nations outside that area; and, possibly, a general limitation of armaments in the European area.

Another subject that might be added would be the reunification of Germany, but for this one the announcement should specify that Germany would be represented. To this of course could be added the perennial question of lessening of world tensions.

Even if such a procedure could prudently be followed, it would seem to us most unwise to attempt to hold a meeting without some form of preparation through our Secretaries of State. If those officials could meet informally, possibly when they are in Vienna, and discuss this matter and each suggest to his own government that these or similar subjects might be well talked about "at the summit" in order to discover whether or not there was a general willingness to proceed on an honest search for some answers, such a meeting would probably make sense even to the die-hard opponents of any contact with the Communists. I wonder whether such a scheme could be implemented without delaying too long the ability to issue the invitation, which delay might defeat the purposes you may be seeking.

In any event, Foster and I have discussed this at such length that he will be far more capable of clarifying our views to Macmillan and possibly to you than I can do in this hastily written cable.

With warm personal regard,

As ever,

D.E.

Eden to Eisenhower

May 8, 1955

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you so much for all the trouble you have taken. I am sure that we can now leave it to Harold and Foster to work something out. Your understanding help is so valuable to me.

Yours ever,

Anthony

Eisenhower to Eden

May 27, 1955

My dear friend,

My enthusiastic congratulations.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eden to Eisenhower

May 29, 1955

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you so much for your kind message. These results have exceeded our expectations. But nothing in them gives me more pleasure than to know that we can go on working together.

Anthony

Eden to Eisenhower

May 29, 1955

Dear Mr. President,

I have had a personal message from Nehru giving a brief account of Krishna Menon's talks with Chou En-lai. He tells me that Krishna Menon will give us a detailed report when he comes to London shortly. Meanwhile Nehru makes reference to the release of four United States airmen. The following is an extract from his telegram:

In response to my request, the Chinese Government agreed, "as a first step," to release four U.S. airmen of the Fischer group. This opens the way to further efforts towards final solution of the issue of U.S. nationals in China.

The initial response which the U.S. President and other responsible statesmen make to the announcement of the release of the four airmen will, if helpful, definitely contribute to further and similar steps.

Announcement in respect of the four airmen will be made in Peking on the evening of the 30th May. Until then the decision must be treated as secret.

I am sure it would be helpful if you felt it possible to express some satisfaction at this news, if it materialises as Nehru foreshadows.

Yours ever,

Anthony

Eden to Eisenhower

May 29, 1955

My dear Mr. President,

Harold is sending Foster a reply to his helpful message about the Four-Power talks. We are in entire agreement with you about the need for adequate preparation by the Western Powers. It is essential that we should all have clear ideas as to our joint attitude on the questions which will be raised.

The proposed programme of talks at the official level and between Foreign Secretaries seems good to me and well planned. But I also feel that we should be wise to have a talk ourselves before meeting the Russians. You have on occasion said that you might be able to visit this country again. Nothing could give greater pleasure in Britain and you would certainly receive a heartfelt welcome from everyone. Is there any possibility that you could come here before the first round of top-level discussions, perhaps in July? We could ask Faure over to join us. It would be a real help to me to talk over our general attitude and the tactics which we might adopt. Nor would it do any harm to display the unity of the West.

I have also been thinking about the length of time that the first round of talks should take. These are to be purely exploratory and intended to find some basis on which further discussions can go on at other levels and at such length as may be necessary. I therefore agree that, apart from practical and personal considerations, we should not allow them to be dragged out. But I am a little apprehensive of our tying ourselves too firmly and rigidly to an exact timetable. We are after all meeting to test the temperature and see what openings there are for useful discussions and an improvement in relations. In my experience it is the informal contacts which are often the more useful with the Russians. This should be especially true if, as I believe, they are-whether for internal or other reasons-more ready for serious discussion now than they have been since the war. Even so they are deeply suspicious and slow-moving animals. I hope therefore that we shall leave ourselves a day or two in hand to extend the talk should this seem desirable at the time. In any event I trust that we shall have a minimum of four to five clear days.

Yours ever,

Anthony

Eisenhower to Eden

May 30, 1955

Dear Anthony,

Thank you very much for your cable. I will be answering it soon.

D.D.E.

Eisenhower to Eden

May 31, 1955

Dear Anthony,

Our recent public statement of satisfaction over the release of four United States airmen conforms, I think, to your suggestion as to what we should do along that line.

I agree that the three Western powers should have a clear accord among themselves as to their joint attitude on questions which will likely be raised at the Conference. I doubt, however, that it will be possible for me personally to undertake attendance at a preliminary meeting which would have as its purpose the formulation of such joint attitudes. It is always an awkward thing for the President to leave this country for more than a day or so, and at this particular time it seems more difficult than is usually the case.

However, it is clear that we must make arrangements that will bring about the desired accord. Possibly Foster and Harold should work on this.

As to the length of the "Summit" meeting, there are several reasons why we do not want it unduly prolonged. The first of these is, again, the difficulty I have mentioned above. The second is that long and laborious meetings, discussing substantive questions, will inevitably lead the public to expect concrete solutions to the specific problems that obviously trouble the world. A meeting of a very few days could logically be accepted by the people as an effort to ease tensions and to outline means and methods of attaching the tough problems we have to face. But a prolonged meeting would lead to expectations which cannot possibly be realized either quickly, or in this kind of meeting. Thirdly, we feel that we must be particularly careful that the meeting and the note on which it ends shall neither raise false hopes among our own people nor create despair among the captive nations.

We are, of course, quite ready to take what time is necessary in such a conference to discuss general attitudes and general methods to be followed in the solution of problems.

Continues...


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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Boyle's book helps to put the Suez crisis in Anglo-American affairs on a new footing.—Canadian Journal of History



The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence, edited by Peter G. Boyle, makes fascinating reading, especially for the light it sheds on the Suez Crisis of late 1956. Though others, such as John Foster Dulles, played a role in that drama, the communication between Eden and Eisenhower—or the breakdown of communication—was what really counted. Rich in explanatory material and meticulously footnoted, this volume will be a rewarding addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of the time.—John S. D. Eisenhower



By shedding valuable new light on key diplomatic watersheds, Peter Boyle's The Eden-Eisenhower Correspondence is obligatory reading for serious students and scholars of international history of the turbulent 1950s. An essential addition to any research library, specialists in history, political science, and political psychology will want to purchase this extraordinary volume for their personal collections.—Richard H. Immerman, Director of the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University



Tell[s] us a good deal about the two protagonists and about the relationship at the top between the United States and Britain. . . . The contextual and biographical material gives the reader an excellent, synthetic overview of both the international politics and the historiography of the period and the two leaders.—Journal of Cold War Studies



[The correspondence] forms a fascinating vignette, charting a relationship decaying from geniality through deception to disaster. The letters have been immaculately edited by Peter G. Boyle, with an introduction to the personalities and points at issue and with judicious concluding remarks.—Times Literary Supplement

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