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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959: background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Report by Secretary of State Dulles on the Geneva foreign ministers meeting, November 18, 1955,   pp. 178-185 PDF (3.4 MB)

Page 183

- President Eisenhower said that he believed that, the Summit Con-
ference made it less likely that there would be open war between our
countries. Nothing that happened at the Foreign Ministers Confer-
ence requires a change in that estimate. So that aspect of the Geneva
spirit also remains.
(3) Do the events of the last three weeks mean that the cold war
will be resumed in its full vigor?
The phrase "cold war" is a loose one.
Of course, there are sharp differences between the objectives of the
Soviet Government and our own. We believe in justice for all and in
the right of nations to be free and the right of individuals to exercise
their God-given capacity to think and to believe in accordance with
the dictates of their mind and conscience. WNTe shall not cease to pur-
sue these objectives or ever seek a so-called peace which compromises
However, these great purposes which have been characteristic of
our nation from its beginning can be and will be pursued by us with-
out resort to violence or without resort to the use of hatred and per-
version of truth which are characteristic of war. It is our purpose to
continue to seek friendship and understanding with the Russian peo-
ple as a whole and to use truth as the instrument of our national
The "cold war" in the sense of peaceful competition will inevitably
go on.- The spirit of Geneva could not and did not change that fact.
Moreover, we must assume that the Soviet Union will continue its
efforts by means short of war to make its system prevail as it has done
in the past. We can, however, hope that this competition will not
entail all the same hostility and animosity which so defiled the rela-
tions between us in the past.
(4) Will the United States now have radically to revise its pro-
grams for defense and mutual security?
The answer to this is "no". We have not lowered our guard on
the basis of Soviet promises and did not do so because of the Summit
Conference. Our security programs, which are bi-partisan in char-
acter, are designed to meet the peril as long as it may continue. We
are on what we call a long haul basis. Our military strength must
be based on the capability of the Soviet bloc and cannot vary with
their smiles or frowns. We will reduce our own military strength
only as the Soviets demonstrably reduce their own. Hence the out-
come of the Geneva Conference does not require us to alter the general
scope of our programs. Their general order of magnitude can re-
main as planned.
Our steady policies have proved their worth. We believe in hold-
ing fast and reinforcing that which has proved good.
(5) Does this last Geneva Conference mean an end to future ne-
gotiation with the Soviet Union?
It need not be an end and neither the President nor I believe that
it will be an end. It would of course be foolish to attempt new ne-
gotiations if everything remains as it was when this last Conference
came to an end.
We know, however, that conditions will change because change is
the law of life.

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