President Eisenhower's News Conference of October 1, 1958, Public Papers of the Presidents-Eisenhower, 1958, p. 715.


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THE PRESIDENT: "Well, sir, all I can tell you about that is that I conceive of no possible solution that we haven't studied, pondered, discussed with others in the very great hope that a peaceful solution can come about.

"As you well know, the basic issue, as we see it, is to avoid retreat in the face of force, not to resort to force to resolve these questions in the international world. And we believe if we are not faithful to that principle in the long run we are going to suffer.

"Now, Mr. Dulles, who had a very long conference yesterday morning and almost solely on this subject, did one thing that I would commend to all of you: he quoted paragraphs, two paragraphs I think, from Mr. Spaak's speech recently in the United Nations, where Mr. Spaak said: 'The whole free world must realize that it is not Quemoy and the Matsus that we are talking about, we are talking about the Communists' constant, unrelenting pressure against the free world, against all of it.'

"As a matter of fact, a magazine just, I guess, out last evening, U.S. News and World Report, gives quite a detailed and documented story of Communist aggression and activities in 72 countries.

"I commend that to your reading, because we are very apt, by focusing our eyes on some geographical point, to neglect the great principles for which a country such as ours has stood, for all these years, and for which Western civilization has largely stood.

"So, I should say, we want to get these things in perspective.

"Now, you mentioned the question of it would be foolish for them keeping large forces there for a long time.

"I believe, as a soldier, that was not a good thing to do, to have all these troops there. But, remember, we have differences with our allies all over the world. They are family differences, and sometimes they are acute; but, by and large, the reason we call it 'free world' is because each nation in it wants to remain independent under its own government and not under some dictatorial form of government. So, to the basic ideals, all of us must subscribe."

Q. Peter Lisagor, Chicago Daily News: "In the light of Mr. Spaak's statement, can you tell us what your view is of why so many of our allies fail to see this point you have just made?"

THE PRESJDENT: "Well, it's a very difficult thing, and of course an answer is speculative. But when we go back to the Manchurian incident of 1931, when we go back to Hitler's marching into the Rhineland, when we take his taking over the Sudetenland and the Anschluss with Austria by force, when finally he took over all of Czechoslovakia, where was the point to stop this thing before it got into a great major war?

"Why did not public opinion see this thing happening?

"Now, in hindsight, most of us have condemned these failures very bitterly, going right back to 1931 in Manchuria. I don't know why the human is so constructed that he believes that possibly there is an easier solution--that you can by feeding aggression a little bit, a teaspoonful of something, that he won't see that they are going to demand the whole quart.

"I don't know any real answer to that thing; it is puzzling. And, of course, for those who have to carry responsibility, it is a very heavy weight on their spirits and minds; there is no question about that. But there it is."

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Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Vol. 1 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), p. 621-23


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