INT: Was there a hope that at a time when it's quite clear that the satellite regimes including Poland and in Hungary were experiencing extreme difficulties that the revelation of this speech or his dissemination, his widespread dissemination, could possibly lead to rapid destabilisation within these countries.

RB: I don't, I think, yes it was, it was a possibility but the feeling was that the presence of Soviet forces was so manifest and the readiness which had been demonstrated by the new leaders in East Berlin in 53 that it was not expected that it would necessarily resolve in uprisings, and the West did certainly the United States explicit policy in the NSC papers was we want to maintain our, relations or contacts with the European, East European satellites but, we do not want to encourage any uprisings or any physical revolt, because it will result in in slaughter, and slaughter of the best people, the people who are the possible people who it a, more propitious circumstances may provide the leadership which would make the difference, but that that was not now and that the, presence of the Soviet forces and their readiness to use them and the fact that if the West intervened it ran a high risk of a generating of world war really meant that we didn't want to see physical uprisings, and we did, and the policy at least was don't, also don't create any hopes on the part of the satellite countries that we will intervene. And that was, that was explicit policy whether, whether the things like Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in, who, which were manned at considerable extent by refugees or immagrays, whether they may have, I don't think they explicitly violated the oath but whether tones of voice or something else provided encouragement, I don't know. But in any event, it was a terribly distressing situation to feel so powerless in the phrase, particularly of Hungary, I don't know why but somehow that was particularly dramatic and particularly heart rending that nothing could be done effectively. This, the two courses that were taken well, some people in the administration wanted at least to make a gesture like some, a friend of mine Bob Amery on the, in, who was in the, charge of estimates in the CIA, he thought we ought to be, make some drops, air drops in Hungary just to show our, support and sympathy, but most of us felt that this was just inviting further exposure to slaughter and that this was, much as that might give us some feeling of satisfaction it was not a realistically helpful thing to do. but nevertheless it was, it was just a distressing situation to find oneself in, although I personally thought that there was no possible basis for no, it would not be wise to intervene or try to intervene because it was, it was seen to the Soviets like a direct threat. And, one of the steps which was taken this what I believe, as I recall was that, the West, particularly Dulles, tried to make clear, that if the Soviets would have let them move toward socialism with a human face that the West would not try to capitalise on this by drawing them in to the Western orbit, that it was quite prepared to let these people simply be non, a, non-aligned or even maybe lined with the Soviets but allowing them much more freedom with respect to running their own affairs, and I think, I think Dulles made a speech to that effect if I'm not mistaken and the whole purpose, it was bonafida, it was, it was not thought desirable or, or useful to have any idea of drawing these people in to the Western orbit certainly as long as the West, as long as the Cold War was going on and it was hoped that maybe by reassuring the Soviets that that would not be done, that they might conceivably refrain from, crushing the uprising, in Hungary for example, ruthlessly as they did. I've often wondered whether if there had been at the same time as the Suez episode which was occupying so much attention on the part of the Western leaders, whether the, whether the combination of assurance of this sort, plus a little more, creation at least worry on the part of the Soviet leaders that, what might happen if they came back in, if they came in to Hungary, might just have made a difference, I don't know, it's impossible to know.

INT: Why was Eisenhower so preoccupied by the British and the French expedition to Egypt and the Suez crisis.

RB: Well I think there are several reasons. First place Eisenhower, really did believe that we should be striving to see how far we could make the principles of the UN real, he, he thought that for example the principles particularly against aggression, and not using force or threat of force in, in, international relations was a very important part for the reasons I said of the feeling about, the danger of war in general. But partly because he also thought that we should be striving in the world was becoming an ent... to being, as, to try to get some rules which were lived up to, with respect to such relations. So he took seriously the UN and the UN prohibition of the use of force. Second he did not sympathise withe British analysis or the French analysis of Nasser. Eden in particular thought, really he seemed to think almost that Nasser was a little Hitler and almost posed a similar threat and also seemed to think that he was a total tool of the Soviets. Eisenhower didn't think that, he thought he was a very rambunctious nationalist, out nationalist and he was certainly not helpful he didn't have illusions about his being co-operative or anything else, but he simply did not think that he was a tool of the Soviets he was using the Soviets as par as he , as a leaver, against the West, he was obviously trying to get rid of certain of the Western , influence in the East, in the Middle East, so I don't mean that Eisenhower sympathised with Nasser he simply didn't think that he was the kind of threat which was being described, or imagined by by Eden. And he I think simply felt that he, that, you, if you used force against one of the developing countries and the Arabs, you were gonna alienate large parts of the developing world and this was gonna be unhelpful in the larger effort at maintaining the Western ties and links and minimising the capacity of the Soviets to exploit, the Western behaviour. So, he, he simply thought, and finally he did not, he did not feel that Nasser's seizure of the canal even thought it was, disagreeable or unattractive, he did not feel it was illegal he thought that the that Nasser had in fact offered to make payment with, or, in accordance with international law with res, for the canal and he saw, he thought that it would be in, he did not think that Nasser would be able to use as a lever because it was in, in his interest to get as much benefit, financial benefit as possible, and the degree of leverage which you could get by not opening, keeping the canal open was not very great. so for all these reasons and I think he also was angered, showed briefly angered by the fact that he felt he'd been deceived by his allies because they, the British had really mislead the Ambassador as to what as I think, as I recall it there was a meeting or a luncheon with Lloyd in which Lloyd gave assurances which were just not true, before the event. And all in all Eisenhower thought that this was something which was unwise, not in the Western interest and that he would therefore oppose it. this, this did not mean he undervalued the importance of the alliance, he did, but he simply thought that he could oppose this and then re-knit the alliance which he immediately set out to do. Also in handling it in the UN, he, took the quick action because he wanted to pre-empt the Soviets, he thought that if the Soviets had a chance to put in the proposed resolution they would pile on just as much as they could in the way of sanctions and other things and that if he got in with his, mild resolution, that this would, lay the basis for, not doing any more harm than you had to do to the alliance and, make it possible to resume things after the event as quickly as possible. And so I think, and then he co-operated very closely with the Canadians in trying to get a way of ending the thing as quickly and as neatly as possible by the use of the UN, force and so on, so he, he did not behave in a vindictive way he s

INT: There was of course at that time a threat made by Khrushchev or Uganin to drop bombs on Britain and France around November 5th in retaliation for British and French behaviour over Egypt was that something that caused particular concern in...

RB: No, this was taken as total bluff, because, it was obviously carefully calibrated when the situation agreed was already, in the way of solution, and it was, and it was obviously just aposturing, and I think that Eisenhower asked, I believe with Garuntherie was then a sacure in NATO, to make a statement to the effect that any such, action would be met, at once, in appropriate way which, literally he meant to say we would treat this is an act of war. And my recollection is he made such a statement it was not taken seriously because it was really, clearly only posturing and and deciding in an effort to sort of ride in on the on the coat tails of the actual situation and hopeful, hopefully I think make some heat with the under developing countries, but by that time, by the time he really intervened or, made those kind of statements, it was very clear that the situation was on the, as being resolved.

INT: At the end of the first term of the Eisenhower administration the shape of Eastern Europe was pretty much as it was as, at the beginning, was there, was that a cause of a sense of disappointment particularly after events in Poland and Hungary.

RB: Well obviously it was it would have been nice if it had been different, but I don't think anybody expected that it would have been because as I said, the very first document that we put together for a so called basic national security policy, explicitly said in the part which was trying to describe the situation that the Soviets were clearly in control and would be in control as long as the main trained, troops in the area, and I don't think there was any expectation that in fact, that situation could be changed in a short run, but of course it was, you know, that people were unhappy at the situation would continued as it had been they were particularly unhappy at the fact that the, uprising has been so brutally crushed, but so I don't mean to suggest they weren't unhappy, they were, but they weren't unhappy in the sense that they thought something else could have been done, or effectively to, change the situation.