Secret White House Tapes

Meeting with Godfrey Lowell Cabot—October 10, 1950

About this recording

  • Godfrey Lowell Cabot
October 10, 1950
The recording begins with the conversation already in progress. Eisenhower and Cabot
are discussing the influence of public opinion on government policy. Eisenhower
observes that in the Spanish-American War, an American ship was blown up in Manila
harbor. He says it was probably an accident, but "public sentiment" drove the United
States into war. He tells Cabot "emotion is a dangerous thing unless it has a sound basis
of intellectual research to guide it ."
The conversation then turns into a lengthy discussion of Communism, the Soviet Union
and its satellites in Eastern Europe. Eisenhower says that the average Russian is not
deliberately challenging "a global way this instant, but nobody knows when he will do
it." He says that Communism will "spare no pains to try to put as great a burden on us
as possible, to damage our economy, to upset our whole production and industrial
processes and what we are thinking." Cabot remarks that the Soviet satellites in Eastern
Europe were setup to cut off all material support to those who oppose Communism.
They talk about the Communist form of government. Eisenhower says that it is an
"appealing sort of thing to people who are downtrodden, oppressed or poor."
Approximately the last third ofthe recording is large unintelligible, but they are
discussing World War II . The recording ends shortly after they begin talking about the
V-2 rockets used by the Nazis.