October 25, 1957 – NATO, Syria And Sputnik
October 25, 1957 – a day of meetings, conflicts and the Space Race.
In Washington, President Eisenhower was meeting with UK Prime Minister Harold MacMillan and broadened the conference by bringing in NATO chief Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium, over the question of the deployment of rockets and the pool of scientific developments and who would have them. The issue came about as there were some members, notably France, who complained that the issue of rockets and the pool of knowledge was bypassing them. Spaak was expected to remedy the issue by inviting France to attend the upcoming talks. He was also obligated, as Secretary General of NATO, to report to all 15 members of the Western alliance. Moreover, Prime Minister MacMillan was scheduled to leave later on that day to fly up to Canada and would give Canadian Prime Minister Diefenbaker a full report on the Washington talks. Additionally, it was expected by the end of the day that a communiqué would be issued, summarizing the Eisenhower-MacMillan talks. It was seen as a counter-measure against Russian propaganda over the recent launching of Sputnik and Soviet gains in the space race. Britain expressed their desire to see the 1500 mile-range missiles that Washington had promised at the Bermuda Conference. There was also talk of a possible joint-effort by Britain and the U.S. on events in the Middle East. But nothing the two leaders would say or do would remedy the situation that was currently going on. There was the consideration of a mutual economic aid program, which would counter the economic aid packages the Russians were sending to the region.
Meanwhile, in London – Prime Minister MacMillan’s power was slipping back home, as Labourites made big gains in the Parliamentary elections. The Conservatives weren’t especially worried as it meant the loss of one seat in the House of Commons from a special election held days earlier. The leaders of two major Trade Unions made it clear that had no intention of holding back their wage demands to help in the battle against inflation. The loss of the seat in the House of Commons meant gains for the Socialist Party. Although it was no immediate cause for alarm, it was one more sign of discontent which may have major repercussions in the next set of elections slated for 1959.
In Moscow – word from Russian on reports that Sputnik was doing better than expected, with reports that its Carrier Rocket was so far ahead of Sputnik that it was behind it again. The rocket, which was orbiting alongside of the Sputnik satellite began spiraling to Earth each orbit around had gotten so far in front of the Sputnik that it was now 2/3 of the way around the world ahead of the Sputnik. The Russians were not saying how close to the Earth the rocket had come, and how much longer it would be expected to stay aloft.
And in the Middle East – Syria was firm in its stand against Saudi Arabian mediation in the latest crisis, as the UN was scheduled to resume debate of the conflict between Syria and Turkey. Three days of delay had failed to bring any improvement in the crisis and the delegates were going to back their delegations. In the meantime, Turkish troops were heading to the Syrian border in the event shooting broke out. Word also came that a detachment of Soviet Troops, armed with missiles were heading to the Turkish border, leading many in Cairo, who were observing the crisis, to believe war was imminent. In addition, charges of border violations and Turkish Air Force planes encroaching on Syrian air space were increasing.
And that’s what was going on in the world, this October 25, 1957 as reported by The NBC World News Roundup.