EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to refer to your letter of April 20, 1956,
in which you stated that your Government desired reassurances concerning
the present attitude of the Government of the United Kingdom of Libya
with regard to the firm friendship and understanding which has always
existed between our two Governments.2Tappin’s note, which
discouraged any Libyan turn to the “untried and unknown”, was also
an enclosure to despatch 378. You stated further that your
Government’s position with regard to aid to Libya could not be
influenced by considerations arising from offers of aid from other
sources but that your Government’s decisions concerning assistance to
Libya which were mentioned in the two notes which were exchanged between
us April 43Enclosures to despatch 372 from
Tripoli, May 4. (Department of State, Central Files, 773.5–MSP/5–456) had been based on the
assumption that the Government of the United Kingdom of Libya would not
be willing to place in danger its independence and collaboration with
the United States by accepting offers from sources whose intent is to
damage the relations between the Government of the United Kingdom of
Libya and the Government of the United States of America.
The policy of my Government, as I have already informed Your Excellency
on numerous occasions, most recently on January 18,4See Document 151.
and March 22, 1956,5See Document 157. has been and will continue to be a
policy of free voluntary and independent cooperation with the Government
of the United States of America and the Free World. This has been the
policy of Libya since its independence and your Government may rest
assured that it will continue to be so.
In our conversation of January 18, 1956, referred to above, you inquired
concerning certain aspects of the policy of the Libyan Government which
are of paramount importance to the Government of the United States of
America and to the preservation of the spirit and intent of the
Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the
Government of the United Kingdom of Libya, signed at Benghazi on
September 9, 1954. I wish to confirm to Your Excellency my statement of
the position of the Libyan Government with regard to these points in
order that there may be no possible misunderstanding of the Libyan Government’s position in this
The Government of the United Kingdom of Libya, when it agreed to exchange
diplomatic representatives with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
did so in keeping with its sovereign right to conduct its foreign
affairs in the manner it deems most desirable. It is my understanding
that your Government in no way questions the sovereign right of the
Libyan Government to take this action, but that your Government is
concerned lest the Soviet Embassy undertake activities which might
endanger Libyan-American relations or the security of the American
military installations and operations in Libya. The Libyan Government
does not propose to permit any foreign power to disrupt relations
between it and the United States and you may reassure your Government as
(1) The Soviet Diplomatic Mission in Libya will be required to restrict
its staff to normal size and activities.
(2) The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will not be permitted to open
an information center or a cultural center in Libya.
(3) The Soviet Embassy will not be permitted to establish or operate a
(4) The Libyan Government will not grant a petroleum concession in Libya
to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
(5) The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will not be granted any
access to Libyan air space.
Naturally the above policy will also apply to those countries which are
satellites of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or whose policies
are directed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
I wish further to inform you that the Libyan Government has rejected the
offer of assistance which the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
recently offered and that the Libyan Government’s policy is that
acceptance of any other offers of economic, military or technical
assistance will be limited to those which do not endanger