Meeting Between President Johnson, King Hussein and Secretary Rusk on Wednesday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m.
Following the meeting between the President and the King, Secretary
Rusk gave me some of the
highlights of the discussion.
The meeting was cordial and a few minutes were spent in pleasantries,
including the presentation of a cigarette lighter to His Majesty by
Discussions centered on the U.S. resolution currently before the Security
Council. The President pressed the King to support the U.S. resolution.
He pointed out that the resolution is to be a compromise resolution. The
Government of Israel is not happy with the text; the Arabs are not happy
with the text. It is difficult to draft a resolution that makes both
sides happy, but it is imperative that both sides accept the resolution
if it is to be implemented.
King Hussein tried his best to get precision on the
clause with respect to withdrawal of Israeli forces. The President
replied that it was difficult to be precise in one part and not on the
others. There were imprecise statements in the resolution in several
respects. The King then said that if it was impossible to be precise as
to when or where withdrawal should take place, he hoped that it would be
possible to be precise with regard to the question of who was to
withdraw. The phraseology of the resolution calling for withdrawal from
occupied territories could be interpreted to mean that the Egyptians
should withdraw from Gaza and the Jordanians should withdraw from the
West Bank. This possibility was evident from the speech by Prime
Minister Eshkol in which the Prime
Minister had referred to both Gaza and the West Bank as “occupied
The President agreed to talk with Ambassador Goldberg in New York and he and Secretary Rusk told the King that we would be back
in touch with him by noon the following day with respect to his
suggestion for inclusion of the word “Israeli” before the word
withdrawal in the resolution.
The President urged strongly that the Jordanians support the U.S.
resolution, and expressed the hope that Jordan would try to get the UAR on board also. The U.S. will use its leverage to bring
about a settlement. We have to move one step at a time, however, and the
King must understand that we too have problems.
1 Source: Johnson
Library, National Security File, Country File, Jordan, Vol. IV. Secret. Drafted
on November 11. An attached note of November 22 from Saunders to Walt Rostow's secretary, Lois
Nivens, instructed her to put a copy in her files, since it was the
only record of the President's meeting with King Hussein that would be available in
the White House. The meeting took place in the Oval Office. The time
and place of the meeting are from the President's Daily Diary.
2 The King raised the
question of arms with Secretary McNamara at dinner on November 8. According to a
memorandum of the conversation, McNamara's reply was “along the lines we want to be
as helpful as possible, have some problems at the moment, but would
do what we could at a later date.” (National Archives and Records
Administration, RG 59, Central Files
1967–69, POL 7 JORDAN)