Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

During a call from the Egyptian Minister yesterday he mentioned his Government’s deep interest in the successful outcome of the London Conference on Palestine and went on to say that his Government was unable to understand the apparently partisan attitude taken in certain quarters in this country with respect to Zionist aspirations in Palestine. He said he was struck by the fact that although a number of countries had a larger percentage of Jews in proportion to their population than the United States, the support of the Zionist cause coming from this country far outweighed the support of any other country of which he was aware.

I reminded the Minister that under constitutional guarantees in this country minority sections of our population were free to express their interest or sympathies in any cause. I called his attention at the same time to the various official statements, notably that of October 14, 1938, made by this Government with regard to American interests in Palestine and stated that our position in that matter had undergone no change. The Minister remarked that he did not intend to imply that this Government’s stated position in the matter had not been entirely correct; he merely wished to say that his Government regretted the contrary attitude taken by the American press and certain sections of American citizens, which his Government felt was an obstacle to any satisfactory settlement of the Palestine problem.