841.24/837: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt ( Kirk )

603. Your 737 of June 16, 1164 of August 16, and 1487 of September 29.54 Hopkins advises as follows:

“The War Department is sending two military missions to the Middle East as of November 1, 1941, one to be headed by General [Page 315] R. L. Maxwell and to be stationed in Egypt, and the other to be headed by General R. A. Wheeler and to be stationed in Iran.55 They will be supported by three railroad experts, as follows: John A. Gillies, Ralph E. Knapp, J. P. Johnson. They will be available for railroad work both in Egypt and the regions farther east. They should arrive in the Middle East in early November. It is not believed that any commitments as to the utilization of the Union of South Africa to assist in railway transportation should be made until after these officers have had an opportunity to review the situation.”

In regard to the possibility of securing rolling stock from South Africa, there seems only a limited possibility in view of the fact that deliveries of mineral products to the ports in South Africa are being retarded now by conditions on their railways, and we are trying to find out now whether we can move the South African and the Rhodesian Governments to deal with this situation, possibly with some assistance on our part in the light of our desire for the products in question.

Please inform Teheran of the quoted portion.

  1. Telegram No. 1487 not printed.
  2. With regard to the military mission to Iran, see bracketed note, p. 477.