890G.00/544: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister Resident in Iraq (Knabenshue)

35. Your 63, 6 p.m.,25 and previous telegrams regarding current developments in Iraq.

In view of the rapidity with which events have been occurring, it is obvious that in some cases there may not be time to consult the Department before decisions are required. In such instances the Department relies upon the good judgment you have already manifested.

In view however of the considerations set forth in your telegram under reference, the Department does not desire at this time to take a position on the recognition or non-recognition of the Gailani Government.

With reference to the British Ambassador’s pessimistic estimate of the situation, the thought has been expressed here that Gailani can hardly expect immediate German military assistance in force and that by permitting German infiltration he would invite British occupation.

It would be valuable at this juncture to obtain, if possible, information as to the actual intentions of Gailani. It is realized that the British Ambassador is hardly in a position to make an approach for this purpose in view of the attitude of the Embassy toward the previous Gailani Government. The Department believes that you are freer in this respect and suggests that you consider approaching Gailani informally, and without instructions on the question of recognition, with a view to ascertaining his intentions. Anxiety over the outlook for American interests in Iraq might form the basis of your visit.

Please continue to maintain close contact with your British and Turkish colleagues and keep the Department informed of developments as heretofore.

With reference to your 61, April 5, 10 a.m.,26 authority to evacuate Mrs. Knabenshue and Mrs. Mattison in your discretion is granted. Detailed instructions regarding the exercise of this authority follow by telegram via Bern.

  1. Dated April 6, p. 493.
  2. Not printed.