890F.51/29: Telegram

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

507. Department’s 399, August 22, 8 p.m.45 We of course desire to do anything that can be done to lessen King Ibn Saud’s inevitable disappointment over this Government’s decision not to extend financial assistance to Saudi Arabia. In this connection, upon the occasion of your forthcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, you may desire to state informally that, in case the Saudi Arabian Government would welcome a mission as described in the Department’s 231, June 20, 8 p.m., you would be glad to inquire of your Government whether one could be sent.

For your information, officials of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture state informally that official experts on ground water resources, irrigation and agriculture are to be had for such a mission and would be made available if desired. It appears that the salaries and traveling expenses of the experts could not be paid from ordinary appropriations, but a request could be made for a grant from the “Emergency Fund for the President” the purpose of which is in part “to provide for emergencies affecting the national security and defense and for each and every purpose connected therewith.”

We have been informed by the British Embassy here that the British Minister at Jidda strongly supports the project.

Mr. K. S. Twitchell, who is doubtless well known to the Legation, and who represents Ibn Saud informally in this country on various matters, states that the King’s decision to defer employing American road engineers until after the war was not unexpected in view of the expense involved and Twitchell’s own recommendation that no actual construction be undertaken until after the war because of the difficulty of obtaining machinery.

It is understood that Twitchell, in submitting a telegraphic report of his activities on behalf of the King, is suggesting that, if the King [Page 659] approves of the idea, the Saudi Arabian Government inform the Legation that an official mission of experts would be welcomed if it can be sent.

Hull

[In telegram No. 1963, December 15, 4 p.m., the Minister in Egypt transmitted a summary of the Saudi Arabian Government’s request for experts (890 F. 51/44).]

  1. Ante, p. 645.