The Minister in Egypt ( Kirk ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 30—11:21 a.m.]
167. Department’s No. 66, January 21, 5 p.m. The Legation’s No. 110, January 20, 1 p.m.; and 129, January 23, 11 a.m.,15 were transmitted in reply to Department’s No. 9, January 4 , 10 p.m.16 The following is the text of Eden’s statement regarding the Senussis in the House of Commons on January 8 as carried in a Reuter despatch from London of the same date and in the Cairo press on January 9.
“The Sayid Idris El Senussi made contact with the British authorities in Egypt within a month of the collapse of France, at a time when the military situation in Africa was most unfavorable to us. A Senussi force was subsequently raised from those of his followers who had escaped Italian oppression at various times during the past 20 years. This force performed considerable ancillary duties during successful fighting in the Western Desert in the Winter of 1940–1941, and is again playing a useful part in the campaign now in progress. I take this opportunity of expressing the warm appreciation of His Majesty’s Government for the contribution which Sayid Idris El Senussi and his followers have made and are making to the British war effort. We welcome their association His Majesty’s forces in the task of defeating the common enemies. His Majesty’s Government are determined that at the end of the war the Senussis in Cirenaica will in no circumstance again fall under Italian domination.”