Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)
Mr. Welles: With reference to your memorandum of June 179 on the above subject,10 I may say that this story is apparently in current circulation as I recently received an inquiry in regard to it from the Washington representative of one of the press associations, who was acting at the instance of his principal in New York. I told him that I did not know what the source of the assurances might be.
According to a recent report from the Legation at Baghdad, the Prime Minister of Iraq recently expressed hopes to the Chamber of Deputies that the Arab countries would ultimately obtain their independence. Nuri Pasha added:
“In this connection, I wish to inform the High House that I am in receipt of a telegram from our Minister in Washington11 containing what may reassure the future of these states. I am unable, under the present circumstances, to say more than this.”
In accordance with your directive, I asked the Iraqi Minister to call this morning. I told him of the reports which had reached you and that you would appreciate receiving any information he might be able to furnish with regard to them. The Minister said that at the time he had presented his letters of credence to the President the latter had referred to his acquaintance with the late King Feisal, which had been made at the Peace Conference in Paris. The Minister added that the President had gone on to say that he hoped that Syria would attain its full independence after the war and that some satisfactory solution could be reached on the Palestine problem. The Minister stated that he had of course reported these remarks to his Government, and he assumed that they formed the basis of the statement made in the Iraqi Parliament by the Prime Minister, Nuri Pasha.
In line with the foregoing, I think you will be interested to learn that Mr. Hoyer Millar, of the British Embassy, came in to see me early this week and showed me a document which he said was a report made by the Egyptian Minister to his Government. Mr. Hoyer Millar added that the report had been obtained in Egypt … In this report the Egyptian Minister said that at the time he had joined with the President in inaugurating the telephoto service to Cairo, the President had talked with him briefly concerning Near Eastern affairs. The Minister said that he had been highly gratified at the liberal attitude of the President toward Near Eastern countries and that the President had implied that the Jews were not to enjoy “exclusive habitation in Palestine after the war” and that some Jewish refugees would be directed to other territories. The Minister also reported that the President had told him that Ethiopia would enjoy autonomy after the war and would be governed with the assistance of an international commission.