890F.7962/11a: Telegram

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

689. Communication dated June 29 has been received from the War Department suggesting that efforts be made to obtain defined non-stop Ferry Command routes across central Arabia from Khartoum to Bahrein and from Khartoum to Basra, both routes to avoid restricted areas and to include the right to forced landings. It is also suggested the question of landing fields for short-range aircraft be explored.

Bearing in mind enclosure No. 9 to your despatch No. 11 Saudi Arabian Series of May 23, 1942,26 as well as the recent reverses in the Western Desert,27 we presume that there is probably no use in approaching Ibn Saud on this matter unless an adequate offer is made to him of financial or other economic assistance and unless the King is convinced that in some way his country will be made secure from Axis attack.

[Page 572]

Before replying to the War Department we should like to know whether you agree with the foregoing presumption and to have your ideas as to what a suitable offer should include.

  1. Not printed.
  2. For correspondence regarding this subject, see pp. 71 ff.