890F.7962/13: Telegram

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

1233. I referred to Moose at Jidda Department’s 689, July 7, 8 p.m. and have received the following comments from him:

“18, July 11, 2 p.m. Permission for non-stop routes should be obtainable. Securing forced landing fields will be more difficult but I am hopeful they too can be had. Probably the King will impose conditions relative to protection but I have no idea what.

British Government now subsidizes Saudi Arabia up to 3 million pounds this year, while it is understood that Casoc will make no further advances. Basis for beginning negotiations should be that present subsidy and desired facilities are both parts of common war effort and that no further compensation will be expected. If British assistance remains at present level however Saudi Government may still have a deficit of as much as 750,000 pounds sterling per year of which our Government might consider compensating all or part if requested. In that event, and [it?] should preferably be in form of needed commodities, or failing that, in newly minted silver rials and only as a last resort in gold. An alternative would be for us to assume part of aid now given by British.

In my opinion negotiations should be conducted through Abdullah Suleiman now in Alkharj … This means that person Charged with negotiation should go to Riyadh.”

I recommend that Moose be instructed to sound out the Saudi Arabian Government as to its definite attitude regarding the specific routes and facilities which would meet the requirements of the War Department and that he initiate negotiations with Suleiman, Minister of Finance, who discussed this matter with me at Riyadh without, as the Department knows, reaching any conclusion. These conversations between Moose and Suleiman would clarify the position of the Saudi Arabian Government in the premises and would also elicit indications of conditions which it might wish to impose. Such conditions or compensation might be more appropriately linked with the concession of landing fields rather than with the permission for non-stop flights over Arabian territory.

American Legation Jidda informed.