890F.6363/42: Telegram

The Chargé in Saudi Arabia ( Moose ) to the Secretary of State

59. Department’s 35, August 28, 10 p.m.41 Lenahan has been misinformed or not informed at all. When Bale’s entry into Arabia was referred to him indirectly and informally the British Minister replied that he would take up matter when so requested through the proper channel i. e., through his Minister of State in Cairo who has close contact with high military authorities. He added that Bale was wasting time in Bahrein waiting for entry to be arranged informally, implying that Bale might as well be in Basra. The Minister asked if I agreed with the procedure he outlined and I did. The Minister intended to report the matter to Cairo and nothing more. No suggestion was made that I take any action.

Owen, Casoc’s Jidda representative, informed me not once but several times company’s instructions from San Francisco are in substance as described in my 47.42 As indicated therein company’s policy is to make Government assurances a condition to active participation in denial program. No request was mentioned. Lenahan’s third numbered point tends to confirm this policy.

Owen repeated the sense of these instructions to the British Minister in my presence and has exhibited corroboratory correspondence. He confirmed the policy yesterday both before and after a telephone conversation with Dhahran.

He likewise confirmed that Casoc has taken no denial measures unless permitting certain British officers to survey Dhahran last May can be construed. Lenahan may be confusing denial operations with protective works such as air raid shelters, splinter walls, invisible flares, camouflage, et cetera. It would be interesting to know at what point Lenahan will consider the matter urgent enough to justify further developments.

To protect relations between Legation and Casoc please use this wire with caution.

Repeated to Cairo.

  1. See last paragraph of telegram No. 990, supra.
  2. Dated August 16, 4 p.m., p. 582.