Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Minister of Egypt called at his request. He handed me an aide-mémoire with a covering note, copies of which are hereto attached,18 relating to the question of Palestine and the Jewish and Arab problems.

The Minister said that, in his opinion, any controversial proposals and their subsequent discussion relating to the Palestine-Jewish-Arab situation were calculated more to hurt than to help, and that there should be worked out a harmonious understanding in regard to the best solution of these problems. He added that there was keen sympathy on the part of himself and his people for the Jews in their almost universal persecution and suffering in Europe and that the Egyptians were very desirous of seeing the question of the Jews’ future safety and welfare solved to the best possible advantage. In this connection, he thought that so far as Palestine was concerned, the ratio of those allowed to remain there should be one-third Jews and two-thirds [Page 755] Arabs. He felt that the Balfour Declaration was calculated to give more trouble than otherwise.

He then referred with much concern to the signatures of several thousand leading American citizens, published far and wide during recent weeks in the Middle East, and to the serious repercussions and possibilities of uprisings that may be caused by the circulation of these names, et cetera. I remarked that I was under the impression that many of these signatures were picked up casually over a period of one, two or three years, although I was not stating this as a fact, but merely to let him have the benefit of that possibility for whatever it might be worth in appraising the actual value of these signatures.

I then inquired of the Minister as to what his remedy was for the Jewish situation. He replied that speaking for himself only and not for his Government he was of the opinion that a feasible remedy would be for the twenty-nine United Nations to agree to take their proportional share of Jews from all over the world and assure them of their safety and opportunity for a living. I remarked that this idea was very interesting.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Ante, p. 751.