867N.00/617: Telegram

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

347. For the Under Secretary from Hoskins.

“Regret delay in answering your 15619 has been due to my absence in Turkey. I can readily appreciate the preference of the Department for not having groups of Arabs and Jews brought to the United States for discussions of the Palestine question during the war if this can be avoided. On the other hand this may prove to be the lesser of two evils if such discussions can prevent the situation in Palestine which is already simmering from boiling over before the war is ended. In this connection you have no doubt noted the spate of aide-mémoires and memoranda that have been received by this Legation in recent weeks from official as well as unofficial sources.

As to your suggestion of a visit to the United States by Ibn Saud or one of his sons there would be no objection to this and much good might result. However Mr. Kirk tells me he has made such suggestions several times but always on the basis that the visit would take place after the war when conditions would be more normal and it [Page 757] would be possible to show them more appropriate attention. I also feel that in many ways such a visit might prove more satisfactory if made after rather than during the war.

As to the idea of using the visit of one of Ibn Saud’s sons to accomplish at least some of the purposes suggested in my cable No. 15320 Mr. Kirk and I both feel that the Arab-Jewish problem is to a considerable extent distinct from Saudi Arabia and we question very much the advisability of injecting any further element into an already complicated situation. There may however be reasons for your suggestion with which we from this end are not very familiar. If so I suggest the matter might rest till my return to Washington as I am planning on leaving Cairo in a few days.”

  1. January 28, p. 751.
  2. January 23, p. 747.