890F.6363/11–1044: Airgram

The Minister in Saudi Arabia ( Eddy ) to the Secretary of State

A–74. During visit of Aramco officials to Riyadh, October 18–20 (ReLegs 325, October 30, 5 p.m.40), King Abdul Aziz consented readily to Aramco survey41 of possible pipe-line route to Mediterranean (ReDepts 213, October 16, 1 p.m.). King had no objection to use of airplanes for survey. Aramco’s suggestion of route via Abqaiq–Yuriya Al Ilya–Hafar Al Batn was dismissed by King who said best route would be Abqaiq–Abu Hadriya, keeping sand belt always on left. He had obviously formed decided opinions in advance of any surveys. Equally obvious he is hospitable and friendly to construction of pipe-line.

Aramco party reports that King’s close adviser, Khalid Bey al Gurgani, formerly always aloof in manner, and long reported hostile, was friendly and openly cordial for first time.

  1. Post, p. 751.
  2. The results of the survey were embodied in “Prospectus for a Crude Oil Pipe Line from Oil Producing Regions in Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea, May 31, 1945”, a copy of which was transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in Egypt in despatch 337, April 23, 1948 (890F.6363/4–2348).