740.0011 Stettinius Mission/101b: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Egypt (Jacobs)

1167. For Chargé and Landis.1 During the recent visit of the delegation of the Under Secretary of State to London2 officers of the Department and of the Foreign Office and other British agencies informally reviewed questions of mutual interest throughout the Near and Middle East from Egypt to Afghanistan. British and American interests were reciprocally explained, examined and recognized. It was cordially agreed that these interests do not conflict and that Anglo-American relations throughout the area should be conducted in a spirit of cooperation based upon mutual frankness and good will. Detailed memoranda are being forwarded by airmail to the Missions concerned.

It was agreed that these ends and thus the long-run interests of general Anglo-American relations would be served by the provision of machinery in the Near and Middle East whereby rumors, complaints and grievances, which if left unsettled might subsequently be ventilated publicly with effects harmful to both sides, could be raised frankly, jointly examined and disposed of immediately they arose. If such points could not be settled on the spot and at once in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation, they would be promptly and fully reported for direct settlement between Washington and London.

[Page 7]

Lord Moyne3 and British Missions in the area have already received instructions to the foregoing effect.4 You should accordingly consult your British colleagues with a view to arranging the proposed machinery at all necessary levels, reporting results to the Department. FEA5 and War and Navy Departments are being asked to collaborate in this policy.

Please repeat to Jerusalem, Beirut, Jidda, Addis Ababa, Tehran and Kabul.6 Separate message being sent to Baghdad.7

Sent to Cairo. Repeated to London for information of Foreign Office.8

  1. James M. Landis, Director of American Economic Operations in the Middle East, with the personal rank of Minister. Minister Landis was also ranking civilian representative of the United States at the Middle East Supply Center (MESC) at Cairo, an organization set up in 1941 by the British to control the supply and distribution of essential goods to the civilian populations of the Near and Middle East.
  2. Under Secretary of State Stettinius led a mission to London in April to engage in informal conversations with British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Eden and officers of the Foreign Office, April 7–29, 1944. The principal member on the American side concerned with problems of the Near and Middle East was Wallace Murray, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs; his British opposite was Sir Maurice Peterson, Superintending Under Secretary, Eastern Department. For correspondence concerning the Stettinius Mission, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  3. British Minister of State at Cairo.
  4. The Department was informed of this action in a letter of May 10 from the Counsellor of the British Embassy to the Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, in which it was also stated that “Mr. Eden hopes that it will be found possible to take corresponding action from Washington”. (880.24/5–1044)
  5. Foreign Economic Administration.
  6. Aden was subsequently included.
  7. Telegram No. 80 of the same date.
  8. Repeated as telegram No. 3933.