Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Murray)25

Mr. Michael Wright of the British Embassy telephoned me this morning in connection with our most recent conference with him regarding our desire that the British Government give its consent to the construction of the military airfield at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia and to the erection of a radio-telegraph broadcasting station at Dhahran to be owned and operated by the Saudi Arabian Government.26

Mr. Wright said he had already telegraphed his Government regarding the question of the landing field and suggested that it would be most helpful in pushing this matter through speedily if we would suggest to the War Department that it get in touch with the competent British military officials here urging those officials to support the War Department’s request for the landing field at Dhahran.

I immediately called General Howard A. Craig27 and conveyed this information to him requesting that he take the necessary steps with the competent military authorities. General Craig said he thought the idea was an excellent one and that he would immediately get in touch with the Army Air Forces, urging them to contact the RAF delegation with a request for the assistance of the delegation in the establishment of the Dhahran airfield.

I told General Craig that Mr. Wright had strongly urged that in handling this matter at this stage we make no mention of any post-war civil aviation rights since that would be sure to cause endless delay in London. Any mention of desired post-war uses of the Dhahran airfield would be sure to bring a reply from London that since an international aviation conference was going on in Chicago the matter would [Page 669] have to await the outcome of that conference before a decision could be given affecting the post-war use of the field. General Craig said he fully agreed with this and that in taking it up with the RAF authorities the Army Air Forces would confine their recommendations solely to the military use of the field in question.

  1. The substance of this memorandum was conveyed on November 14 to Col. John W. Bowen of the War Department General Staff in an undated memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Alling).
  2. For correspondence regarding the proposed establishment of a direct radiotelegraph circuit between the United States and Saudi Arabia, see pp. 760 ff.
  3. Maj. Gen. Howard A. Craig of the War Department General Staff.