890F.5018/1: Telegram

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

54. King is disturbed over position of his country with regard to (1) adequacy of food supply, (2) distribution of food and other essentials from ports into interior and, (3) governmental finances.

All are chronic problems and probably are serious though there are indications King has exaggerated their gravity. Lack of reliable information makes accurate estimate difficult.

Most likely causes King’s anxiety are: (1) British Minister’s insistence on Saudi Government economics and consequent failure reach agreement with British Government as to 1944 Saudi budget, (2) natural irritation King and all other Arabs at inability to secure needed motor trucks while locust missions have several hundred operating in Saudi Arabia, (3) possible misinformation or concealment information by King’s officials.

Saudi Finance Minister, Abdullah Sulaiman, came to Jidda about a week ago to discuss three questions with British Minister. Outcome was not satisfactory to King who requested Mr. Jordan, British Minister, to come Riyadh for further conversations. Jordan and Shaikh Yusuf Yassin are setting out for Riyadh tomorrow. Shaikh Abdulla Sulaiman is remaining here, he says, for the purpose of keeping this Legation informed of course of conversations.

Sent Department, repeated Cairo for Landis.