740.0011 Stettinius Mission/27: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

3073. Deles68 No. 10. From the Under Secretary. During a recent conversation on Saudi Arabia between Murray69 and Sir [Page 685] Maurice Peterson,70 the latter stated that the British Government, on the request of King Ibn Saud, contemplated furnishing the Saudi Arabian Government with a financial adviser and with military advisers “to train and establish a Saudi Arabian army on modern lines”. He said that only Sunni Moslems were desired, as they would live at Mecca and other interior cities, and that the British were already seeking a suitable financial adviser in India. As regards the military advisers, Sir Maurice saw no impediment in principle, pointing out that they would reside in different areas than the American military personnel recently sent to Saudi Arabia, but desired to let us know of the request and ascertain our views. Murray replied that this was a question which would have to be considered in Washington, particularly by the War Department, on the basis of full information. Sir Maurice agreed to secure more details on the subject for submission to the Department.

Meanwhile we should appreciate any information which the Department may be able to obtain on this subject and an indication of the attitude which the Department and the War Department would be likely to adopt.

Sent to Department. Repeated to Jidda.71 [Stettinius.]

  1. Designation for telegrams sent by the Stettinius Mission from London. During the period from April 7 to April 29, 1944, the Under Secretary of State (Stettinius) was engaged in informal conversations at London with the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Eden) relating to problems of foreign policy; for correspondence regarding this Mission, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  2. Wallace Murray, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, at this time a member of the Stettinius Mission.
  3. British Superintending Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Eastern Department.
  4. Repeated in summary by the Department to the Minister Resident in Saudi Arabia at his request, in telegram 70, April 25, 9 p.m.