890F.24/145: Telegram

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

109. British Minister has just informed me that when he was in Riyadh recently King Ibn Saud asked that British Government supply British Moslem Army officers to reorganize Saudi Armed Forces. Compare paragraphs 2 and 6, my 99, April 10, 5 p.m.72 He referred request to London and says no reply has yet been received. Present disclosure explained by saying Wallace Murray had already discussed subject in London.

When I observed that his [this] was another project which infringed on American plans he replied that there was no conflict because the American military mission would stay only a few months in Taif to teach the use of the new arms and would then retire leaving British mission to train and organize the Saudi forces. I reminded [Page 686] him that no limitation had been placed by anyone on period of instruction by US Army mission.

British Minister thought it would really be advantageous to United States to have British military mission here because of added security to oil field. In a reflective mood he observed that oil reserves are very large and very important.

General Paget,73 commanding British ME74 forces and Jordan will visit King Ibn Saud at or near Riyadh. Jordan describes it as a purely courtesy call and says it will take place about April 19. Acting Foreign Minister says Jordan knows that General Paget’s visit has been postponed. An attempt will be made to verify British Minister’s other statements.

Sent to Department repeated to Cairo for Giles.75

  1. Not printed.
  2. Gen. Sir Bernard Paget.
  3. Middle East.
  4. Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Giles, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME).