890F.50/3: Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

1041. Although the matter is without my province the interest which I have maintained in my former post Saudi Arabia, induces me to offer the following observations prompted by the receipt here of unofficial and disturbing reports on conditions as they are apparently developing there: The indications are that Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming an active battle ground in the implementation of two systems of foreign policy—the British which in the past has aimed to make countries in which they are interested dependent in perpetuity both economically upon the Empire, and the American system which is based on the intent to help backward countries to help themselves in order that they may lay the foundation for real self dependence. Needless to say a stable world order can be achieved only under the American system.

The conflict between the application of these two policies in Saudi Arabia is not only operating against the basic welfare of the country itself but is injuring the prestige of Western methods in this typically Arab country. I believe therefore that this conflict should be thrashed out between Washington and London at once and a settlement reached [Page 691] which in fact will also serve to determine now the course of Anglo-American cooperation throughout the world in the post-armistice period. Once this settlement is reached the fact should be made known to the American and British representatives in Jidda whose duty it should then be to judge each problem involving foreign [assistance?] of its contribution to the essential welfare of the country both with regard to its internal progress as well as to its relation with other countries and then to strive to implement the decisions so reached in a spirit of cooperation and not of competition.

This problem is larger than the boundaries of Saudi Arabia as it goes to the essence of post-war action by the United States and Great Britain throughout the world. The situation in Saudi Arabia, however, involving as it does the presence of important and increasing American interests established in a primitive state from which until recently the United States has stood aloof and in which Great Britain has been manifesting its interest in a practical way, offers a ready field for the conflict of the two systems of policy outlined above and therefore presents a necessity for reaching some understanding on the basis of which the two countries may cooperate there and elsewhere.