811.7490F/7–744: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)94

8183. Present telecommunication facilities between United States and Saudi Arabia are entirely inadequate and this Government is anxious to see established as soon as possible a direct radiotelegraph circuit between the two countries. At the present time under an existing concession between the Saudi Arabian Government and Cable and Wireless, latter has an effective monopoly of telecommunications between Saudi Arabia and other countries. The agreement is valid until May 31, 1960, but parties thereto are entitled to give written notice of their desire to terminate or modify it 6 months prior to [Page 762] June 1 in any year exactly divisible by 5, therefore such notice could be given on December 1, 1944.

Solution of difficulty would be establishment of a radio telegraph station by Saudi Arabian Government to communicate with countries not served by Eastern Telegraph Company, including the United States.

Please bring foregoing immediately to attention of Foreign Office and stressing importance attached by this Government to establishment of direct radio circuits between United States and points abroad, obtain assurances that British Government would interpose no objection to establishment of proposed radio station by Saudi Arabian Government.

  1. Repeated to the Minister in Saudi Arabia as telegram 205, October 6, 8 p.m., with the instruction that he “ascertain whether Saudi Government has received a reply to inquiry it has addressed to London and whether it is planning to establish the radio station.” (811.7490F/10–644)