811.7490F/10–2844: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Saudi Arabia (Eddy)

252. ReDeps 234, November 3, 7 p.m. The Department is continuing its efforts to secure withdrawal of British objection to radio station. However, the Department does not consider, as suggested by King Abdul Aziz through his Acting Foreign Minister, that the giving of notice by the Saudi Arabian Government to Cable and Wireless is essentially a matter for settlement between the American and British Governments or that the withdrawal of the British objection before December 1st is necessarily a condition precedent thereto.

You should convey immediately through the Acting Foreign Minister a message to the King stating that this Government, together with the Arabian American Oil Company, is in urgent need of adequate communications facilities for the Consulate at Dhahran and the company between eastern Saudi Arabia and the United States and that if notice is not given to Cable and Wireless before December 1, 1944, there is no assurance that adequate communication facilities will be established for at least another 5 years. It should be stressed in this message that this Government has supported the economy of Saudi Arabia by furnishing many millions of dollars worth of goods and services and is giving consideration to means by which the extent of this aid may be broadened. It should be pointed out also that the establishment of these communication facilities is not only in the interest of this Government but also in the interest of the Government of Saudi Arabia in that they will enable the Arabian American Oil Company to conduct its operations with greater efficiency and thus produce the oil upon which royalties are paid and in other ways contribute to the welfare and development of Saudi Arabia. The King should be reminded that the suggestions made for the provision of adequate means of communication involve the ownership and operation by the Saudi Arabian Government itself of a radio station from which revenue may be derived. The message should emphasize that the giving of notice by the Saudi Arabian Government to Cables and Wireless of intention to modify the agreement is strictly in accordance with the agreement itself and in no way involves avoidance of contractual obligations. Furthermore it should be made clear that the giving of notice is merely a declaration of intention and does not mean that such declaration is irrevocable; that if this notice is not [Page 768] given by December 1st presumably it will not be possible even to consider the means of altering the present unsatisfactory arrangement.

Please keep Department fully and promptly informed of developments.