711.90J/4–1645: Telegram

The Consul at Aden (Clark) to the Secretary of State

21. On my informal visit to the Yemen I was given courtesies and facilities such as they have not before accorded a foreigner and was received with great cordiality by the Imam and the Royal Princes. They frankly said they had known for many years the Yemen has vast natural resources to be developed but had so feared the imperialistic designs of the great powers who offered help they preferred to remain backward and isolated. They had long believed that the only nation they could rely on for disinterested help was the United States and now that its world leadership to maintain the rights of small nations was assured they would welcome such economic and cultural assistance as it could give. They wished first to enter into a standard treaty of friendship and commerce with United States and then to employ sufficient American technicians to assist in developing the country.

They said they wanted good relations with all nations and supported the Allied cause but had not declared war because they did not wish to send a representative to the San Francisco Conference4 as had the other Arab Nations. One said he regarded a war declaration without active participation as hypocritical.

I was told by various informants that the Yemen has rich deposits of iron, lead, copper, mica, asbestos and other minerals as well as extensive oil fields. However, no thorough survey has ever been made. I was impressed by Yemeni agriculture and the industry and intelligence of the people. They are poor and oppressed but with proper [Page 1314]foreign help and guidance their lot could be bettered under the present regime. The Imam is interested principally in obtaining urgently needed medical supplies and an American doctor at the earliest possible date but he also asked for machinery and other equipment. He is 76 and not well. He was greatly pleased with Dr. Palmer’s5 treatment (my 14, March 9, 5 p.m.6).

I made no commitments and impressed on all that I had no instructions to act but would submit the Yemeni views to my Government for its consideration. These will be forwarded by airmail7 together with other important information. I have no reason to doubt the good faith of the Yemenis and feel that it would be to our advantage to accede to their wishes in so far as practicable.

  1. For documentation regarding the United Nations Conference on International Organization held at San Francisco, April 25–June 26, see vol. i, pp. 1 ff.
  2. Lt. Comdr. Alfred M. Palmer, medical officer in the United States Naval Reserve, stationed at Aden, who accompanied Consul Clark on his trip.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Despatch 52, April 23, received July 30; not printed.