Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State to President Truman 8

Subject: Suggested Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with the Yemen

Mr. Clark, American Consul in Aden, acting on instructions from the Department, recently made a visit to the Imam (King) of the Yemen at Sanaa. Mr. Clark has reported that the Imam and the Royal Princes extended to him courtesies and facilities not hitherto extended to any foreigner.

In the course of their conversations, the Yemeni authorities stated that the Yemen wished to enter into a treaty of friendship and commerce with the United States, that it desired to employ American technicians to aid in development plans, and that it would welcome economic and cultural assistance from the United States. The Yemeni authorities added that they feel that the United States is the only country on which they can rely for disinterested help. The Imam is particularly interested in securing medical supplies and the services of an American doctor without delay.

Mr. Clark repeats unverified reports of the existence in the Yemen of rich deposits of various minerals including petroleum.

The Yemen is one of the few independent countries of the world with which the United States has no diplomatic relations. In view of American interest in near-by countries such as Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, and also in view of possible future developments in the [Page 1315] Yemen, it is the Department’s belief that the United States should indicate to the Imam its readiness to extend formal recognition to the Government of the Imam (already in treaty relations with the British and with Saudi Arabia) and to establish a channel for the exchange of diplomatic correspondence. This measure, it is believed, should precede any decision on Yemeni requests for assistance.

As soon as recognition has been extended to the Government of the Yemen, an exchange of notes could provide reciprocal, unconditional, most-favored nation treatment pending negotiation of a formal treaty of commerce and navigation.

The Department would appreciate an expression of your views on the suggested establishment of relations with the Yemen. In the event you approve its suggestion, the Department will be glad to take the steps necessary to accomplish that end.

Joseph C. Grew
  1. President Truman on May 1 verbally informed the Acting Secretary of his approval of this memorandum.