883.001 Farouk/2–2045

Extract From Letter of February 20, 1945 from the Minister in Egypt ( Tuck ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Grew )9

On the morning of February 13 I rode with General Giles to the Palace in U.S. Army cars. King Farouk was accompanied by my old friend Hassanein Pasha, Chief of the Royal Cabinet, and an Egyptian Naval Aide. We proceeded to Payne Field and flew down to Deversoir in Giles’ private plane. The King came over the side on the dot of 12 Noon and greeted the President on the deck. I feel I should tell you that rightly or wrongly I made no attempt to include myself in Farouk’s talk with the President. The King had told me on a number of occasions how much it annoyed him that the British Ambassador, Lord Killearn, always insisted on being present at interviews with British statesmen, including Mr. Churchill, and I felt that the young man wanted to pour out his soul to the President and to the President alone. I believe I was right, for the following day Hassanein told me how deeply the King appreciated the fact that he had had a chance to talk privately to the President. However, it has left me with no exact record of what was said.10

I should perhaps add that on the previous day I had “briefed” the President with regard to King Farouk and had urged him to counsel this young man to practice moderation in the extent of his participation in the conduct of his country’s political life. I told the President that the King was showing an ever-increasing tendency to govern and not to rule; that he should not forget that he is a constitutional Monarch and should therefore refrain from immixing himself too deeply in politics. I also put the President thoroughly au courant with the deplorable relations which still exist between Farouk and Killearn, and I furnished him brief political and economic résumés in writing of the more important points which he might wish to take up in his talks. Luncheon was a pleasant affair and was followed by a serious talk between the President and Hassanein Pasha, while the King inspected the ship. We went ashore at about 3 p.m. and as time was drawing near for the arrival from Cairo of the Emperor of Ethiopia (hereinafter referred to as the Lion) I bade the King farewell at the Deversoir flying field and sent him back to Cairo with the Naval and Military Attachés of the Legation.

  1. The full text of Mr. Tuck’s letter is not found in Department files. On April 6, 1945, Frances E. Willis, Assistant to Mr. Grew, sent this extract to Evan M. Wilson of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs.
  2. On March 3, 1945, President Roosevelt informed Lieutenant Colonel Hoskins, the Adviser on Economic Affairs assigned to the Legation at Cairo and other Missions in the Near East, that during his conversation with King Farouk he had suggested that many of the large landed estates in Egypt be broken up and made available for ownership by the fellaheen who worked them, and that at least 100,000 additional acres be placed under irrigation annually as a continuing program (867N.01/3–545).