711.90F/1–1946: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Tuck)

top secret

108. For Eddy.2 Reurtel 21, Jan 12, 11 a.m.3 It is suggested that in your discretion you reply to the King4 along following lines:

Preservation of integrity and security of Saudi Arabia is one of basic objectives of US in Near East. Our policy in this respect, of which Brit Govt is fully aware, is in keeping with our commitments to UNO of which SAG is member. We are determined to give full support to this organization and to maintain principles for which it stands.
Article I of the Charter of the United Nations para 1 (which you may quote to him) makes it clear that one of the purposes of UNO is to suppress acts of aggression of the character to which King [Page 739] refers. In case Govt of Saudi Arabia should be the victim of aggression or should feel that it is seriously threatened with aggression and should bring its case before UNO, USG will live up meticulously to obligations which it assumed when it signed Charter.
In view of information which you have already conveyed, this Govt has been giving special attention to recent developments in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Trans-Jordan but has been able to find no evidence that any aggression is being planned at this time against Saudi Arabia. We believe that Great Britain like ourselves would be very much averse to the outbreak of armed conflict in the Arab world at the present time and that Great Britain like US would make every proper and appropriate effort to prevent such an outbreak in case one would appear likely.
We are convinced that no economic rivalries which might exist between US and UK in the Near East are of a nature which would cause either country to engage in activities which would be contrary to the basic principles contained in UNO Charter.

Sent Cairo as Dept’s no. 108. Repeated Jidda as Dept’s no. 19.5

  1. Col. William A Eddy, Minister to Saudi Arabia. The Minister was at Cairo en route to the Department for consultation.
  2. Not printed. According to Telegram 451, December 31, 1945, the King had informed Minister Eddy on December 29 that he feared aggression from the Hashemite rulers of Iraq and Trans-Jordan and was concerned lest the British avert their eyes from threats on his frontiers. He asked that the United States inform the British that the integrity, security, and defense of Saudi Arabia were of great concern to the United States and that the United States would not acquiesce in aggression against his realm. He also asked that the United States request the British to prevent hostile acts on his frontiers (890F.00/12–3145).

    In telegram 21, Minister Eddy reported that he understood it to be the King’s position that the British had declared that they would protect him against foreign aggression and that he should refuse the United States Army mission which had been offered last spring. The King, however, preferred to be strong enough in his own right to be able to defend himself if necessary. He hoped that the Minister would ask the United States Government whether in an emergency after British diplomatic efforts had failed, it would either send military aid to reinforce his own insufficient defenses, such as airplanes, or would take the lead in securing prompt and effective intervention by military forces of the United Nations Organization. The King said he would be more at ease if he could have the assurance of United States intervention, because the United Nations Organization might be too slow in acting.

    The Department had replied to the earlier telegram in telegram 3 of January 4, 1946, 2 p.m., (711.90F/1–446), which had been along the lines of the reply herein sent to the later telegram 21.

  3. Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia.
  4. In telegram 77, March 21, 1946, Minister Eddy reported from Jidda that in a private audience at Riyadh he had orally transmitted to the King the contents of this telegram, and that the King had expressed appreciation of the message and had shown genuine satisfaction at learning of the U. S. interest in Saudi Arabian security and territorial integrity (890F.00/3–2146).