NEA Files: Lot 55–D36

General Statement by the American Group

top secret

On the instructions of their respective Governments, United States and United Kingdom representatives, including Service advisers, have reviewed the strategic, political, and economic problems in the Middle East, as well as certain strategic and political problems in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The conversations opened on October 16 and closed on November 7, 1947. The following persons took part at various times:

american group

Loy W. Henderson, Director, Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs

John D. Hickerson, Director, Office of European Affairs

George F. Kennan, Director, Policy Planning Staff

Raymond A. Hare, Chief, Division of South Asian Affairs

Edward T. Wailes, Chief, Division of British Commonwealth Affairs

Vice Admiral Forrest Sherman, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations

Lieutenant General Lauris Norstad, Director of Plans and Operations, General Staff, U.S. Army

Major General A. M. Gruenther, United States Army

british group

John Balfour, British Minister, British Embassy, Washington M. R. Wright, Assistant Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office, London

Mr. W. D. Allen, Counsellor, British Embassy, Washington

Mr. T. E. Bromley, First Secretary, British Embassy, Washington

Admiral Sir Henry Moore } Members of the British Joint Staff Mission, Washington
Air Chief Marshal Sir Guy Garrod
General Sir William Morgan
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Lieutenant General Sir Leslie Hollis, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Defense

Air Vice Marshal R. M. Foster, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy)

The two groups were headed by the Honorable Robert A. Lovett, Under Secretary of State, and Lord Inverchapel, British Ambassador, Washington, who were present at the opening and closing meetings.

As a result of these conversations, the United States representatives have decided to recommend the adoption of a policy toward the area based on the general principles set forth below. The United Kingdom representatives have likewise indicated their intention to recommend to their Government a policy based on the same principles.

The security of the Eastern Mediterranean and of the Middle East is vital to the security of the United States and of the United Kingdom and to world peace.
This policy can be implemented only if the British maintain their strong strategic, political, and economic position in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, including the sea approaches to the area through the Straits of Gibraltar and the Red Sea, and if the British and American Governments pursue parallel policies in that area.
It follows from the above that both Governments should endeavor to prevent either foreign countries, commercial interests, British or American or other, or any other influences from making capital for themselves by playing off one of the two countries against the other in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. It should be the parallel and respective policies of the two Governments to adopt the general principle that they will endeavor to strengthen each other’s position in the area on the basis of mutual respect and cooperation. It should be contrary to the policy of either Government to make efforts to increase its country’s influence at the expense of the other. Likewise, the policy of the two countries should be to strengthen and improve each other’s position by lending each other all possible and proper support. This support should also apply to the retention or development of strategic facilities, including civil air development.

There shall be full and constant exchanges of information and views and consultation between the two Governments about the problems of the area.

In cooperating with one another, they should of course take care not to embark on policies which would tend to deprive the countries of the Middle East of the opportunity to engage in normal friendly economic or other intercourse with each other or with other nations. At the same time, every effort should be made by both Governments in close consultation with one another to assist in the economic and social development of the countries of the area. Such a policy would not only be in accord with general Anglo-American encouragement of the progress [Page 584] of the peoples of backward areas, but it would also have the specific advantage of reducing the field for subversive activity and of contributing to the stability of the area.

In the spirit of the foregoing, there are attached hereto a number of statements1 covering individual countries and topics which, taken as a whole and to the extent that approval is indicated in each statement, will provide guidance for action on the subjects in question.2

  1. Infra.
  2. A virtually identical General Statement prepared by the British Group, not printed.