125.4916/12–1047: Telegram

The Consul General at Jerusalem ( Macatee ) to the Secretary of State

secret

589. Since predominantly Arab area in which Jerusalem situated now hostile to USA, we have following operational difficulties:

[Page 1308]
1.
American personnel virtually confined in security zones maintained by British because elsewhere non-Arab cars stoned, fired upon.
2.
Meeting courier at Lydda, 30 miles distant through Arab territory requires police escort, is hazardous and may become impracticable anytime.
3.
For same reason Americans wishing leave country with alternatives of Lydda or Haifa as egress points may be cut off any time. Railway travel has been eliminated for some time as too dangerous. Problem meeting new personnel, some of whom due shortly, also arises.
4.
Messengers, chauffeurs, domestic servants, all Arabs, also Arab office employees showing signs tension and continued service problematical.
5.
British as long as here may be counted upon for utmost helpfulness. When British withdraw problem how to operate becomes virtually unanswerable, raising question as to continuation food supplies, fuel, public utilities as post, telegraph, electricity. Food already becoming difficult.

Depcirctels advising insistence for protection upon governments to which accredited naturally not applicable Jerusalem after British departure. Therefore will appreciate Department’s keeping us fully advised on following as guide for future planning and basis decisions regarding evacuation wives, families and possibly women employees:

a.
Idea envisaged by UN there will be Arab State believed unrealistic because Arabs will refuse form one. Since assumed there will be early establishment US diplomatic mission in Jewish state does Department envisage a Consulate General continuing in Jerusalem and if so what will its principal functions be?
b.
If so assume Consulate General will deal with UN Palestine Commission on problems relating to American interests in Arab area. However present indications are that UN Commission will be treated as enemy by Arabs. Chief Palestine Criminal Investigation Department told NY Times correspondent off record that police could not possibly protect UN Commission if it located anywhere except Tel Aviv. Such location would invest Commission with partisan character thereby preventing discharge of duties envisaged by UNGA. High Government official refuses visualize Commission in Tel Aviv thinks possible house in strongly guarded Mt. Scopus building Jerusalem from which Commissioners could not emerge however. These prophecies throw grim light on future of Jerusalem Trusteeship Council.
c.
Can Department or US Delegation indicate who will do job of present experienced police force of 20,000 reinforced by British military of 60,000? As they now find security problem difficult, seems logical think rapidly assembled substitute would find more so. Therefore suggest Department explore possibility providing Consulate General with own independent guard, assuming our present security zone will [Page 1309] be liquidated with British departure. Also discuss with Navy means our ensuring direct radio communication with their units in Mediterranean. High British officials think disruption communications in post-mandate period very likely.
d.
Reference decision Policy Committee on Arms and Armaments. (Depintel December 2, 1 a. m.1) JA officials already indicated informally will make formal request for arms and technicians in keeping with US responsibility for partition decision. In any case decision Policy Committee scarcely likely affect plentitude of arms already in Palestine and pouring in daily.

Realize hypothetical nature much of above, but extreme gravity future problems appears justification, even at risk seeming alarmist. Will appreciate Department’s guidance on matters discussed.

Macatee
  1. Not printed.