741.90G/12–847: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State

top secret

6361. For Henderson.1 Michael Wright2 December 6 asked following status report re secret Anglo-Iraqi treaty talks be conveyed Henderson.

[Page 203]
Negotiations have been carried as far as possible at moment and Garran special British negotiator returned December 6 to report.
At Prime Minister3 and Regent level “very good progress” has been made and “virtual agreement” reached re wartime use bases. Only important point is Iraqi reluctance specify in treaty that British forces will be given facilities uses bases jointly with Iraqi forces during peacetime. Prime Minister asserts his intention invite British forces to do this but doubts advisability making formal provision this effect.
No further meetings yet scheduled but plan is that if agreement can be reached Iraqi Prime Minister will eventually come London to sign.
Wright said consequences UN Palestine decision have so far not shown any sign of interrupting talks and in case Prime Minister they have had “rather the reverse effect”. However, Wright believes Iraqi Govt might be forced suspend talks if popular agitation Iraq re Palestine grows much stronger.
Wright again expressed appreciation for Dept’s interest this question. (Dept’s Top Secret 441, November 26 to Baghdad).
  1. Loy W. Henderson, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs.
  2. Michael Wright, Superintending Under Secretary of the British Foreign Office.
  3. Saleh Jabr.