741.90F/1–2048: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State


220. Courier January 21 bringing rough draft Anglo-Saudi treaty for Department’s information.1

2. Pyman2 advised that when Trott3 took up question treaty with Ibn Saud (Embassy’s 163, January 164) King replied that he thought he would like treaty and asked Trott for draft. Foreign Office has just prepared tentative draft which Trott will hand King in Riyadh January 28 following tour previously planned which will take Trott to Dhahran and Bahrein where he has timed visit to coincide with visit Commander-in-Chief East Indies Royal Navy (Embassy’s 181, January 164).

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3. Pyman describes treaty as on general lines Anglo-Iraqi treaty without any exclusive features. HMG hopes for Saudi facilities in time of war or threat of war and certain communications and other facilities during peace, these to be specified and provided for in agreement subsequent treaty signature following survey by British military of their peacetime requirements Saudi Arabia.

4. Treaty provides SAG promise British assistance if attacked from any quarter.

5. Embassy emphasized US interests in Saudi Arabia and fact Department, to even greater extent than re Iraqi negotiations, would probably like to have comprehensive information re draft treaty and negotiations with SAG. Pyman said Foreign Office has this very much in mind and consequently is sending Department preliminary British draft. Trott has been instructed to keep Minister Childs fully in picture.

6. After King sees draft it will be decided whether negotiations will be in London with Feisal, due here February 5, or in Riyadh.

7. Foreign Office appreciates Department’s helpful preliminary reaction to idea negotiation Anglo-Saudi treaty telegraphed by British Embassy, Washington, and hopes to receive at early date Department’s second thoughts, particularly re Dhahran area. Embassy believes Department has unusual opportunity at this stage to make full Department thinking available to Foreign Office. After draft is handed Ibn Saud January 28, communication problem will make it difficult, even for Foreign Office’s last minute ideas, to be taken into account.

Sent Department 22 [220]; repeated Jidda 6.

  1. George Lewis Jones, Jr., Counselor of Embassy in the United Kingdom, transmitted copies of the draft treaty to the Department on January 20, under cover of a letter to Mr. Henderson. The letter noted that the draft had “not been approved higher than the Eastern Department and Michael Wright in the Foreign Office. It was sent today to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the British Treasury for comment. The Foreign Office expects to receive comments (and very likely approval) of all interested British Departments on Friday, January 23. Thereafter … the text will be telegraphed to Trott in Jidda.” (741.90F/1–2048) Mr. Wright was Assistant Under-Secretary of State in the British Foreign Office.
  2. Lancelot F. L. Pyman, Assistant Head of the Eastern Department in the British Foreign Office.
  3. Alan C. Trott, British Ambassador in Saudi Arabia.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.