741.90F/1–2348: Telegram

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

top secret

272. Embassy’s 220, January 20.

According Eastern Department, Foreign Office, meeting re draft Anglo-Saudi treaty. It was agreed that original draft, which by now should be in Department’s possession, was “too formidable” to present to SAG, and in consequence new and much shorter draft has been prepared omitting supplementary military agreement previously in Article 7 in addition to major omissions annexure in which survey party, financial arrangements, use phrase “essential strategic installations”, and all Articles 3 and 5 disappear. Anglo-Saudi Joint Defense Board retained and given responsibility for recommending location and nature airfields and military works and use to be made of them for civil or commercial purposes. New draft is about ⅓ shorter than old and language simplified.
Trott has advised Foreign Office that it may be going too fast for SAG. Consequently Trott will show King draft and annexure as finally approved meeting here today; if King agreeable he will suggest Feisal be authorized sign London. If King asks time to study text, Foreign Office legal advisor and officer may go Saudi Arabia to assist Trott and work out treaty on spot. In this event Trott may suggest brief postponement Feisal visit.
While anxious conclude new treaty in almost any form, according Burrows,1 HMG would be criticized if it were to commit itself as in Article 3 without SAG obligating itself to cooperate re essential defence facilities.
Burrows expects instructions to be sent today to British Joint Staff Mission Washington to ascertain US views re desirable strategic facilities Saudi Arabia.2

Sent Department 272, repeated Jidda 8.

  1. Bernard A. Burrows, Head of the Eastern Department in the British Foreign Office.
  2. The Department, on January 26, advised London that in view of the substantial changes in the draft treaty set forth in telegram 272, it desired detailed information about the changes so that it would be in a position to examine the corrected text and make comment to the British (telegram 253, 741.90F/1–2348).