890F.00/4–1948: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Saudi Arabia

top secret

142. Cirtel April 21 [22].1 Reference is made in this connection to desire of SAG to work toward close cooperation with US in matter self-defense against external aggression, particularly through receipt of military aid similar that extended to Turkey (Legtel 207 April 17) and conclusion treaty with US. (Legtel 210 April 19). Your responses to these overtures correctly stated our reaction and have our full approval.

You might also inform SAG that although Dept realizes importance these matters, it sees little to be gained in discussing them so long as security and economic welfare entire ME is threatened as result Palestine situation. (Reference last two substantive paras of cirtel April 21 [22].)

Sent to Jidda for action; repeated to Baghdad 119, Damascus 129, Beirut 181, Jerusalem 287, Cairo 451, London 1447, Paris 1347 and to New York 245 for info.2

  1. This document is included in documentation on Israel, scheduled for publication in part 2 of the present volume.
  2. In a memorandum of May 18 to Mr. Lovett, Mr. Henderson stated that the decision to withhold military aid from Saudi Arabia “should be looked upon as representing a temporary position held by this Government. At such time as a settlement for Palestine is reached, it will then be necessary for us to know what are to be our strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, in order that our diplomacy may work to protect such interests. To that end, a study is now being made by the Department of National Defense, and the problem will shortly be discussed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It may also be discussed by the National Security Council.” (890F.00/5–1848)