890.50/1–248: Airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


A–1. For Lewis Jones.2

The Department’s considered review of the Summary Memorandum on Social and Economic Affairs in the Middle East3 has now been completed. Pursuant to the understanding that the Department’s approval in principle of the Memorandum, orally communicated to the Embassy by the Department’s airmail instruction No. 484 of December 5, 1947,4 was subject to certain possible amendments of detail, the following minor changes are desired. Please ascertain and report the Foreign Office’s attitude toward these changes.
Substitute “encouragement” for “support” in Section III, paragraph (c) and twice in Section IV, paragraph (d). The term “support” is regarded in certain Divisions of the Department as implying too specific a commitment to extend financial assistance for projects as yet insufficiently specific to warrant such commitment. Such implication was of course neither intended nor desired and the term “encouragement” is therefore believed to be more accurate.
Change last five words of Section III, paragraph (e) regarding the Tariff and Trade Agreement to read “signed at Geneva on October 80, 1947”. This makes the reference more specific.
Substitute “hard currency” for “American dollars” at the end of the first sentence in Section III, paragraph (f).
Section IV, paragraph (j) add “pursuant to request” after “Egyptian universities”.
Change “His Majesty’s Government” to “The British Government” in Section IV, paragraph (h) for editorial uniformity.
Revise paragraph (a) Section IV to read “That a strengthening of the Economic Committee of the Arab League is desirable to enable it to function as an instrument of constructive collaboration. Any tendency by the League to foster restrictive, discriminatory or other undesirable economic or political objectives should be discouraged”.
The substitution of “normal” for “established” has been suggested in the phrase “established channels of trade” in Section III, paragraph (f). This change has been proposed in the belief the term “established” implies an endeavor to maintain the status quo in an unduly rigid manner contrary to the spirit of the general clauses of the Memorandum in Section II. If the Foreign Office objects to this change we will not press it since the general clauses convey the, guiding principles.
The proposed insertion of reference to certain Persian Gulf territories, reported in Point 9 of your telegram 6204 of November 265 is accepted. The Foreign Office of course realize that the Department has no resident representatives in these territories, which are covered from other posts in the Middle East. The application of the principles of this Memorandum to the area is welcomed.
Department proposes to transmit the Summary Memorandum and the Memorandum of Events Leading up to the Conversations6 (with penultimate paragraph deleted as suggested in Point 3, your telegram 6204 of November 26,7) to the following posts under instructions as outlined below:
  • Embassy, Cairo with instructions to inform Consulate General, Alexandria and Consulate, Port Said.
  • Embassy, Baghdad with instructions to inform Consulate, Basra.
  • Legation, Damascus.
  • Legation, Beirut.
  • Embassy, Tehran with instructions to inform Consulate, Tabriz.
  • Legation, Jidda with instructions to inform Consulate, Dhahran.
  • Legation, Addis Ababa.
  • Legation, Kabul.
  • Consulate General, Jerusalem.
  • Consulate, Aden.
The foregoing distribution parallels the proposed Foreign Office distribution outlined in the Embassy’s telegram 6204 of November 26 and telegram 6520 of December 17,8 omitting Suez, the Sudan, Transjordan and Cyprus (as well as the Persian Gulf States as noted above) because of the absence of United States foreign service posts there.
Following is the substance of the tentative draft for secret first person instructions to be sent to the Middle East posts as outlined above:
  • [Here follows text. Except for minor changes of language, it was the same as that sent to Middle East posts on March 27; see page 74.]
  • You will note that in general, the foregoing draft instruction is in harmony with the British draft set forth in your telegram 6520 of December 17 and follows it closely in various passages, and that in addition certain passages have been added to emphasize the importance of the general spirit and character of the views and purposes developed in the Memorandum and instruction. The draft instruction is distinctly tentative and such comment as you may wish to submit following discussion of it with Foreign Office officials will be welcomed.
  1. Counselor of Embassy in the United Kingdom.
  2. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. v, p. 614. In an eight-page memorandum of January 21, Francis Boardman of the Division of Commercial Policy stated that the summary memorandum is basically “a reassurance to the British that the American Government desires to cooperate with them in matters pertaining to the economic and social development of the Middle East. The ITP divisions … feel that, despite discussion and revision, it does not reflect the conversations accurately; that its clearance was handled in such a way that the views of the economic divisions were neither presented to NEA as clearly as was desirable nor adequately considered by NEA or the British” (890.50/1–3048).
  3. Not printed; but see footnote 3, ibid., p. 620.
  4. Not printed; paragraph numbered 9 read:

    “Foreign Office suggests insertion following sentence at end paragraph four (c) summary memorandum: ‘a similar recommendation is made regarding cooperation between US representatives on the one hand and authorities in British and British-administered territories and British political resident in Persian Gulf on the other hand’. Please telegraph whether Department approves this addition.” (841.6363/11–2647)

  5. Latter entitled “Developments Leading up to Informal Meetings between British and United States Officials October 23, to 28, 1947 concerning the Raising of Living Standards in the Middle East” not printed. This, undated memorandum closely paralleled and, often quoted extensively the chronology of developments printed in Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. v, p. 595. It is filed with instruction 20, March 27, to Baghdad, p. 74.
  6. Paragraph numbered 3 read:

    “Re paper ‘developments leading up to informal meetings between US and British officials’, Wright thought might be helpful to US missions but suggested penultimate paragraph page three this paper was ‘too gloomy’ re British potentialities and describes what HMG hopes and believes temporary situation. Wright throught Department might wish consider revising this paragraph or its deletion.” Michael R. Wright was Assistant Under-Secretary of State in the British Foreign Office.

  7. Not printed; it gave the “tentative draft British covering despatch to accompany economic principles”. (740.00119 Council/12–1747)