890.50/3–1248: Telegram

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


993. FonOff response urtel 1031 social economic affairs ME appreciated. We plan transmit individual signed airmail instructions.

Preparation these raises following points.

Recent ECOSOC action contemplating regional economic commission ME indicates desirability modifying item IV b Summary Memorandum. We suggest adding “if such organization is established the US and UK will endeavor to facilitate its functioning along most useful and practical lines”1 or alternatively eliminate item renumbering subsequent items. FonOff comment requested.
Agreed change “support” to “encouragement” only once Item IV d leaving second “support” unchanged.
No objection FonOff sending instruction its ME posts where no US representation. We will add new US posts e.g. consulate Cyprus now being established.
Agreed identical wording Dept and FonOff instructions unnecessary provided substance each is same. No substantive change contemplated our draft as quoted Dept A–1 Jan 2. Reference to memo “developments leading up to” (with penultimate paragraph deleted) inadvertently omitted will be added first paragraph. Will advise you any other changes and airmail final text instruction and enclosures.
We concur desirability Dept instructions arrive at posts within fortnight or so parallel FonOff instructions and will have ours ready airmailing before end March. Meanwhile we would appreciate final text substance FonOff instructions before mailing ours.

For ur info and guidance in further discussions FonOff reference item 5 above. Difficulties experienced with Brit in ITO negotiations Geneva and Habana2 have resulted some misgivings here as to identity and harmony US–UK views. Believe such misgivings most easily removed by our seeing text FonOff instructions prior mailing our own to field and by obtaining if possible inclusion or rewording certain passages FonOff instructions along lines more close to ours. Particular importance this connection are eighth and ninth paragraphs our draft quoted Dept A–1 “for your guidance” and “the essential significance”.

To illustrate more specifically and for such tactful use you can make following suggestions relate to FonOff draft quoted urtel 6520 Dec 17, 1947:

Following substitute text for paragraph two3 would harmonize with our draft “While this summary memorandum cannot, of course, be considered as a formal or comprehensive statement of economic, financial, political or social policy, it reflects the state of mind of officials in the two governments on a wide range of problems falling within these broad fields. I am informed that the American Government holds a similar attitude with respect to the memorandum in relation to its policy and objectives in the Middle East”.
In second and third sentences, paragraph three suggest substitution “views and objectives” for “principles and recommendations” and substitution “in the memorandum or in some subsequent revision of it” for “in them” at end of paragraph.
Suggest revising first sentence paragraph five to read “contents this memorandum should be made known only to those members of your staff who will be directly concerned with its contents”.4

[Page 74]

You will note these suggestions make no material alteration in substance. They will however considerably augment general satisfaction here. Pls telegraph results your further action this connection. Meanwhile we are proceeding final preparation our instructions.

  1. London, in reply on March 23, stated that the Foreign Office accepted the Department’s additional sentence. It also conveyed the Foreign Office’s query whether the Department would accept rephrasing of Part IV, paragraph o, of the summary memorandum to read: “It would be desirable that the Levant States and France should reach a friendly and reasonable solution of their financial differences. The US and British Govts should take any steps they feel possible to bring this about although it is recognized that it may be politically difficult for them to intervene.” (telegram 1177, 890.50/3–2348)

    The Department accepted this wording on March 31 (telegram 1115 to London, 890.50/3–2348).

  2. Documentation on these negotiations is scheduled for publication in volume i, part 2.
  3. Telegram 6520 not printed; paragraph 2 stated that the British Government had endorsed the principles and recommendations set forth in the summary memorandum (740.00119 Council/12–1747).
  4. London, in telegram 1177, foresaw no difficulties with the current British draft instruction, noting that “95 percent [of it was] Dept’s language”. It also noted the Foreign Office view that the document had been weakened by substituting the words “reflects state of mind of officials of the two governments” for the word “approval” and by substituting “views and objectives” for “principles and recommendations”. The Foreign Office also viewed paragraph c in telegram 993 as a further weakening departure.

    London, on March 23, transmitted to the Department the British version of the summary memorandum, as of March 22, in despatch 745 (890.50/3–2348). The following day, it transmitted the text of the British covering instruction in airgram 731 (890.00/3–2448).

  5. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.