501.BB/5–2549: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, at Paris


Telac 15.1 Re Actel 8, May 24.2 Italian Peace Treaty provides Brit administration Cyrenaica continue until final disposal area by UNGA. Having signed Treaty and having further agreed to accept and to put into effect GA recommendations, UK can hardly establish permanent regime in Cyrenaica without limiting freedom GA to deal with problem. When Brit raised this question at N.Y. Dulles informed McNeil of US view that Brit wld we unwise to take such hasty and unilateral action as to recognize Emir immediately and set up autonomous state in treaty relationship with UK. Dulles also pointed out that US Govt might be obliged take public stand critical of Brit if they act in violation of obligations laid down in Italian Peace Treaty.

In pointing this out to Bevin you cld explain that we understand Brit concern because Emir of Senussi feels necessity for definite action on future Cyrenaica in order for him to retain effective tribal leadership (see London’s 2016 rptd Paris as Telac 93). Dept is sympathetic to any concessions Brit may make to Emir’s requests so long as Treaty provisions are respected. Our hope, therefore, wld be that internal changes in local administration Cyrenaica can be made sufficient to satisfy, at least for time being, demands of inhabitants for self-government without prejudicing future status Cyrenaica. You might ask why hurried action is necessary since GA will renew its consideration this matter at its Sept session.

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As to your taking initiative this matter, seems to us important that British be under no misapprehension as to US views this question.

  1. This telegram was sent to Embassy Paris for Secretary Acheson, who was attending the Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, documentation concerning which is included in volume iii.
  2. Not printed; in it Acheson asked for the views of the Department of State in preparation for a conversation with Bevin, who felt that the decision of the General Assembly had left the problem of Cyrenaica “in bad shape”. Bevin had referred to “the desire of the Sultan to proclaim the independence of Cyrenaica and set himself up as King”, and Acheson had mentioned this to Dulles, who said that the British had referred to the proposal several times, and that “under direction from the Department” he had then stated to them that “we would have to denounce such a move”. Acheson added that he had asked Dulles to accompany him if and when Bevin raised the matter again. (740.00119 Council/5–2449)
  3. Not printed.