865C.01/5–2649: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State


2164. From Secretary. Bevin called on me this morning. He raised first question of Cyrenaica. Sketching history of situation he concluded UK unwilling face resistance movement of Arabs or commitment British troops. Considers Arabs excited by progress of Jews and Amir eager secure independence. Bevin does not believe UN can reach decision in September. He accordingly had drawn up proposed statement by their Chief Administrator in Cyrenaica to be made in meeting of Cyrenaicans on or before June 1 as follows: “In accordance with proposal for independence of Libya which was made and supported at recent meeting of General Assembly of United Nations, HMG state:

  • “(a). That they formally recognize desire of Cyrenaicans for independence and will take all steps compatible with their international obligations to promote it.
  • “(b). That they desire to associate Cyrenaicans with administration of their own affairs and will, therefore, set up a Cyrenaican government for internal affairs in consultation with Amir and will recognize Amir who is acknowledged leader of his people as head of such a government.
  • “(c). That in taking these steps wish to make it clear that nothing will be done to prejudice eventual unity of Libya”.

After discussion with Dulles and our calling attention inconsistency paragraphs (a) and (c) Bevin agreed to change word “independence” in paragraph to “self-government”. Bevin said he was not submitting this proposal for concurrence and said he did not think Schuman would concur.

[Here follow two paragraphs unrelated to the Italian colonies question. The first concerns Greece and the second concerns Palestine. Both are scheduled for publication in volume VI.]

I indicated to Bevin we would communicate our views to him on these several points.