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The Minister in Saudi Arabia (Childs) to the Secretary of State


326. Following conversation with Prince Faisal1 re proclamation, Foreign Office telegraphed Riyadh and has received following reply.

“Subject still under discussion. No action will be taken until return Finance Minister”.

I asked if anyone other than Finance Minister knew when he would return from Cairo. Jocular reply made doubtful even he knew.

Said I wished express certain personal views and while I thought they reflected views US Government, I emphasized were made on my own responsibility.

There was distinct danger that if offshore oil proclamation went beyond very general terms such as we had indicated in our general principles there might be serious problems raised for which there were no ready solutions. USG had given subject most extensive and intensive study. Extreme caution was therefore desirable that proclamation should not venture into uncharted fields.
On other hand there was, in my personal view, danger of undue delay in issuance. I mentioned possibility ill-considered action by other governments which might provoke those complications we had in mind avoiding, when offering our advice SAG.

Foreign Office assured me my personal views would be greatly welcomed Riyadh and indicated the logic of them would be understood. Sent Department 326, repeated London 57, Tehran 15, Cairo 73.

  1. Saudi Arabian Minister for Foreign Affairs.