890F.6363/5–4049: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Saudi Arabia

secret

184. Re Dhahran tel 153, May 10.1 There is increasing evidence Persian Gulf boundary questions will rapidly come to fore, especially as various states make offshore proclamations.

In response Fuad’s specific question you may reply USG hopes question may be settled by direct and amicable negots between parties concerned. If matters come to impasse it wld seem logical that both [Page 129]parties agree to appointment of a neutral boundary commission to decide question by arbitration. USG wld be prepared suggest this to both parties.2

Acheson
  1. Not printed; this message from Ambassador Childs stated that Fuad Hamza had referred to “recent frontier dispute with British over activities ARAMCO exploratory party in vicinity southeast coast. … He said SAG would like to know if matter came to impasse in discussions with UK in what way might US help. Fuad made interesting statement territory dispute was of considerable extent and of great value for oil and if SAG were pushed too hard it might even go so far as to challenge right British to speak in behalf of Arab Sheikhdoms concerned.” (890F.6363/5–1049) Fuad Hamza was Saudi Arabian Minister of State.
  2. Ambassador Childs, on May 13, advised that the previous day at Bahrein he had lunched on invitation with Lt. Col. Sir Rupert Hay, British Political Representative at Bahrein, and Bernard A. Burrows, Head of the Eastern Department in the British Foreign Office. The British officials were said to have “stated UK Government prepared enter into direct negotiations SAG regarding boundary conflicts subject recent SAG note. Neither was optimistic early agreement.” (telegram 163 from Dhahran, 890F.6363/5–1349)

    The Ambassador, on May 25, transmitted information from the British Chargé that a note had been sent to the Saudi Arabian Foreign Office “re reported intention SAG claim sovereignty over Farsi-Arabi group islands Persian Gulf suggesting in view Kuwait claim to same group issue not be raised publicly.” (telegram 362 from Jidda, 890.0145/5–2549)