396.1 LO/4–2750: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Preparatory Meetings to the Secretary of State


Secto 33. From Jessup.

Jessup had meeting with Wright yesterday to explore further questions under agenda items 4 and 5 (see Secto 12 April 25). Wright opened with reiteration special relationship theme, asserting that whether we like it or not, and whether our views differ or not, special character Anglo-US relationship is such that in present world situation “nothing but paralysis” can ensure [ensue?] if we work at cross purposes.
At Jessup’s suggestion attention then devoted to brief examination special cases in areas where for one reason or another US–UK views may diverge. Wright indicated that as a result of discussions in 1947 and 19491 close approximation our objectives in Middle East had been achieved. It was therefore unnecessary to go into matter at any length now, although certain specific countries might be touched on next week. During ensuing conversations, he mentioned inter alia:
British feel if situation in Iran is to be corrected, pressure on Iran to take advisable internal measures necessary, irrespective fact that this may lead to charges of interference Iran’s domestic affairs.2
British hopeful that some arrangement can be reached with Egypt but apparently not yet decided whether to wait until 1956 when present treaty expires, or to try to reach some compromise arrangement before then.
UK examining question possible Mediterranean regional pact which would preferably involve trilateral arrangement among UK–Egypt and Turkey thus avoiding Egyptian claim present arrangements unfair as they are between strong and weak state.
British feel that long term stabilization problem Israel-Arabs can only be reached by Anglo-US guarantee of agreed frontiers.
As regards other areas, Wright:
Stressed desirability Commonwealth important contribution Southeast Asia, especially by Australia and New Zealand; latter, he asserted, not entirely clear US policies toward area and hence it would be desirable if we could explain our thinking to them.
Voiced concern differences between US on colonial question.
Expressed regret Anglo-American cooperation ABA matters not as close as in other areas.
With respect to functional questions, Wright emphasized necessity direct UK–US strategic planning over and above that provided for in NAT in view probability that we will bear brunt of fighting in event of war and fact that each of us has special responsibilities in particular areas. He also proposed that Acheson and Bevin discuss question of exchange of secret information, and in reply Raynor’s question indicated suggestion included subject of atomic energy. Matter was not pursued further.
Wright stated that analysis of previous discussion led to another question, namely desirability of establishing some mechanism re our “general relationship” which would tend to prevent situations arising where we might work at cross purposes. This might be achieved through drafting agreed minutes or possibly unilateral statements setting forth our common objectives and steps to be taken to attain them. Objectives could be expressed in both area and functional terms and could be reviewed together from time to time. Pie had in mind joint minute similar to that drawn up at conclusion US–UK Middle East discussions in Washington in 1947. Jessup replied that we should study Wright’s proposal which, as he saw it, might involve a recording in words on what might be agreed to in present preliminary talks and at ministerial level.
Jessup then suggested consideration be given to degree which we should consult with other powers in these particular fields, pointing out that we should not allow suspicion or jealousy to develop on part of French or others. Hence, desirability spelling out here on trilateral level mechanism for exchange of information. We were seeking to work out common objectives in so-called “cold war”; should we not also envisage same type of consultation in other fields? Wright indicated British thinking along same lines. However, feel that they can discuss things with us in informal way which they cannot do with anyone else. Jessup agreed that coordination was less difficult on a bilateral than on a trilateral basis. Assuming, however, that three Western Foreign Ministers will continue to get together at intervals, might we not add continuing mechanism to these consultations as, for example, informal periodic meetings between Secretary of State and French and UK Ambassadors at Washington? Wright concurred in suggestion and indicated he would like to explore it further next week.
Agreed at conclusion meeting that statement points covered would be drawn up for consideration US–UK bilateral discussions April 28.

Sent Department Secto 33, repeated Paris 671.

  1. For documentation on the U.S.–U.K. talks on the Middle East in 1947 (Pentagon) and in 1949 (Wright–McGhee discussions November 14–22), see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. v, pp. 485 ff. and ibid., 1949, vol. vi, pp. 50 ff.
  2. Documentation on United States policy toward Iran is scheduled for publication in volume v.