Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs (McGhee) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews)1
Subject: Letter to the Secretary of Defense regarding the Anglo-Egyptian question.
At a meeting on October 26 between the U.S. and British Chiefs of Staff at which Ambassador Jessup represented the Department and the British Ambassador the British Foreign Office, it was agreed that the Department and the Foreign Office should discuss further the advisability of a joint approach to Egypt pointed towards a tripartite agreement on bases and equipment with Egypt.2
It is believed desirable to request the Defense Department to indicate whether a price should be paid, and, if so, how high a price, having in mind that this “price” might be the deciding factor as to whether the British retain their strategic facilities in Egypt.
As you will recall this letter was originally sent up to the Secretary for his signature, but it was decided that because of the urgent developments in Korea, it would be inadvisable to present this matter on a high priority basis. However, in view of the discussion of October 26, we believe that it is essential that the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider the problem as soon as conveniently possible.
That you sign the attached letter (Tab A) to Secretary of Defense Marshall.3
- Drafted by Stabler.↩
- For information concerning this meeting, see telegram 460 to Cairo, November 20, p. 321.↩
- Attached to the source text was a note which read: “This was signed by Mr. McGhee today. 12/8/50.” The letter to Secretary Marshall was subsequently signed by Matthews and sent to the Pentagon on December 11.↩
- Drafted by Stabler and Jones.↩
- Enclosure 1 is telegram 460, November 20, p. 321; enclosure 2 is telegram 513, November 22, p. 322; and enclosure 3 is telegram 529, November 25, p. 323.↩