Secretary’s Memoranda, Lot 53 D 444

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

confidential

Memorandum of Conversation With the President

Item No. 4 Ambassador to Israel

I explained to the President the reasons why we thought it would be most unwise to appoint General Riley as Ambassador to Israel. He said that I need not argue with him. He was totally convinced that we were right. General Riley’s present task was of the most vital importance and should not be prejudiced in any way.

He would like to have us canvass the field, both inside and outside the Department and would like to appoint a very level-headed man. This person should not be a partisan. He should be concerned with the interests of the United States. While he should be sympathetic with the nation to which he was accredited, he should not cause antagonism to the Arabs.