611.86A/2–150: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia


49. Reply your nr points Embtel 62 Feb 1:1

We anticipate O’Keefe report which JCS comite now studying will be taken up by JCS fol their return from Far East.2 No indication when their consideration will be completed.
Dept reexamining question seeking legis auth for mil asst for countries (including SA) other than those covered by present mil asst legis. Further info fol. Congressional action of course cannot be foretold.
USG may only provide mil asst including sales of surplus to countries presently authd receive mil asst and to members with US collective defense and regional arrangements; consequently only alternative appears to be commercial purchase available items in open market.
Dept remains willing as stated Deptel 407 Oct 153 to offer SAG informal guidance in contacts for commercial procurement and generally favorable export license consideration. Initiative for commercial procurement rests with SAG. SAG might take prelim step authorizing reps or agents in US investigate open market for available items in mil and particularly in non-mil categories.

Dept realizes extent to which King relates mil assistance to DAB but believes, as indicated Deptel 17 Jan 17,4 we shld make strenuous effort handle and discuss separately if possible. Pending USG action under 1) and 2) Dept believes SAG action under 4) shld have effect partially allaying SAG apprehensions and providing evidence means by which US can assist at this stage.

Reference recent publicity with respect Brit mil asst Arab states, ME file (item no. 7, Jan 165) containing text See’s reply Javits, indicates USG attitude and shld provide basis for positive response if SAG raises question.

[Page 1124]

FYI only McGhee wrote Johnson Feb 66 re June 23 expiration DAB agreement and proposed negots for extension. In requesting asst of Defense in preparation for these negots, McGhee stated Dept was studying MAP for SA during fiscal 1951 and observed JCS findings on basis O’Keefe report wld undoubtedly have important bearing on reimbursable MAP for SA and extension DAB agreement. McGhee suggested it wld be helpful if JCS findings cld be expedited.

  1. Supra.
  2. The Joint Chiefs of Staff spent late January and early February 1950 in the Far East.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, p. 1615.
  4. Ante, p. 1120.
  5. The editors are unable to identify this reference.
  6. The letter to Louis A. Johnson, Secretary of Defense, was written for the Secretary of State by George O. McGhee, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs; not printed (711.56386A/2–650).

    An answer from Maj. Gen. James H. Burns, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Foreign Military Affairs and Military Assistance, dated February 13, not printed, stated that the Department of State would be notified as soon as the Joint Chiefs of Staff submitted their recommendations on the O’Keefe Report. He further informed the Department that the Secretary of the Air Force was being asked to designate a representative for informal discussions on tentative arrangements for handling the proposed negotiations with the Saudi Arabian Government. (711.56386A/2–1350)

    A letter from Burns to McGhee, dated May 9, not printed, informed him that Col. Howard Moore, United States Air Force, had been so designated (711.56386A/5–950). In a letter to McGhee on November 13, not printed, Burns reported that Col. Richard D. Wentworth had subsequently been designated the Air Force representative to work with the Department of State in handling the arrangements for negotiations with the Saudi Arabian Government (786A.5/1–1350).