396.1 LO/5–350: Telegram

The Ambassador at Large (Jessup) to the Secretary of State

Secto 98. Secto 75.1 From Jessup. Second meeting Subcommittee on Near East took place yesterday morning with same participants as [reported] yesterday. Meeting covered following points:

Regional arrangements. Wright reverted question of examination possible alternative forms of regional arrangement which had occupied group yesterday as British initiative. Specifically, he said UK had been examining idea of getting Near East countries themselves to make statement along lines of NAT. Wright admitted FonOff did not really feel such arrangement feasible for NE and then reverted suggestion made at yesterday’s meeting regarding statement which would give some reassurance to NE and perhaps other areas as well re nonexclusive nature NAT. We again suggested this was far-reaching question with implications extending beyond NE and that we felt it should be discussed with those responsible for NAT negotiations.
Arms and stability. Group reverted questions of arms shipments and reassuring statement re security area. Wright stated FonOff had considered on working level points which we had made yesterday. FonOff representatives then developed following points:
  • a. In considering arms shipment we need firm facts. UK chiefs of staff have recently made survey of relative strengths of NE [Page 145] states. It might be useful for US and UK to consider common arms policy and to transform present UK study into joint study, pooling information re present arms on hand and current applications. This would be reviewed periodically and would enable us assess rather wild statements being made by both sides.
  • b. Re our suggested statement on obtaining assurances from NE states (paragraph A 2, recommendations D 2 a)2 FonOff wondered whether this could be adopted and carried further by adding that US and UK (and perhaps France) had decided institute joint consultations re arms applications and would issue arms to countries in accordance their needs.

Hare questioned feasibility foregoing, pointing out UK has treaty arrangements with number of states in area. He wondered whether we both could work from identical pattern. While we desire exchange information and may in practice consult jointly, he questioned advisability saying so publicly and thereby place ourselves in position where we publicly either had uphold or disapprove action of other. UK group, on Wright’s suggestion, produced draft statement embodying following elements: paragraph A 2 of recommendations D 2/a; paragraphs a and b above; and recommendation one of D 3.3 After considering this draft, it was agreed delete section containing suggestion re exchange information and joint consultation. Resulting draft declaration being telegraphed separately and we would appreciate Department’s comments. FonOff is sending text to UK chiefs of mission in NE for their comments on substance, timing and question French participation. We suggest Department may wish take similar action.

In group’s consideration of question of obtaining assurances from each NE state that it would not undertake aggression against any other state, FonOff representatives felt it might be preferable for UK obtain renewed assurances from each state immediately and then note fact in joint declaration that such assurances had been obtained. Hare pointed out that while we did not wish to be against virtue, nevertheless he thought that certain undesirable speculation might result among Arabs if UK suddenly made simultaneous approaches at this time all Arab state capitals in endeavor obtain such assurances. There would be suspicions UK motives, and subsequent joint action UK, US and possibly France might be prejudiced.

Moreover, there might be difficulty obtaining such assurances from states to which UK has no present plans for shipping arms. On further reflection, Wright felt it would be preferable for FonOff consider obtaining assurances at present time from Iraq, Jordan and Egypt only.

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[Here follows discussions on the Palestine Relief Agency and Saudi Arabia.] [Jessup.]

  1. Supra.
  2. Reference is to the Report on Arms Shipments to the Arab States and Israel, April 20, p. 135.
  3. Reference is to the Report on Near Eastern Security, April 28, p. 138.