786A.11/4–850: Telegram

The Chargé in Saudi Arabia (Hill) to the Secretary of State


203. On April 6 I informed Khairadeen Bey, Acting Foreign Minister, substance Deptel 124, April 5.1 This afternoon he read me following telegram signed by King:

“We welcome coming of special physician of President Truman to head defense medical team. Inform American Embassy and ask them transmit our thanks to President Truman for this gracious attention which we appreciate.”

Shortly after my return to Embassy Khairadeen Bey phoned urgently to say that message had just arrived from Royal Cabinet stating they had telegraphed SA Ambassador Washington directing him ask Department and President Truman in a personal way not to permit any news either press or radio concerning medical team coming here until mission finished and team departed on return trip. He added that this was considered essential precaution to prevent any rumors arising that some very serious matter was reason for medical team coming here so urgently. Message added that SA Ambassador also being instructed transmit to President Truman the thanks of His Majesty for such kind attention.

Re foregoing paragraph, Department will recall from previous reports this Embassy the extreme sensitiveness SAG to any possibility rumor concerning illness in royal family.

Re last sentence Deptel 124, in belief Ambassador would prefer comment himself, I relayed telegram to him at Aden on April 6.

  1. Not printed; it informed the Embassy that the President would like to send his personal physician, Brig. Gen. Wallace H. Graham, as the head of a proposed Department of Defense medical team. It asked the Embassy to consult the Saudi Arabian Government to find out if that would be agreeable and ended by saying that the Embassy’s comment would be appreciated. (786A.11/4–550) A report on the visit of the medical mission is on p. 1169.