396.1 LO/5–850: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State
secret
niact

Secto 194. At Wright’s suggestion Hare and Palmer had informal discussion this morning re statement on NE arms and security. Wright said unable make any firm observation since papers on subject in hands Bevin and no indication as yet his reaction. He said, however, comments from British missions in NE had raised certain questions particularly with reference apparent conflict between paragraph 1 of draft joint declaration (Secto 106, May 3)1 and British treaty commitments. Speaking personally, Wright said he had also been thinking of possibility some general statement which would cover not only Arab states and Israel but also Greece, Turkey and Iran.

[Page 151]

Ensuing conversation covered following points re proposed declaration:

(1)
Geographical scope of statement or statements.
(2)
Countries participating in issuance.
(3)
Content of statement or statements.
(4)
Timing.

Re (1). Wright noted we had been thinking terms several types of statements re NE area, i.e., (a) some phraseology in NAT declaration2 to remove stigma of exclusivity, (b) statement on Iran and (c) statements on arms shipments and Near Eastern security or a combined statement covering both. He observed that any statement under (a) would probably be of such general character as not to conflict with more specific statements contemplated. He thought, however, that instead of making completely separate statements re Iran and the Arab states and Israel it might be desirable to think in terms of combining these statements and extending them to include appropriate references to Turkey and Greece. His thought was that by so doing it would be possible to make clear area security concept and thus put various subjects treated, especially arms shipments, in proper context. We said we had been thinking more in terms of separate statements directed to specific points but that we would take idea of generalization under advisement. Wright made clear that in absence some indication from Bevin he was putting this idea forward purely on informal and exploratory basis.

Re (2). Wright said that here again in absence reaction Bevin he could say nothing specific re French participation. If scope joint statement enlarged question French participation became even more problematical. British also referred here again to their special treaty commitments and trend of discussion was toward return to original US idea of separate statements conforming to extent possible to policies of countries making declaration. British indicated separate statements might remove some of their doubts re French participation.

Re (3). Reference was made to general area agreement reached re Iran (Secto 186, May 6)3 and to unresolved question re strengthening paragraph 3 of draft declaration. We told Wright reaction from both Department and field favored paragraphs 1 and 2 of draft declaration but found paragraph 3 insufficiently strong to achieve desired result. We again urged treatment third paragraph along lines D–3a (Deptel Tosec 93). Re Greece and Turkey it was consensus that such statement, if made, would merely be reaffirmation of previously announced policy.[Page 152]

Re (4). Wright said British felt strongly no statement on arms or NE security should be made until conclusion meetings Arab League Political Committee on Jordan question. He assumed, however, that this obstacle would probably be eliminated by conclusion of league meetings before end London conference. Re Iran, both sides saw difficulty including in general statement at end London conference in view their common feeling that statement on Iran in order carry desired weight should be linked with specification some definite line of action. No particular difficulty was foreseen from timing angle in inclusion Turkey and Greece if such action were in fact decided.Since this question now scheduled for discussion by Secretary with Bevin Wednesday any comments of Department should be expedited in order permit review with Secretary before Bevin meeting.

Douglas
  1. Ante, p. 146.
  2. For documentation on the Declaration issued at the London Foreign Ministers meetings regarding the North Atlantic Treaty, see vol. iii, pp. 828 ff.
  3. For text, see ibid., p. 986.