357.AG/2–1550: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Dunn) to the Secretary of State

627. Pursuant Deptel 510 February 11.

Officer Embassy met privately with Pelt last night and conveyed Department’s views and discussed at length general problem implementation UNGA resolution Libya.

Pelt greatly appreciative Department’s intervention UK and French governments obtain postponement implementation their plans respective territories. Pelt feels strongly administration powers [Page 1606] should not take any irrevocable action affecting or prejudicing rights inhabitants arrive at own decision on form future Libyan unity. While he is in agreement in general first phase British plan he feels Advisory Council and UN, in addition to local inhabitants; would most likely resent unilateral policy decision and action by administration authorities prior even to constitution of council.

Commissioner in complete agreement Department’s position re federation as only practicable form future united Libyan state. However, he is convinced sentiment increasing all parts Libya in favor real unity and that people and leaders do not understand or appreciate political concept federation as being compatible with their ideas of unity. Pelt’s thought is that should administrating powers take unilateral action designed to, or even only incidentally promoting, local autonomy, or dis-unity, Libyans would greatly resent such action and we would find that nationalist sentiment favoring unitary form state would be increased and our desired goal of federation or confederation would be seriously set back.

Pelt feels that if Libyans allowed full opportunity consult amongst selves and endeavor without outside pressure to work out unitary state, they will quickly find that their own regional differences preclude such form and can be reconciled only under federation.

Embassy officer found Pelt entirely sympathetic to our basic objective of seeing established a workable form of government which would contribute to rather than jeopardize future peace and security area. However, he fears that inclination UK and French to take precipitous unilateral action may in end endanger achievement goal desired by all. In this respect he grateful our objective intervention and anxious work closely with us.

[Here follows a discussion of the permanent seat of the Advisory Council and the projected activities of Egyptian and Pakistani representatives.]

Repeated Paris 44 London 84 Cairo 1 pouched Tripoli.