773.00/3–350: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

1197. I. In discussions with Dept and USUN officers during last week Pelt has expressed satisfaction with his negots with Brit and in particular with understanding with FonOff on next steps to be taken in constitutional development program. Emb will have noted that UK has now evidently informed Pelt of points raised urtel 12342 (Re USUN 247 March 14 rptd London USUN 93). As additional [Page 1611] background info Brit Emb here informed Dept yesterday that FonOff instructed De Candole4 March 10 to begin negots with Emir without delay to reach agreement referred to urtel 1234.

II. Re timing plans for Cyrenaica—Dept concurs with Wright that there is no need proceed with such haste as apparently desired by Emir and that it is preferable for action to be taken after Pelt calls on FonOff and has returned to terr.

III. Dept sees no objection to steps leading to Cyrenaican independence as outlined first para urtel 1234. Since treaty negots (step a.) apparently started we wld appreciate receiving info as to when step (b) re agreeing to draft treaty and Emir’s request for recognition independence by HMG likely occur. Our view, as Wright knows, is that in taking such an important step both HMG and Emir shld emphasize that this step is being taken as means of implementing GA res. We are confident this will be done and note in this regard that according to reftel Wright plans to inform Pelt that recognition of Cyrenaican independence will be subject to Emir’s acceptance HMG obligation under GA res to take measures insuring that Cyrenaica form part of United Libya by Jan 1, 1952. Brit Emb here has informed us that both HMG statement and agreement will state that recognition is granted pending the constitution of the State of Libya in accordance with the recommendation of UN. We have also noted that treaty wld include provisions for its continuation after formation of Libyan State if people of Libya so desired and we consider such provisions wld help to persuade Pelt to agree to proposed steps re Cyrenaica.

IV. Re Pelt apprehensions about use of words “independence” or “autonomy” (re USUN 247 Rptd London USUN 9), Dept appreciates difficulty finding any synonymous words which wld have same meaning but not give rise to complications which Pelt apparently fears. We have informed Power that we consider it exceedingly difficult to find other suitable expressions. Accordingly, if UK and Cyrenaica feel it impossible to go through with plans without use of word “independence” we wld go along with concept of “independence” or “autonomy”.

V. Re question recognition. We do not feel it necessary to take definite stand on this matter at this juncture but will keep under consideration as situation develops.

VI. Dept is also in process of drafting suitable statement to be issued when plans re Cyrenaica take effect. We believe you shld point out quite frankly to Wright however that when taking these steps we believe that both UK and we shld bear in mind effect on Fezzan.

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VII. We were also pleased to note that HMG wld be prepared consider the possibility of extending defense commitment to cover Tripolitania. It is our impression that Pelt now understands strategic importance Libya to UK–US. This plus obvious fact that independent Libyan state wld have to make some such arrangements for its defense might help persuade Pelt of advisability of Brit proceeding with their plans for Cyrenaica.

  1. Repeated to Tripoli, New York, Paris, Rome, Cairo, and Karachi.
  2. Not printed; it reported that on March 2 Holmes had talked with Assistant Under Secretary of State Michael Wright who showed him in confidence a proposal by the Emir of Cyrenaica involving (a) the immediate inception of treaty negotiations, (b) recognition of complete independence when the treaty was agreed in draft, and (c) announcement of the treaty and annulment of the territorial power proclamation (773.00/3–350).
  3. Not printed; it reported that Pelt had been informed of the Emir’s proposal for a treaty (320/3–1450).
  4. British representative in Cyrenaica.