357.AG/6–2350: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consulate at Tripoli

71. Delli 20.

I. (a) While situation in UN Council Libya with respect activities Pak and Egypt Reps regrettable and difficult for you,1 Dept considers that if it is possible to obtain fair measure of agreement on methods for development of constitutional program at this stage, considerable progress will have been made. Since a major US objective in Libya is to retain use Wheelus Field after Libya becomes independent, our concern re methods used in implementation UNGA res to select members Prep Comite is that we not alienate feelings any important polit grouping Tripolitania or other areas so that we may have good relations with Arab leaders who are likely form new govt. If leaders Congress Party have succeeded, with Pak and Egypt assistance, in [Page 1627] getting adopted procedure whereby their reps will be reps Tripolitania on Prep Comite without using elective machinery, Dept sees no great cause for alarm. Total lack experience in elective processes plus traditional politicking and jockeying which Arabs as well as others indulge in does not make result surprising. Important thing in our opinion is getting procedure established which is agreed to by Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan.

(b) From point of view Tripolitanians, Pak res on composition Prep Comite, which was adopted by UN Council, cld be regarded as rather large concession. This res provides for seven reps from Tripolitania, which has two-thirds population Libya, and allows Cyrenaica and Fezzan together to have fourteen reps, who so far as Tripolitanians are concerned may be expected adopt positions favorable to UK, France and Emir. If gen agreement can be reached to constitution Prep Comite, Dept feels this shld be expedited as rapidly as possible.

(c) Agreement reached by Pak, Egypt, and Ital members Council with Beshir Saadawi to allow one Ital rep on Prep Comite may, therefore, be encouraging development. Dept agrees with Pelt’s view reported Lidel 492 that inclusion one Ital on Comite of 21 wld not prejudice future Libyan state. Depending on result Pelt’s and Jerbi’s3 trip Benghazi (Lidel 51)2 you cld, in your discretion, suggest to Brit that they point out to Emir that presence one Ital on Prep Comite cld do no harm since 14 members that Comite will be sympathetic to Emir’s point of view. Our reason for suggesting this step is that if Emir remains adamant in his opposition to any Ital participation, agreement reached among Tripolitanians may break down and entire program constitutional development be jeopardized. Therefore, we feel every effort shld be made to get Prep Comite started immed.

II. (a) Re attitude and activity of Egypt and Pak delegates, Dept sympathetic to difficult situation with which you must deal when confronted with certain of their actions. However, we have realized since Advisory Council was estabd that there almost certainly wld be some activity by the Moslem delegates vis-à-vis the native Moslems which we cld not or we might not wish to emulate or associate ourselves with. This we believe is a natural consequence of their affinity with the Moslem world leaving aside the question of their personal ambitions or feelings. We wld be reluctant at this time (particularly in light of the fact that the Council will soon adjourn to Geneva) to approach the Pak Govt re Col. Rahim.4 We are inclined to believe that [Page 1628] strong stand against him and criticism his activities by AmEmb Karachi at this time might make Pak Govt irritated and consequently make your position vis-à-vis Rahim increasingly difficult. In any event we wld wish to have a clearly documented case before undertaking any action in Karachi.

Re Egypt policy, as carried out by Kamel Bey,5 Dept has been aware through your reports that he seems to have been attempting force situation where Tripoli wld have predominant control over all Libya and that Libya shld be unitary state, and that Egypt in turn might control Tripolitanians. As practical matter we doubt whether this cld be achieved by Egypts in view of (a) antipathy of Emir and Cyrenaicans toward control by Tripoli and (b) absence of any mandate in GA res that there wld be unitary state. In this connection, we note from Lidel 536 that Kamel Bey may now realize federal form govt only one acceptable Libyans.

(b) Dept hopes that current series Council mtgs Tripoli can be concluded soon and that UN Council can adjourn to Geneva. During cooling off period in Geneva and while Ramadan7 runs its course in Libya situation shld settle down considerably so that we can all determine in calmer atmosphere what courses of action shld be pursued.

  1. The situation was that the representatives of Pakistan and Egypt had used various tactics regarding the Council meetings such as nonattendance, tabling resolutions without advance notice to the other members, promising support for the resolutions of the U.S. representatives, and going back on such promises during the voting on various procedures and resolutions in the Council meetings. This was reported in Tripoli’s telegram 153, to the Secretary of State, not printed (357.AG/6–1550).
  2. Not printed.
  3. Cyrenaican political leader.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Col. Abdur Rahim Khan, Representative of Pakistan on the United Nations Advisory Council for Libya.
  6. Mohamed Kamel Selim Bey, Representative of Egypt on the Advisory Council for Libya.
  7. Not printed.
  8. The ninth month of the Moslem calendar. During that lunar month every Moslem is expected to fast from dawn to sunset.