357.AG/11–150: Telegram

The Consul General at Tripoli (Lynch) to the Secretary of State

122. While it may be correct to state as does Department’s 2136, October 24 to Paris1 that UN resolution passed, in ad hoc political committee October 19 does not basically alter GA resolution November 21, 1949, it would appear from here that it does alter the sense of original resolution in some respects. It sets up a timetable. It seems also to make acceptance of AC advice mandatory upon commissioner and it places much more emphasis on “unity” than did original resolution.

Committee 21, established by AC, has now completed job it was created to do (my unnumbered October 301). National Assembly has been named and November 25 date set for convening. Although far from perfect (i.e. absence of any opposition members on Cyrenaican list and absence small Kutla Party from Tripolitanian list) it might be expected that AC would welcome the step forward and encourage and assist new body get on with job preparing sound constitution. After long conversation with Abdur Rahim Khan, however, I have distinct impression there will be all-out attack in AC on National Assembly, spearheaded by Pakistan and Egypt. It will be based on section 3(a) proposed new resolution on grounds National Assembly not “duly representative of the inhabitants of Libya.” An effort will [Page 1635] be made, I believe, reopen whole question proportional representation on basis population three territories. Whether this attack succeeds in destroying already created machinery for constitutional development will probably depend on attitude Italian and minority representatives who during last session AC showed their willingness to fish in troubled waters.

I gathered from conversation with Rahim, although he did not specifically so state, that both Pakistan and Egypt would welcome complete breakdown constitutional development Libya and whole question returned UNGA where sentiment, Rahim said, was growing for short time UN trusteeship for Libya. Such a trusteeship, he added, while delaying independence by one or two years would ensure that new state was established along “sound lines” and would be “truly independent” and not simply a “tool” of a “foreign power or powers.”

While my speculations on line Pakistan and Egypt may take in AC may be unduly alarmist and even mistaken, I think Department should now give full consideration to possibilities set forth above. If I am right and we wait for reconvening AC November 28 it will probably be too late to take remedial action. The only way I can see to breakdown rather dangerous majority bloc which Egypt and Pakistan have been able command is by strongest pressure on Italy pointing out that breakdown constitutional development and returning of whole problem to GA would be damaging interest Western world as well as to Italian interests Libya.

[Repeated to] London 51, Paris 48, Rome 45, Geneva 24.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.