Editorial Note

Assistant Secretary of State McGhee visited Cairo on February 22–23, 1951 en route from the Middle East Chiefs of Mission meeting at [Page 348] Istanbul, February 14–21, to the South Asian Conference of Diplomatic and Consular Officers at Eliya Nuwara, Ceylon, February 26–March 2. Because of the brevity of his visit, McGhee held only one meeting with Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Salaheddin Bey who “was so much more interested in talking about Egyptian grievances in general and about Anglo-Egyptian negotiations in particular, and to a lesser degree about the Palestine problem, that Mr. McGhee had little opportunity to talk about the Istanbul Conference.” With respect to Palestine, Salaheddin “brought out nothing new.” With regard to Anglo-Egyptian negotiations, he warned McGhee of waning optimism and “emphasized that in case the negotiations failed he would be faced with a very difficult internal situation.” McGhee expressed the opinion that the negotiations would eventually be satisfactorily concluded. (Despatch 2027 from Cairo, February 26, 110.15 McG/2–2651) McGhee also held a press conference on the afternoon of February 22 at the USIE auditorium in Cairo, a transcript of which is in file 110.15 McG/4–351. McGhee and his party departed Cairo at 4:30 a. m. on February 23 for Bombay.

McGhee subsequently revisited Cairo at the end of March on his way to London and Washington, and a summary of his conversations with Egyptian officials were transmitted in telegram 1001, priority, from Cairo, April 1, page 352. A partial itinerary of McGhee’s tour through the Near East in February and March 1951 may be found in the editorial note, page 49.