641.74/9–151: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Egypt 1


313. During call on McGhee Aug 30 Egypt Amb discussed Anglo-Egypt problem and referring recent exchanges between Morrison and Nahas expressed hope acceptable proposals wld soon be made by UK. Amb said he ready fly Cairo shld anything concrete result from Secy–Morrison mtgs.2

McGhee reiterated our view this problem principally Anglo-Egypt and stressed need for continuation negots. He made clear US wld view with disfavor unilateral act by Egypt abrogate 1936 Treaty. McGhee then in most general way indicated consideration being given to possibility some multilateral arrangement to replace bilateral framework Anglo-Egypt defense. Nothing definite yet worked out and US not in position this time be more precise. In response to query re Amer participation such arrangement McGhee said “US giving serious thought.” He emphasized US support admission Turk, Greece to NATO3 and MSP4 as tangible evidences US concern defense NE area. Amb expressed interest and recalled he had originally suggested such approach as solution Anglo-Egypt problem. He assumed that such multilateral arrangement wld mean evacuation Brit troops. McGhee replied it wld seem mistake to weaken defense arrangements by such evacuation since Egypt forces not present in position assume responsibility. Amb inquired re possible Israel participation in broader arrangement and McGhee expressed hope Israel in due course cld be brought into ME defense arrangement. Amb expressed view this extremely difficult if not impossible at present.

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McGhee again stressed that no decisions had been taken re such developments, but possibility existed re broadening framework present defense arrangements.

FYI only. Turk Amb was also informed in gen terms re possibility multilateral arrangement and he discussed question later on own initiative with Egypt Amb. He reported latter receptive but determined that Brit troops shld be replaced by others.

Unless FonMin queries you re Amb conversation with McGhee, you shld not discuss above with him at this time.

  1. Drafted and transmitted by Stabler. Cleared by Moore of GTI and by S/S1. Repeated to London.
  2. Reference is to the forthcoming meetings of the Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom, and France, at Washington, September 10–14; for documentation, see vol. iii, pt. 1, pp. 1163 ff.
  3. For documentation on the admission of Greece and Turkey to NATO, see ibid., pp. 460 ff.
  4. For documentation on the formulation of the Mutual Security Program, see vol. i, pp. 266 ff. For documentation on proposed aid to the Arab states and Israel under the Mutual Security Program, see pp. 1 ff.