Editorial Note

At its Seventh Session at Ottawa in September 1951 the North Atlantic Council recommended the admission of Greece and Turkey to NATO. President Truman promptly cabled Turkish President Bayar proposing preliminary conversations between Turkish and United States officials regarding the possible establishment of a Middle East Command. In transmitting this message, Ambassador Wadsworth asked President Bayar if Turkey would be willing to join the United States and United Kingdom in urging on Egypt acceptance of an invitation to participate as a founding member of the MEC. On September 25, Wadsworth reported that President Bayar would welcome the visit of an informal group to study the possible establishment of the MEC and warmly accepted the invitation to join the United States and United Kingdom in approaching Egypt at an early date regarding membership in the Middle East Command. However, the proposed tripartite invitation to Egypt waited upon the despatch to Ankara of a three-man military mission headed by General Bradley and including British Field Marshal Slim and French General Lecheres which was to discuss the proposed MEC with Turkish officials. This mission did not reach Turkey until October 13, by which date the Egyptian Government had formally abrogated the 1899 and 1936 Treaties with the United Kingdom regarding the Sudan and Suez. (See despatch 921 from Cairo, October 9, infra.) British, American, and Turkish officials, joined by the French, determined to press the MEC invitation upon Egypt, and it was formally tendered on October 13. The Egyptian Government formally rejected the invitation on October 15. For documentation regarding the formulation of the MEC invitation to Egypt and Egypt’s rejection of the invitation, see pages 1 ff.