McGhee Files: Lot 53 D 468

Memorandum by the Ambassador-Designate to Israel ( Davis )1 to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs ( McGhee )


Subject: Call on the President

The President expressed great interest in our relations with Israel, stating that we wished of course to be as helpful as possible. He referred to the Arab refugee problem as the “crux of the matter,” saying that the question might tend to resolve itself if a program of aid to the countries where these refugees now find themselves could be worked out on a satisfactory basis. He added, however, that little progress seems to have been possible thus far in this direction.

He stated further that while we take a friendly interest in Israel we have to recognize that the aggressiveness of the Israelis occasionally needs to be restrained. He remarked at this juncture that our principal policy objective was of course to prevent any renewal of hostilities in the Near East, and that anything which I could do to keep the eastern end of the Mediterranean peaceful would be very welcome.

M[onnett] B. D[avis]
  1. President Truman formally appointed Mr. Davis Ambassador to Israel on February 1. He presented his credentials on February 26.