784A.13/2–751: Telegram

The Chargé in Israel ( Ford ) to the Department of State


466. Re Deptel 312, February l.1 At roundtable discussion February 6 my home with UK, French, Turk and Australian Ministers,2 consensus on Jerusalem was substantially that indicated first paragraph reference telegram to effect each mission favors confining official contact with Israeli Government in Jerusalem to strictly ad hoc basis limiting all such contacts to business of urgent or special technical nature. It was agreed that no statement, formal or otherwise, would be volunteered to Israeli Government in above sense. (Previous informal talks on separate occasion with Ministers Belgium, Italy, Yugoslavia and Swiss Consul General had3 revealed agreement in principle with foregoing).

In this connection, British Minister said arrangements already made official visit Prime Minister his office Jerusalem and attendance Prime Minister’s official dinner Jerusalem by himself and Sir Brian Robertson during latter’s forthcoming visit Israel.

Re second and third paragraphs reference telegram Sharett told me during luncheon discussion February 3 that as long as he was Foreign Minister he would neither ask nor expect hundred or more families comprising his Ministry to move to Jerusalem until adequate housing was ready for them. Thus while reiterating that move to Jerusalem had ceased be matter principle and was solely matter physical convenience, (Embdes 398, February l)4 he said that since virtually no housing was ready at present and since it would take at least one year prepare such housing, figure of 12 months could be taken as basis for calculations on how soon foreign diplomatic corps might expect be asked set up shop in Jerusalem.

Embassy’s opinion is that in normal course events Israeli Foreign Office and hence Diplomatic Corps will not leave Tel Aviv for at least another year to 18 months. Meanwhile, Embassy accepts and will be guided by Department’s decision permit occasional official contact government officials Jerusalem at discretion chief of Mission and without prejudice any subsequent UN action on issue.

  1. This telegram, drafted by Mr. Waldo of NE and cleared also by UNP, reads in part: “Re Jerusalem Dept opposed moving Emb Tel Aviv Jerusalem until GA has considered question at next session. Dept prepared authorize Emb reps go Jerusalem as necessary carry on official business with Israel Govt officials.” (784A.5/1–2351)
  2. Sir Knox Helm, Edouard-Felix Guyon, Seyfullah Esin, and O. C. W. Fuhrman, respectively.
  3. Jean E. S. Dubois, Raimondo Giustiniani, Nokola Milicevic, and Dr. Paul Ritter, respectively.
  4. Not printed.