Memorandum of Conversation Prepared in the Department of Defense


Subject: Call by His Royal Highness, Prince Misha’al, Minister of Defense, Saudi Arabia

Participants: Secretary Lovett
Prince Misha’al, Minister of Defense
Saudi Arabia Ambassador, Sheikh Asad Al-Faqih
Mr. Akram Ojjeh, Personal Aide
Brigadier General Day, USAF, Escort Officer
Major DesVoigne, USAF, Interpreter
Lt Colonel Erwin, USAF, Foreign Liaison, Air Force
Captain G. Serpell Patrick, USN, Office of Foreign Military Affairs

At 3:30 p. m. Friday, 14 December 1951, His Royal Highness Prince Misha’al, Minister of Defense Saudi Arabia, called to take formal leave of Secretary of Defense prior to his departure for Saudi Arabia. As Prince Misha’al did not speak English, all conversation was conducted either through the interpreter or the Saudi Arabian Ambassador.

Prince Misha’al expressed his appreciation for the very many kindnesses extended to him during his visit here in the United States. Mr. Lovett inquired regarding the details that were observed on the tour of defense installations. General Day explained that they had seen a very good cross section of the armed forces training centers in which the Minister of Defense was especially interested. Mr. Lovett referred to the training films and training devices which had assisted immensely in reducing accidents, particularly, he recalled, in the operation of the B–26. He felt that the Saudi Arabian armed forces could profit immensely by the use of such aids prior to the arrival of actual equipment.

In regard to MDAP, it was pointed out that it was necessary that the United States military mission in Saudi Arabia should first assist in the reorganization of the army and secondly proceed with the replacement of equipment by those items which would be provided from the United States.

The Secretary asked Prince Misha’al if there was anything that he could do for him between now and his departure from the United States. Prince Misha’al thanked him and said that they were anxious to move ahead in equipping and training their army as rapidly as possible. The Secretary noted that the military mission would arrive in Saudi Arabia in January 1952. The Prince emphasized the fact that it was to both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia’s mutual benefit that Saudi [Page 1072] Arabia be better equipped to defend itself against Communist aggression.

General Day stated that on his recent visit with King Ibn Saud the King had told him that there were no Communists in Saudi Arabia. The King stated, “If you could find a Communist in Saudi Arabia, I will hand you his head.”

Prince Misha’al, his party and Secretary Lovett, then went into the dining room where pictures were taken after which the visitors departed.