357.AG/9–1951: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

top secret

1662. 1. In principle Dept favors acceleration declaration Libyan independence (re London’s tel 1442 Sep 19)2 so it will precede GA Polit Comite discussion of Libya agenda item. Consequently Dept favors necessary acceleration all prelim arrangements, including transfer of powers, and wld support administering powers this connection. Re Nov 1 date, Dept wld point out that the later independence is declared, the more unwarranted will be the inevitable charges of rigging; and urges maximum flexibility be retained re date, as Dept not as worried as FonOff that Libyan item cannot be put lower on polit comite agenda. In other words, Dept agrees acceleration process shld be set in motion now but urges retention as long as possible of discretion in setting independence date. Of course working target date such as latter part Nov wld appear desirable from all points of view.

2. In Dept’s view timing of Libyan elections is matter for Provisional Libyan Govt to determine. Dept fully concurs in Clark’s view that govt established in accordance Constitution approved by Natl Assembly is “duly constituted.”

3. Dept wld prefer avoid even consultative role for Pelt after independence but wld agree this if proves necessary to obtain his acceptance acceleration plan and provided Provisional Govt Libya agrees. In view serious consequences which wld follow Pelt rejection of proposed consultative role after independence, Dept hopes every effort will be made convince Pelt of merits this course action. If Pelt adamant, Dept wld make decision in light situation that time.

4. Dept concerned over probable complications which will arise out of UK effort insert in transfer of powers proclamation their proposed clause permitting Provisional Libyan Govt conclude interim agreements (re London’s tel 1462 Sep 21).2 Dept concurs entirely in Clark’s views in Lidel 180 Sep 23, rptd London tel 51, Tripoli 18.2 Dept also inclined agree clause proposed by Pelt (para two urtel 1462) is sufficient. Dept’s concern increased by such reports as United Press desp Alexandria Sep 19 in which Azzam Pasha announced Arab League opposition to any Anglo-Libyan agreement by which Brit force wld [Page 1334] remain Libya after independence. This report cited here merely to indicate extent to which Arab League position this subject cld cause trouble if such UK-Libyan arrangements publicly formalized prematurely.

  1. Drafted by Cyr; cleared by UNP; repeated for information to Geneva (for Clark) and to Tripoli.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.