745A.56/3–2151: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Gifford ) to the Department of State

top secret

5030. African Dept, Foreign Office, would like if possible know how soon and what action likely be taken on South African request to US for capital equipment for one armored division, which is to be used on outbreak war in Middle East defense. South African commitment provide divisional force and some squadrons to Middle East was made contingent on obtaining necessary equipment.1 UK concerned lest South Africa find some excuse for changing its mind and therefore extremely anxious equipment needs be filled from some source as quickly as possible.

Australia and New Zealand have also agreed supply troops to Middle East defense in event war and Commonwealth defense talks on Middle East are scheduled for sometime May or June.

  1. Regarding the South African undertaking summarized here, see also the editorial note, p. 1427.