Secretary’s Memoranda: Lot 53D444

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

Participants: Sir Zafrullah Khan1
Secretary Acheson

Sir Zafrullah asked to see me alone and raised three topics.

He reported that Ambassador Ispahani had been active in trying to help Mr. Garner2 of the World Bank make an approach to Mossadeq.3 At this point I told him we were sympathetic with the approach and would try to help it. I thought the Bank should try to work out a more specific plan.
He said that he had had several talks with the foreign ministers and prime minister of Egypt. He had urged them to not to press the Arab countries to reject the MEC proposals, but, on the other hand, [Page 2228]to permit, if not encourage them, to cooperate in the hope that Egypt later on could come in and perhaps in this way matters could be worked out. He said the Prime Minister was sympathetic with the idea, but he could not see that there were any very concrete results as yet.4
He said that the Pakistan representative in Washington now on arms matters had been told that the Pakistanis must make up their minds where the country stood in case of trouble. He asked me whether I could say anything helpful to him on this point, not for official purposes but to guide his mind. He then told me about a talk which he had had in New York with Assistant Secretary McGhee.

I said that I presumed that the persons asking these questions had in mind that arms were scarce, that we had many demands upon us, and that we wished to have some idea how useful arms would be to the general cause if sold or transferred to Pakistan. This is what they meant, I supposed by “What would Pakistan do with them?” We knew that Pakistan would say that what it could do was very much affected by its relations with India.

Sir Zafrullah then said that, thinking aloud, and not speaking officially, he believed Pakistan would say to us in this theoretical conversation, that it was inconceivable that Pakistan could ever be on the Soviet side in the event of trouble. The question then arose could it be openly and militarily upon our side in advance of any trouble. If it should do this, it would have to recognize that it became a target of Russian animosity, perhaps regardless of immediate Russian interest in Pakistani. Therefore two questions would arise: To what extent could Pakistan be assured of support if it should be attacked by India? He was quite aware that it could not lack for any support if Pakistan was the source of the trouble. The second question was: What would its relations be with the Western Powers? Here, it was Sir Zafrullah’s idea that Pakistan would wish them to be very close and not through some loose arrangements, such as had been proposed to the Middle East states.

I thanked him for these thoughts, which both agreed were merely exchanges of friends.

  1. Zafrullah Khan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations of Pakistan.
  2. Robert L. Garner, Vice President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
  3. Mohammad Mossadeq, Iranian Prime Minister.
  4. For related documentation, see pp. 1650 ff.