Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 158

Raynor Minutes1


Lord Salisbury reported that he had consulted London with respect to the proposal made by the U.S. at Saturday’s meeting.3 He found London “not happy about it”. He said the real difficulty involved the provision on the withdrawal of forces. The U.K. was ready to withdraw its forces and thinks Turki should also withdraw. He said the British feel that as long as Turki remains the feeling in Saudi Arabia that he has a right to be there will be reinforced.

Lord Salisbury said there had been a further development in the form of the receipt by the U.K. of a Saudi note to which the U.K. had already replied proposing the withdrawal of all forces to be followed at once by arbitration. He said that the U.K. had had intimations from Saudi representatives in London that this might possibly be acceptable if it were supported by the President. In summary the British do not wish to accept a plan which would give any credence to the belief that Turki is where he is by any right because they believe such a position to be without foundation.

Secretary Dulles said he wished to renew the suggestion he had made on Saturday and requested that it be considered further by the British. [Page 1687] He explained that the U.S. has extremely important relations with Saudi Arabia; i.e., the military base and oil (ARAMCO). He said we have had good working relationships with the Saudis, better than we have with any Arab country. …

Secretary Dulles recalled that the U.S. had persuaded the King to give up his position of solving this question by a plebiscite. The Secretary added that by suborning and similar methods the Saudis might well have won a plebiscite. As the function of suborning in preparation for a plebiscite was perhaps the real purpose of Turki’s presence, this objective seems to have already been frustrated and hence his remaining in the area seems to us now to be fairly innocuous.

Secretary Dulles appealed for British understanding and help on this question stating that our interests at stake were more important than the Turki question. He could not see that the British prestige involved could be as important as the U.S. relationship with Ibn Saud. He said the King had a simple outlook on things; I am your friend, you are my friend, and he couldn’t understand our lack of support on a question of this type. The Secretary added that he did not feel we would be able to move the King any further on this matter. He expressed the view that this was a relatively little thing from the U.K. standpoint and a relatively big thing from the U.S. standpoint.

Lord Salisbury replied that he could understand the above considerations and he would, therefore, have the matter considered further. He pointed out, however, that the Sheiks in the area who are under U.K. protection trust the U.K. and are old friends and that furthermore, the U.K. has definite treaties with the Sheiks under which they are obliged to protect them. He said this relationship in the Persian Gulf area was an important matter to the U.K.

Secretary Dulles said we also have an obligation to protect the Saudis.

Yarmuk development4

Lord Salisbury said he understood it to be the U.S. view that it would be more economical to combine the two schemes including the one involving Jordan. He said that under such a proposal Jordan would have to agree that their water be stored in Lake Tiberias which is under the control of Israel. He said this was an extremely difficult thing to ask them to do now and it would be awkward for them at any time. He believed, therefore, that political considerations in this case rather than economic would perforce have to be overriding.

Mr. Byroade said we had not yet reached a firm decision on this matter as we were awaiting the results of engineering studies.

Secretary Dulles said he did not know enough about this question to reach a decision at this meeting but that he would “take note” of what [Page 1688] Lord Salisbury said. (This was in reply to a request by Lord Salisbury seeking agreement to the position he had put forward.)

Removal of Israeli Foreign Office to Jerusalem

Secretary Dulles said that we were taking a position on this matter which he understood was similar to that of the U.K. We do not intend to move our Embassy to Jerusalem and we will probably wait for Israeli officials to come to our Embassy rather than to send Embassy representatives to Jerusalem for the conduct of business. He said after all we were considerably more important to them than they to us.

Lord Salisbury made no particular comment except to indicate that the British also do not plan to move their Embassy.

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet which stated that these minutes were prepared by Raynor, but had not been cleared or approved, and had been designated STB MIN 2/1 in the records of the Department of State. The cover sheet also shows that the participants in this part of the second meeting were the same as those in the first part; see the list on p. 1675.
  2. Further documentation on Buraimi is presented in “volume ix .
  3. For a record of this meeting, see STB MIN 1, p. 1631.
  4. Documentation on the Yarmuk River development program is presented in volume ix .