Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 184

Memorandum of Conversations, by Henry A. Byroade
secret

The Secretary informed me that he had discussed certain matters in connection with Middle East with Eden informally on the mornings of December 6 and 7. These were as follows:

Egypt 1

Eden apparently informed the Secretary that they could not, politically, make any further concessions with the Egyptians. He stated that they had assumed which ever side won out on the Sudanese elections would be the side that should make future concessions. As the elections had gone against the British, Parliamentary opposition in London had increased. The Zionists had largely captured the Labor Party, and there was a revolt in the Conservative Party. He felt that there might be some compromise on the wording of availability formula so long as it kept the UN principle; but did not think they could give way at all on the subject of uniforms.2

The Secretary informed Eden that we could not wait much longer in extending economic aid to Egypt. He used the date of January 1 to be the deadline upon which we would have to act. Eden seemed to accept this as inevitable, but hoped some concessions might be made by the Egyptians which would allow agreement to come by the time they knew we would extend assistance. The Secretary agreed we would make a “push” for this.

In a subsequent conversation Eden asked the Secretary why we could not extend more aid to Iran instead of to Egypt.3 The Secretary replied that this would not help us in trying to balance our position between the Arab States and Israel, and would not meet the requirements of Egypt which was a completely different subject.

Military Assistance to Pakistan 4

The Secretary reported that Eden had queried him on our intentions of providing military assistance to Pakistan. The Secretary told him [Page 1808] of the status of the problem, and that a decision had not yet been reached by the President.

Eden apparently urged caution on this problem but seemed more concerned with the reaction in Afghanistan than in India. This was presumably because of the border problem between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  1. Documentation on the Anglo-Egyptian dispute is presented in volume ix .
  2. Under reference here is the availability of the base at Suez to British forces in the event of war in the Middle East and whether British technicians in the Canal Zone should wear British uniforms. Documentation regarding these questions is ibid .
  3. Documentation on U.S. aid to Iran is presented in volume x .
  4. Documentation on U.S. military assistance to Pakistan is presented in volume xi .