Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 156

No. 18
Memorandum of Conversation, Prepared in the Embassy in Jordan1

ST D-3/3


  • Jordan


  • United States
    • Mr. John Foster Dulles
    • Mr. Joseph C. Green
    • Mr. Talcott W. Seelye
  • Jordan
    • Dr. Hussein Khalidy, Minister of Foreign Affairs

After an exchange of greetings, the Foreign Minister asked the Secretary if he wished to ask any questions or make any statement.

The Secretary began with a review of the situation in Egypt in which he expressed his Government’s concern for an immediate settlement of the problems existing between Egypt and Great Britain. He stated that the U.S. sympathizes with Egypt’s aspirations but feels that Egypt should appreciate the tremendous investment Great Britain has made in its Suez bases and should try to understand the meaning of the loss of these bases to Great Britain. He said that the problem is not just one between Egypt and Great Britain but, since it concerns the vital artery of the Suez, it is a [Page 49] matter of world importance with broad ramifications. Among many factors involved in this issue, he said, is the age-old balance of power.

The Secretary continued by suggesting that, since Jordan maintains such close ties with both Great Britain and Egypt, it might well use its good offices to help effect a reasonable and satisfactory settlement. He said that it was after all to Jordan’s interests that a reasonable solution be found, for Jordan must certainly be concerned—as is the U.S.—with stability in the area. Stability, however, could not be assured, stated the Secretary, if Egypt acted in an intransigent manner in the search for a solution.

The Secretary took up the question of relations between Israel and the Arab states. He asserted that Israel was adversely affected by the economic blockade imposed on her by the Arab states, particularly through loss of oil revenues. For this reason he felt it was to Israel’s interest to make peace. The Secretary stressed the fact that the U.S. as yet has no ready formula for peace but that he hoped upon his return to the U.S. he would be able to convey to the President some ideas based on his Near Eastern trip. He said that a peace based on the UN Resolutions of 1947 was impractical and impossible of achievement and that he hoped the Arab states would agree to a settlement on more moderate terms. He anticipated that these terms would include, inter alia, some sort of boundary rectification and a determination of the status of Jerusalem.

The Secretary emphasized that he hoped the Foreign Minister would not misconstrue the Secretary’s visit with the Israeli Prime Minister in Jerusalem to mean a change in U.S. policy concerning the status of Jerusalem. The U.S. continues to advocate some kind of international status for the city, he said, and his meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister in Israeli-held Jerusalem had no political significance whatsoever. He added that he had again strongly urged the Prime Minister to keep the Israeli Foreign Office in Tel Aviv and not to move it to Jerusalem.

The Secretary went on to state that he was naturally disturbed by the border troubles existing between Israel and Jordan. He mentioned that the Prime Minister had earlier expressed to him his great concern with the border situation and that the day before the Israeli Foreign Minister had done the same. He said he thought concerted measures should be adopted by both sides to eliminate border friction. The Secretary indicated that the establishment of joint roving patrols might possibly be of some help in the matter.

The Secretary then discussed briefly the U.S. position in world affairs, pointing out that prodigious internal expansion had thrust the U.S. into a position of world leadership. He contrasted the U.S. economic policy in Europe with that of the Soviet Union. An example [Page 50] of the difference, he said, is the Soviet Union’s technique of draining its satellites of raw materials and making them economically dependent upon the USSR, compared with the U.S. policy of making Europe independent of U.S. economic support. The Secretary said that, although the U.S. has had a policy for such areas as Europe and Latin America, its lack of a policy for the Near East has been conspicuous. He stated that the U.S. Government is now in the process of correcting this situation. After all, he pointed out, the Arab-speaking states have a large population and command an impressive stretch of territory from the Atlantic side of North Africa far eastwards. Thus it behooves the U.S. to adopt a firm and constructive policy with respect to this area.

The Secretary closed by saying that in his earlier talk with the Prime Minister the latter had done all the talking and he the listening. Now he had reversed the process and what he had said to the Foreign Minister was, in a sense, a reply to the Prime Minister. He said he hoped, therefore, that the Foreign Minister would convey to the Prime Minister the essence of what he had said to him.

The Foreign Minister then thanked the Secretary for his remarks and stated that he, for his part, had done his talking to Mr. Stassen. He hoped that Mr. Stassen would convey to the Secretary the substance of his remarks because they were a summary statement of what he would have said to the Secretary had there been time.

  1. This meeting took place in the office of the Foreign Minister.