Memorandum of Conversation, by the
Deputy Director of the Office of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian
- Middle East Command
- Mr. B. A. B. Burrows, Counselor, British Embassy.
- Mr. D. A. Greenhill, First Secretary, British Embassy.
- Mr. G. Lewis Jones, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, NEA.
- Mr. Edmund J. Dorsz, Deputy Director, GTI.
Mr. Jones handed to Mr. Burrows a copy of the attached memorandum entitled Middle East Command saying that we thought this was a good method of imparting our views on the two memoranda which the British handed to the Department on January 31.2 He emphasized our thinking to the effect that the British should unilaterally inform the Turks at the earliest possible moment of the British views on this subject and stressed the desirability of the Four MEC sponsoring Powers sharing thoughts on the question of holding a “preliminary” working-level meeting. Any such meeting should be quietly held. There might be other “preliminary meetings”. Developments in Egypt would have to govern whether a meeting might be held shortly after the forthcoming Lisbon North Atlantic Council meeting ends.[Page 189]
Mr. Jones expressed the thought that the British might advisedly ask the Turks for their views and suggestions with regard to the best way of bringing the Egyptians into such discussions as may be undertaken to launch the MEC organization.
Mr. Jones remarked that we were very fortunate in having Mr. McGhee at Ankara. He is very familiar with the Middle East Command question having closely handled every aspect of this matter from its inception until his departure from the Department last month. Further, Mr. McGhee is deeply interested in getting the Middle East Command underway at the earliest feasible time and in obtaining fullest possible Turkish participation in the endeavor. The British representatives acquiesced.
The British representatives indicated that their own personal reaction to most of the points in our memorandum was favorable. They would communicate our thoughts on an urgent basis to the Foreign Office and would let us know how the Foreign Office reacts. In the meantime, they thought it might be advisable to defer informing the French of our views unless the French should specifically ask us for our observations on the British approach.
- This memorandum of conversation was prepared on Feb. 8.↩
- Regarding these memoranda, see the memorandum of conversation, Document 58.↩
A Feb. 6 memorandum from Berry to Matthews, drafted by Jones, noted that this memorandum was prepared after two meetings on Feb. 5. The first was a meeting held in NEA at which RA, BNA, NE, GTI, and S/P presented their views, and the second was a discussion in Matthews’ office later in the day. No memoranda of those conversations have been found in Department of State files.
The Feb. 6 memorandum asked Matthews to approve calling in Burrows of the British Embassy and giving him a copy of the attachment “as promptly as possible since we think the British should approach the Turks with their ideas in the near future.” It also noted that Matthews was understood to have discussed the matter with General Bradley and that no further Defense clearance was required. Matthews wrote “I approve” in the margin. (780.5/2–652)↩