745W.00/10–1352: Telegram

No. 1016
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Department of State1


2161. FonOff today gave us fol account of Eden’s interviews Oct 11 with SAR and Ashigga delegation:

Eden emphasized to both delegations that no change UK pledges to Sudanese. He added that UK desirous see Sudanese achieve self-govt and told them in confidence that HMG wld shortly reply to Governor General substantially accepting new constitution. (FonOff informs us that this info conveyed delegation on basis Stevenson’s report that in his Oct 9 conversation with Naguib, latter had indicated he saw no objection UK transmitting its reply to Governor General. In view somewhat contrary info subsequently reported by Brit Emb on basis conversations covered by Cairo’s 921, Oct 12, FonOff reconsidering position. Working level thinking is that UK might submit reply soon with provision reserving right submit further views when terms Egyptian reply known.2)

FonOff states that SAR pressed Eden to set date for self-determination. Eden took line that this was matter for Sudanese themselves to decide after self-govt attained. SAR also taxed Brit with support Social Republicans and asked for changes in number of seats in new parliament to be chosen by direct election. SAR maintained system of indirect elections, particularly in north, favored Social Republicans at his expense and intimated he felt this deliberate on part of Brit. FonOff has told us it is doubtful further changes cld be made in proportion direct to indirect elections.

Ashigga delegates left memo which maintained whole constitution was farce and requested that no steps be taken toward implementing it until all Brit officials and troops removed from Sudan and plebiscite held. They announced their intention of refusing participate in elections on the new constitution. Eden took line that suspension constitutional steps wld mean undoing all progress which has been made in recent months in Sudan and that HMG [Page 1871] cld not agree. He urged Ashigga to participate in elections, but apparently made no impression.

  1. Repeated to Cairo as telegram 112.
  2. In telegram 2216, Oct. 15, not printed, Ambassador Gifford informed the Department that while the British had not as yet reached a final decision regarding the substance of their reply to the Governor General about the Sudanese constitution, the Foreign Office working-level recommendations to Eden were in fact reflecting the thinking outlined in telegram 2161. (745W.00/10–1552)