774.5 MSP/1–453: Telegram

No. 1070
The Ambassador in Egypt (Caffery) to the Department of State1


1566. Although Department 4399 to London, repeated Cairo 1324, answers many of questions raised by Byroade in his 3640 to Department repeated Cairo 185, following comments may be of help in dealing with British on this issue:

While US cannot accept British veto over our determination to proceed at once with interim aid program (on order of $10 million) both Department and Byroade seem to be in agreement that final formulation of list should take into account British views as expressed in course of current London talks. Meanwhile program could get under way without further delay by releasing relatively non-controversial items (e.g. armored cars, helmets, jeeps).
It was to be expected from beginning that British would attempt to retain initiative in their own hands in dealing with Egyptian question. London’s recent telegrams demonstrate that London FonOff has no clue as to pathological bitterness of Egyptian feeling towards British. Only very active US initiative offers promise of security kind of agreement we all want and need. We cannot hope successfully to undertake such a role unless we are prepared to provide immediate concrete demonstration of our confidence in Naguib. (Naguib’s acceptance of such aid, incidentally, will have effect of putting him publicly in Western camp.)
I presume British will be actively discouraged from thinking that appeal to Secretary can be expected to reverse wheels on interim aid which is keystone of our Egyptian policy. To do so would be to disregard in toto our own estimate of Egyptian situation and policy analysis as to best plan for dealing therewith. Furthermore, any public inkling of Anglo-American disagreement would redound to disadvantage of British. It would not hurt US position unless we gave into British pressure—in which case we would no longer have a position.

I fully concur with proposed text of paper set forth in London’s 3642 to Department, repeated Cairo 187.

  1. Repeated niact to London as telegram 531 for Byroade.