745W.00/2–453: Telegram

No. 1093
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Egypt1

priority niact

1585. Subject is Interim Arms Program for Egypt, reference London telegram 4308, repeated Cairo 226.

We have considered latest British proposals on Sudan received here this morning and, although one or two minor points might cause trouble, they do not appear to us to be of sufficient consequence to warrant withholding full US support these proposals unless you perceive overriding considerations not apparent here. Text of revision Article 100 is not available here but British informed [us?] that Stevenson instructed provide Caffery with all documents concerned. We have wired Cairo separately texts British left with us with exception Article 100.2

While we desire leave tactics and timing in hands of Caffery it is our understanding that Stevenson–Naguib meeting on British proposals will take place on Friday or Saturday. British have expressed hope that Caffery could see Naguib prior to this meeting.

We suggest Caffery consider adding to statement along lines in London telegram 4308 something to effect that disagreement on Sudan, accompanied by uneasiness of public opinion in West, caused to some extent by bellicose statements by members Military High Committee, has not been favorable factor in assisting US to move forward rapidly on question of arms assistance, and we are proceeding on basis satisfactory turn in Sudan negotiations will be accompanied by cessation threatening statements. It seems to us such an addition would be welcomed by British and could be phrased in manner which would indicate US has been impeded by factors over and above our control in attempting assist Egypt. This [Page 1982] might take away some of ill effect of giving appearance we rush forward now solely in an effort get agreement satisfactory to British.

In British report of DullesEden discussions there was a statement we had agreed that list of equipment should again be examined between HMG and US with a view towards eliminating items objectionable to British. Telecon with Holmes has confirmed this was part of the agreement. We have had considerable discussion here today with British on this subject as we do not wish be placed in a position of letting Caffery make a commitment which would in fact be impossible fulfill if British continue to insist that almost everything Egyptians really desire be deleted from list. We made point that if Caffery proceeded in manner suggested by British we could not agree that British would have a veto on items of equipment which might make it impossible for us to follow through. It was finally agreed after British telecon with London that they realized that we would have the final power of decision on the assumption we would go as far as possible to meet British comments on list. They agreed furnish comments quickly as possible.

Embassy London should therefore present to British our preferred list as contained in Deptel 5093, repeated Cairo 1559.3 We have also presented them here with our suggested further breakdown of remainder of items on list that was previously furnished British (Deptel 4806 to London, rptd Cairo 1457).4 We have divided remainder of larger list into two categories, i.e., (1) that we should avoid if at all possible and (2) items which are doubtful but on which there should be greater flexibility in dealing with Egyptians. These two lists will be transmitted separately and should be given British as well. We continue to hope that British realize difficulty in attempting to work out a list prior to views of Egyptians as to what they would desire included in a list totaling about $11 million.

It is assumed here that after Caffrey has made his commitment to Naguib and after we have received new British comments on list of equipment, we will open negotiations in Washington with Egyptian officers in attempt to work out a list.

  1. Repeated priority to London as telegram 5220. Drafted and approved by Byroade.
  2. Minister Holmes in London in telegram 4338, Feb. 6, not printed, transmitted the text of the revised version of Article 100 of the draft Sudan statute. It reads as follows:

    “A joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament shall be held immediately after it assembles, in order to consider what further special provision shall be made in this statute for the southern provinces. Its decision shall be in the form of a resolution adopted in accordance with the procedure in Article 101 below. This resolution shall be referred by the Governor General to the two govts, each of which must give answer within one month of the date of formal notice of the resolution. Unless the two governments agree to the contrary, the Governor General shall then make an order amending the statute in accordance with the resolution adopted by Parliament.” (745W.00/2–653)

  3. Not printed; see footnote 3, Document 1088.
  4. Not printed; see footnote 2, Document 1083.