774.5 MSP/2–1953: Telegram

No. 1102
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Egypt1


1668. At his press conference, Feb 18, Secretary replied along following lines to question whether Department had plans for providing some limited economic and military help to Egypt:

There has been discussion of allowing the Egyptians to purchase here a small amount of military equipment of a type which would not be suitable for any war against Israel or anything of that sort. There has been no definite decision yet as to what Egyptians want or what could be spared.

If the press insists on amplification of the Secretary’s remarks, it has been agreed that statement by Department will be along these lines:

Secretary’s statement made it clear that amounts and types military equipment which Egypt sought to buy here under the Cash Reimbursable Military Assistance Agreement, concluded between the two governments on December 10, 1952,2 would not create a war potential against any other state. U.S. Government is firmly of the belief that Egypt harbors no aggressive intentions against state of Israel, just as Israel is believed to harbor none against Egypt.

If question should arise whether Secretary’s statements constitute further limitation on interim arms program for Egypt, answer should be negative. We plan no alterations on list furnished Egyptians and are continuing await their comments.3

  1. Repeated to London as telegram 5543 and by air pouch to Amman, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Jidda, and Tel Aviv. Drafted by Ortiz and was approved by Byroade.
  2. See Document 1045.
  3. Ambassador Caffery reported in telegram 1905 from Cairo, Feb. 20, not printed, that no publication had been made in Egypt of the Secretary of State’s remarks, undoubtedly because the Egyptian Government had imposed censorship. (774.56/22053)