774.5/3–753: Telegram

No. 1112
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1

top secret

5956. Part 1 of 2. Major portion Secy’s mtg with Eden, Mar 6, devoted discussion problem negots Egypt. UK indicated desire start promptly but confirmed Cabinet unwilling go beyond case “A”2 except for minor modifications. Eden expressed strongly view anything much less than “A” which wld not provide base too risky defense point of view. Also political impossibility in UK. Expressed view Brit rather stay in Canal present basis than to give up treaty rights in exchange for arrangement which to UK meant no base or inoperative base in time war.

Secy urged strongly need for greater flexibility in view of our belief Egyptians practically certain reject plan “A”. He indicated we wld have to restudy without military question all-out support shld negots be restricted to case “A”. He said we wld not feel we cld be completely identified therewith pending further study.

In further meeting at White House it was agreed Eden wld put to London for approval following formula:

Verbatim text. “Negotiations with the Egyptian Govt will be undertaken in Cairo by representatives of the two Govts, including military officers of high rank. The objective will be to secure an agreement on the basis of case “A”. Should this prove impossible, the U.S. Govt wish to make it clear that in their view, it may be necessary to fall back on an arrangement lying between case “A” and case “B”2 and in the last resort on case “B”. If the Egyptians prove completely intransigent, a new situation will be created which the two Govts will discuss.”

It was pointed out to Brit that U.S. participation in UK–Egyptian negots arising out of treaty relationship wld depend on friendly desire Egyptian Govt to receive U.S. participation. Eden confident Egyptian Govt wld welcome U.S. participation.

Brit informed at White House mtg military representative will be General Hull who will be designated military adviser to Caffery.

Part 2 this tel (Deptel 5957) will contain further analysis of special interest Cairo.

[Page 2010]

Secy raised with Eden problem of need for developing peace between Israel and Arab states. Genl agreement reached that shld Egyptian negots go well stage wld be reached where this issue cld be raised actively as Naguib wld then feel strong enough begin deal with it. Also agreed solution refugee problem on resettlement basis important aspect this problem.

Secy pointed out new administration requires additional time study MEDO plan before it can be committed to it. Raised question as to wisdom giving Arabs virtual veto on possible admission Israel. Question adherence Pakistan also discussed and general sentiment both sides appeared to be unwise have Pakistan initial member particularly in view probable complications with India.

  1. Also sent priority to Cairo as telegram 1775. Drafted by G. Hayden Raynor, Director, Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs, and approved by James C. H. Bonbright, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs.
  2. See Document 1061.
  3. See Document 1061.