774.5/3–1053: Telegram

No. 1118
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Egypt 1

top secret

1793. Department informed by British Embassy Cabinet approval given for negotiations with Egypt on basis formula quoted Deptel 1775 to Cairo, 5956 to London Mar 7, as modified and interpreted by White House discussion with Eden reported Deptel 1785 to Cairo, 5989 to London Mar 9. Cabinet approval based on understanding formula constitutes part of “package” approach of five phases of negotiations as listed on Page 11 to London papers.2 British Embassy states Stevenson instructed concert with Caffery in approach Egyptian Government.

For information Caffery, Department concurs that approach he outlined in Cairo 2022, repeated London 683,3 as being best method of approach. In view of apparent strong feelings of Churchill on this matter, we believe further attempts on governmental level to clarify this point on tactics likely to be unproductive. From our knowledge of Stevenson’s instructions, we believe it may not be impossible for him to agree locally to follow your suggestion. We believe next step therefore is that you consult with Stevenson to work out best possible approach. Whatever decision is made between you with regard to formal approach, you have our authority to make such additional informal approaches as you consider wise. The President was very clear in his remarks to Eden that we would participate in the negotiations only upon Egyptian concurrence and invitation.

British Embassy has been informed that last paragraph of proposed Foreign Office press release (London tel 5018, March 10, repeated Cairo 269)4 unacceptable to us. It has been agreed with Makins that the last paragraph should be dropped and that wording of penultimate paragraph should be along following lines: “In view of American interest in the questions involved, HMG and the Egyptian Government have suggested that the US Government participate in the discussions. The US Government has agreed to do so. To this end, General Hull, Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army, will be a member of the US Delegation”.

[Page 2017]

Last paragraph of proposed US press release sent Cairo as Deptel 17895 and being repeated to London has been changed as follows: The Honorable Jefferson Caffery, American Ambassador to Egypt, will be the principal American representative in the talks and General John E. Hull, Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army, has been designated as a special military adviser to the Ambassador. General Hull expects to leave for Cairo on March6 1953.

It has been agreed with the British that it probably would be desirable to have simultaneous releases in Washington, London and Cairo providing Egyptians plan a release. It has also been agreed that the timing of such release should be recommended by Cairo.

We as well as the British here have been surprised at status given Slim in proposed London press release. This will in no way change the CafferyHull relationship as specified in the US release. It should be understood, however, that on technical military matters regarding base arrangements, the understanding of the two Governments is that Slim and Hull will have freedom to obtain best deal possible within their terms of reference as specified above.

We have now been informed that Slim probably cannot depart before Sunday. Unless there is some change in this General Hull will probably likewise not depart before that date. You will be kept informed.

  1. Repeated priority to London as telegram 6032. Drafted and approved by Byroade.
  2. The reference is to Paper No. 3 of the United States–United Kingdom Talks on Egypt. See footnotes 2 and 3, Document 1082.
  3. See footnote 3, supra .
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. The day of the month was left blank on the source text.