741.56374/2–1554: Telegram

No. 1284
The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, at Berlin1

top secret

Tedul 52. Assume Secretary has had opportunity see copy joint estimate Egyptian situation by US and UK Embassies Cairo which we understand pouched to arrive Berlin Feb 10. Realize efforts he has been making with Eden, but believe he may wish consider usefulness one further approach along following lines:

Refer to joint estimate and indicate our assumption Eden and British Cabinet would be as reluctant as we are to go against judgment men on spot.
Express hope therefore that this will strengthen HMG against internal political opposition and make possible development of amended proposals which in judgment our two Embassies could be sold to Egyptians.
Indicate that if HMG unable seize present opportunity reach full agreement we would conclude UK believed price too high. We [Page 2218] are deeply apprehensive deterioration Egyptian situation which would ensue in this eventuality.
Under such circumstances would be necessary US revise tactics and concentrate on long term efforts to induce RCC accept British terms and in meantime refrain from precipitate action against British.
This would be most difficult and our effectiveness distinctly limited. If effort to have chance we would need to proceed with extension economic aid which Eden requested us withhold temporarily while UK made further effort to determine if agreement possible at this time.

  1. Repeated to Cairo as telegram 934 and to London as telegram 4209. Drafted by Burdett and Raynor and approved by Robert D. Murphy, the Deputy Under Secretary of State, after being cleared with Byroade and Bonbright.