780.022/10–1852: Telegram

No. 1487
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


2758. SA Amb Shaikh Asad called on UnSecy Bruce today at latter’s request to receive Dept’s promised report on results US informal efforts abate critical situation Buraimi. Shaikh Asad however began conversation by citing msg from King stating Brit by acts not indicating genuine acceptance standstill arrangement but delaying resumption talks and continuing their interference with Saudi subjects Buraimi area. (He was not specific re interference.) King had therefore proposed US arrange for a tripartite comm (US, UK and SAG members) to proceed Buraimi area to verify situation including status of allegiances.2

Bruce cool to this proposal on grounds: (1) arrangement for and despatch such comm if possible at all wld be very time consuming and (2) US felt by acceptance both UK and SAG of standstill proposal [Page 2490] and resumption talks main requirement now was calmness patience good faith and immed pursuance bilateral negots. Dept understood Amb Pelham had just returned Jidda and cld be expected to have instructions permitting quick prelim contact with SAG to prepare for resumption talks. In any case unwise change rules at this favorable stage of proceedings. US Govt believed SAG shld give direct talks a chance as US Govt convinced good faith UK. US Govt had been in constant touch with Brit here London and SA and had made abundantly clear to UK its serious concern Buraimi situation. It had also intended send AmConGen Dhahran to Muscat to express US concern to Sultan but had postponed orders on learning of strong UK representations to Sultan and visit Brit Consul Sohar.3 (Shaikh Asad expressed hope US wld send emissary to Muscat as King pleased this idea.)

Shaikh Asad again voiced concern over Brit delay in resuming direct talks and asked where they wld be held noting Shaikh Yusuf Yassin due New York City about Nov one, Prince Faisal later.4 Bruce replied we had no info yet as to UK ideas re locus talks but assumed Pelham might have instrs this regard.

Dept hopes UK will now hasten resumption direct talks with SAG in interest re-demonstrating its good faith. Suggest immed prelim contact Pelham with King to discuss time and place.5 Thereafter shld direct early negots prove impossible to arrange or shld they demonstrate their own futility at early stage Dept wld be ready propose arbitration as own idea to SAG. To emphasize seriousness of US concern Dept obtained auth show to Brit Emb Secret Presidential ltr dated Oct 31, 1950 to King Ibn Saud. Emb officer took notes. Shaikh Asad not informed but Amb Hare herewith authorized inform SAG his discretion. King’s reply not shown to Brit.

  1. Drafted by Hart and cleared by NEA and BNA. Repeated to Jidda and Dhahran.
  2. In telegram 252 from Jidda, Oct. 19, the Ambassador reported a meeting the previous day in which the Crown Prince transmitted a message from the King asking for a tripartite committee. Ambassador Hare said he would transmit the King’s message to the Department of State but, since he had personally assumed responsibility for framing the three-point proposal being implemented, he suggested the parties concerned should emphasize making that plan work. (780.022/10–1952) For details of the plan, see telegram 91, Document 1481.
  3. Telegram 101 to Dhahran, repeated as 203 to Jidda and 2587 to London, Oct. 12, not printed. (780.022/10–652)
  4. They were planning to attend the Seventh Regular Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
  5. Telegram 2303 from London, Oct. 20, reported that details had been arranged with the Sultan of Muscat, and Pelham had gone to Riyadh with instructions to gain agreement on the remaining details of the standstill agreement. He was also to discuss with the Saudis the best way to resume direct conversations. (780.022/10–2052)