Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation, lot 64 D 199, “Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation, January-April 1953”

No. 1504
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Officer in Charge of Arabian Peninsula-Iraq Affairs (Fritzlan)



  • Meeting between the President and Prince Faisal.


  • The President
  • Prince Faisal
  • The Secretary
  • Sheikh Asad Al Faqih
  • Sheikh Ibrahim Suleiman
  • Sheikh Ali Alireza
  • Mr. John F. Simmons
  • Mr. A. David Fritzlan

On March 2, 1953, Prince Faisal, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister and second son of King Ibn Saud, called on the President to pay his respects and convey his father’s greetings.

At the outset, the President expressed his great personal feelings of friendship for the Arab nations and his interest in their welfare, economic development, etc. He stated that he was very pleased to be able to receive Prince Faisal and asked him to be good enough to convey his warmest personal greetings to his father the King. He was interested to learn that the Prince had spent several months in the United States and had visited the Mayo Clinic. He hoped they had found him in good health.

Prince Faisal indicated that he was indeed in good health generally and hoped that the President would be preserved in good health to serve his country and the world. He stated that he had especially prolonged his stay in the United States in order to pay a call on the new President, and added that in 1948 he had determined never to revisit the United States, but that after the November [Page 2519] 1952 elections which portended a change in administration, he had consented again to head the Saudi Arabian Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. He hoped that the advent of the new administration meant a change for the better in United States-Arab relations.

The President stated that it would be the policy of his administration to do everything possible to seek a restoration of the spirit of confidence and trust which had characterized our relations with the Arab nations until the last few years. He expressed the hope that the countries of the Near East would make great efforts to resolve their differences and live in peace together. He added that he and his associates would struggle to the utmost to gain a full understanding and appreciation of the Arab point of view.

The Secretary of State alluded to the press statement which had been prepared for release after Prince Faisal’s visit and found that it met the President’s approval. Prince Faisal expressed his concurrence, but wondered, if queried by the press, what he should say in regard to “matters of mutual interest” which the statement alluded to as having been discussed.

In reply, the President said that certainly one of the most important matters was maintaining the stability of the area and achieving a greater degree of peace and understanding between the various Near Eastern states. He mentioned as a second question the matter of the intellectual defeat of communism. He said that it was in the interest of Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states to take all possible steps to counter the spread of godless materialist forces of communism. Prince Faisal indicated his full agreement with the President’s remarks.

The Secretary raised the question of quoting statements made by the President in a press interview, and stated that it would be contrary to precedent for Prince Faisal to go into details. He added that the Prince might wish to take refuge in established practice in this regard.

After further expressions of good will and friendship between the President and the Prince, the President presented to His Royal Highness an autographed photograph of himself which he asked the Prince to deliver to King Ibn Saud. After a series of photographs of the President, the Secretary, Prince Faisal, and his group were taken, the meeting was terminated.