Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 100

No. 947
United States Minutes of the Third Formal Session of the TrumanChurchill Talks, Washington, Cabinet Room of the White House, January 8, 1952, 11 a.m.—1 p. m. 2

top secret


  • U.S.
  • The President
    • Mr. Short
    • Mr. Murphy
    • Mr. Lloyd
  • Secretary Acheson
    • Mr. Matthews
    • Mr. Perkins
    • Ambassador Gifford
    • Mr. Bohlen
    • Mr. Knight
    • Mr. Berry
    • Mr. Allison
  • Secretary Lovett
    • General Bradley
    • Admiral Fechteler
  • Secretary Snyder
    • Mr. Willis
    • Mr. Harriman
  • U.K.
  • Prime Minister Churchill
    • Mr. Eden
    • Lord Cherwell
    • Lord Ismay
    • Ambassador Franks
    • Sir Norman Brook
    • Sir Roger Makins
    • Mr. Shuckburgh
    • Mr. Leishman
    • Mr. Colville
    • Mr. Pitblado
    • Mr. Gore-Booth
    • Mr. Mallaby
    • Field Marshal Sir William Slim
    • Admiral Sir Roderick McGrigor
    • Air Marshal Sir William Elliot
    • Sir Kenneth McLean
    • Mr. Burrows
    • Mr. Tomlinson

[Here follows discussion of the Middle East Command.]

2. Coordination of US–UK Policies in the Middle East: Egypt and Iran.

After saying that it was vital that the UK and the US understand each other on all these matters, the President asked Mr. Acheson to speak.

Referring to Egypt, the Secretary of State said that he and Mr. Eden had discussed this situation at some length Saturday night on the Williamsburg 3 and that he expected to have other talks with Mr. Eden while he was here. The prime purpose of these talks would be to work out a new four-power approach to Egypt.4 In view of the importance which the King of Egypt places on the matter this new approach should include his recognition as King of the Sudan. However, before granting this recognition to the King of Egypt, it would be necessary to assure ourselves of certain conditions beforehand. The King would have to agree to self-determination of the Sudan and to refrain from upsetting any Sudanese regime. He also would have to agree beforehand to accept the four-power proposal concerning the MEC 5 Although not mentioned as a pre-condition, Mr. Acheson said that the King of Egypt should cooperate in dispelling the existing misconceptions in Egypt concerning the nature of the original four-power proposal. He expressed confidence that he could reach agreement with Mr. Eden as to the [Page 1745] course of action to be followed by that it was not clear as to the best moment for breaking the present deadlock.

Mr. Eden stated that he agreed with much that Mr. Acheson had said. However, the King of Egypt does not want the four powers to move now. He thought it was very important to make it quite clear that there had been full agreement at this meeting on the line which should be pursued by the US and UK in relation to Egypt and that this might so influence the Egyptian Government that it might advance the date when a new four-power proposal could advantageously be made. According to the British Foreign Secretary, the main complication for the UK in recognizing King Farouk as King of the Sudan lay in the fact that such recognition would be generally interpreted throughout Egypt as British acceptance of the abrogation of the Treaty of 1899 and of the resulting condominium over the Sudan. To make possible British recognition of King Farouk as King of the Sudan it would first be necessary for the Egyptians to return to the terms of the Treaty of 1899 and abide thereby.

Mr. Churchill then stressed the importance of making fully clear in the communiqué UK–US agreement as to the policy to be followed in relation to Egypt.6

Mr. Eden added that it would also be helpful if the communiqué made it crystal clear that the US and the UK had made up their minds to proceed vigourously with the establishment of the MEC. This should have many beneficial effects throughout the Middle East area.

Mr. Truman requested Mr. Acheson to pursue his talks with Mr. Eden concerning Egypt and then referred to his grave worries over the Iranian situation.

[Here follows discussion of the situation in Iran, Korea, China, Formosa, Pacific Security, Indochina, British Recognition of Communist China, Southeast Asia, and Japan, and Nationalist China.]

  1. Prime Minister Churchill, Foreign Secretary Eden, and their staff came to Washington on Jan. 5, 1952, for a series of long, intimate, and frank discussions with President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, and their subordinates to consider the international problems facing the two governments and to review their often diverging attitudes and prescriptions for solving these difficulties. Consequently, the two sides made no real effort to reach decisions on issues. For documentation concerning these TrumanChurchill talks, see volume VI.
  2. The memorandum of that conversation is scheduled for publication in volume VI.
  3. For previous documentation regarding the origins and development of plans to establish a Middle East Command and the conjunctive decisions leading to the four-power approach to Egypt, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. V, pp. 1 ff. For further documentation regarding the continued interest of the United States in developing a regional security organization for the defense of the Near and Middle East, see Documents 55 ff.
  4. See footnote 4 above.
  5. The Joint Communique is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, Jan. 21, 1952, p. 83.