641.74/1–2852: Telegram

No. 955
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


3566. 1. Pls tell Eden we warmly welcome his general ideas (Embassy’s 3259, Jan 28) and that we will do all we can to help.

2. We have had a very close shave and believe we shld take advantage of present opportunity which may not last long. Furthermore, Maher may be our last chance. For this reason we are all the more pleased with Eden’s initiative.

3. It seems to us that the most important thing at this moment is to get the talks going, and we wld be prepared to participate if UK and Egypt so desired. We think it doubtful however if situation would be met by discussions limited to Four-Power Proposals and believe that they shld include the Sudan and any other outstanding points. General order of discussions we have in mind outlined to Egyptian Amb by Secretary (para 5 Deptel 3460, Jan 22.)2

4. We are certain that Eden will share our belief that King has been key figure in recent days and that without his strong action situation would have got completely out of hand. It seems to us that he deserves all the support and encouragement we can give him at this critical moment. In our view this might take form of early recognition of him as “King of Sudan”. We do not think Foreign Office position re title (Emb’s 3253, Jan 26)3 goes far enough [Page 1759] to have beneficial effect. Both Caffery and Stevenson set great store by Sudan question.

5. We are far from being out of the woods, but we think that by working together we may find a path.

6. For further Dept views see Deptel 1098 to Cairo rptd London 3565.

  1. Repeated to Cairo as telegram 1099. Drafted and approved by Jones.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed. In telegram 3253 from London, Jan. 26, Holmes reported that the Foreign Office was continuing its reassessment of its previous Sudan and defense proposals. With regard to the specific issue of Farouk’s claim to be King of the Sudan, the British were maintaining their previous position that they were unable to recognize this demand but would no longer raise objections if other states acceded to the Egyptian claim. (641.74/1–2652)