774.00/2–152: Telegram

No. 956
The Ambassador in Egypt (Caffery) to the Department of State1

secret

1234. It is apparent that throughout recent events in Egypt two separate courses have been developing.

The immed Egypt “experiment” originating after unilateral abrogation treaty of 1936 on Oct 8, 1951 was whether utilization of terrorism and destruction wld prove an effective aid in achievement Egypt’s well defined national aspirations. It is not yet possible to say that this “experiment” is at an end but at the moment it wld appear that the use of force has received substantial setback in Egypt popularity.

More fundamental than the recent exercises in violence has been the ever-growing determination of Egyptians as whole to achieve their national aspirations. This determination has in no wise been affected by the substitution of one govt for another though it may well be that such substitution presages a change in approach. By their actions on Jan 26 and earlier the extremists and the Wafd Govt demonstrated that they were prepared destroy Egypt’s economic and social well being if doing so would bring them to a quicker realization of Egypt’s aims. It is probable in view of the records of the men who comprise the new govt that they will be less precipitous in their actions even if no less resolved on their objectives. The new govt is at least known to be strongly anti-Communist even if not actually pro-Western. This in itself is a definite gain. So long as the new govt is able to stand, its very existence [Page 1760]offers hope for a rational solution to the current near chaotic conditions. It is obvious, however, that it cannot long endure unless it is enabled through its own efforts and the cooperation of external forces to demonstrate in the relatively near future its ability to progress towards its disclosed ends. At this point it is useless and disturbing to contemplate nature of a future govt which wld take over if the presently constituted one is allowed to fall. The events of Jan 26 have not been favorably accepted by the Egyptian people. This fact in itself provides a background of a temporary period of grace for the new govt in which it will be faced with necessity of “producing or else”.

Caffery
  1. Repeated to London as telegram 606, Paris as 427, Ankara as 305, and unnumbered to Rome, Moscow, Tripoli, Tel Aviv, Tehran, and the Arab capitals.