641.74/2–1252

No. 958
Memorandum by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Berry) to the Secretary of State1

secret

Subject:

  • Discussions with Mr. Eden re Egypt.2

We believe that in talks with Mr. Eden on Egypt early reference by you to the need for speed in starting Anglo-Egyptian talks on all outstanding questions will probably be most useful. NEA has prepared for your use a factual memorandum on the status of these negotiations (attached)3 and Wells Stabler has prepared for you a memorandum on his observations in the Sudan (attached).4 The gist of the latter is that the presence or absence of violent reaction in the Sudan will depend upon the faithfulness and earnestness with which the officials of the Sudan Government undertake to explain recognition of the King’s title as being in the context of self-determination. Reassurances on the latter point will be needed but if riots should occur the Sudan Government is fully capable of restoring order.

Mr. Eden’s greatest preoccupation is with the often repeated promise of the British Government to “consult” the Sudanese before making any changes in Sudan policy. This is a “moral” problem in the eyes of Mr. Eden and many other members of Parliament and hence the undertaking to “consult” must be respected. At the same time we should urge simple and rapid consultation as being of the greatest importance if the prospective Anglo-Egyptian negotiations are not to stall at an early stage for the lack of “something on the Sudan”. We think this should be acceptance of the title “King of the Sudan” within the framework of early and free self-determination.

An opening gambit with Mr. Eden might be to ask whether there is any word yet regarding the resumption of negotiations and to tell him that your last information on the subject was Ambassador Caffery’s comment on February 11 that “attempting to begin conversations on the Defense Proposals without frankly facing the [Page 1763]Sudan question is neither practical nor realistic. It would be like starting a boxing match with one hand tied.”5

Mr. Eden has been working very hard on Egypt and even though no positive progress has been made, he has instructed the British Ambassador in Cairo to approach the Egyptian Prime Minister with a view to resuming negotiations.6

A series of friendly nudges on various informal occasions may be all that is necessary at this stage. However, if there are no moves on the Sudan (such as the U.K. taking steps to “consult”) within the next ten days, it might be desirable to give consideration to increasing the pressure.

  1. Drafted by Jones.
  2. See telegram Secto 7 from London, Document 960.
  3. Not found in Department of State files.
  4. Not printed. (110.22 NE/2–1052)
  5. This quotation came from telegram 1303 from Cairo, Feb. 11, not printed. (641.74/2–1152)
  6. Ambassador Gifford in London reported this information to the Department of State in telegram 3470, Feb. 8, not printed. (641.74/2–852)