641.74/3–2852: Telegram

No. 972
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

top secret
niact priority

4828. Personal for Amb from Secy. I have given careful thought urtel. 4298 Mar 28 and have discussed it fully as well as re-examined [Page 1785] the msg to Eden with my colleagues here. I attach great importance your analysis situation Lond but after our consideration in light all aspects situation I feel Eden ought to read in full views contained my personal msg as representing my own thinking. Naturally I want to have this done in way which wld prove most helpful in inducing appropriate action by HMG. We have made some changes in msg which we hope will meet some the points about which you concerned and have made one or two other changes which we believe also improve it. On other points you raised we feel on balance that text had better stand.

On question of agenda we are changing introductory sentence. Obviously the items in agenda are subject to change and improvement but we think as they stand they illustrate kind of thing we have in mind and points that shld be covered.

Re your numbered para three I think that since the five items merely constitute agenda, difficulties you envisage wld not arise. Specifically re item four you will note this merely contemplates discussion Egypt’s role without any commitment on either side re outcome negotiation.

I hope you can arrange see Eden Sat because we feel matter is most urgent. When you see him I wish you wld tell him that I have personally spent a great deal of time on problem of Egypt, that I want to share my thoughts with him and that I want to do it in way that will be most helpful to him. If after reading full text my msg he feels it wld not be helpful have it left with him, such procedure is quite satisfactory to me, but in any event I do wish you leave with him our analysis situation and copy of suggested agenda.

It seems to me that this procedure cld get to Eden my personal feelings on matter and will provide him with factual part of document in event he prefers not to receive full text of a written msg on subject.

Pls substitute fol paras for paras 4 and 5 of text my msg as transmitted to you by Deptel 4762:

“There is attached our analysis and appraisal of the situation. It is the result of long and careful study and I should be much interested to know whether it is in accord with your own views. Whether or not we are agreed on all details of this analysis and appraisal I feel sure that we are agreed on the necessity of dealing immediately with the second part of the problem since, for the reasons stated above, unless negotiations are started soon there will be none at all.

The first thing that seems to be needed is an opening play which will convince Egypt, as we are convinced, that the UK seriously desires to discuss all outstanding issues with a view to their early solution. We understand that the text of the joint statement which [Page 1786] Sir Ralph Stevenson has recently been authorized to negotiate has been rejected by the Egyptians as a means of starting negotiations. It seems to us that to have the desired effect any statement would have to be more forthcoming, particularly with respect to the Sudan. As an alternative to a statement, the thought has occurred to me that it might be possible to suggest agreement on an agenda which on one hand will cover the elements desired by the Egyptians, but which on the other does not give away the UK position. Such an agenda could be made public jointly in a simple statement to the effect the two governments have agreed to begin immediate negotiations on the points listed with common resolve to reach agreement as quickly as possible. Perhaps an agenda including the points listed below might accomplish the purpose.”

Substitute fol para for numbered para 12 of Analysis.

“Egypt insists on recognition by the West of the King of Egypt’s title as King of the Sudan. It is our understanding that in the UK the Egyptian claim is not contested so much on its substantial validity as for what it means in the context of UK undertakings to the people of the Sudan. However, Egypt apparently is willing to agree to self-determination by the Sudanese. The important point therefore is the concurrent recognition by Egypt of the right of the Sudanese to full and prompt self-determination.”

  1. Repeated to Cairo as telegram 1502. Drafted and approved by Perkins.