711.56373/1–1652: Telegram

The Chargé in Libya (Lynch) to the Department of State1

top secret priority

358. Legation has just seen an unclassified monthly progress report on UN technical assistance to Libya for period Nov 23-Dec 31 from Power, principal secy UN mission in Libya to Trygve Lie in latter’s capacity as Chairman, Tech Assistance Board. This report, in outlining the various agreements concluded by Libyans with the UN and foreign powers during the period under survey, states “on Dec 24, there was concluded an agreement between the United States and Libya providing for the continuation of the air base (Wheelus Field) established near Tripoli. It is reported in the world press that the agreement also provides that the United States will make an annual contribution of $1,000,000 to Libya for econ aid and pay rentals for the area occupied by the air base for a period of 20 years. No official confirmation of this arrangement has been released”.

So far as I am aware, no such report has ever appeared in world press. If I am right in this, Power must be equally aware of it. Presumably by world press Power refers to AP despatch reported by Deptel Dec 20.2 The AP despatch, however, merely referred to a cash gift of $1,000,000 on Independence Day. Power as Pelt’s deputy fully cognizant of fact that Pelt believes US Libyan agreement shld be made public now and equally aware that Dept desirous maintaining secrecy until presented to Libyan Parliament for ratification. I can imagine no more effective method of forcing our hand in GA than submission this document to Mr. Trygve Lie and God knows who else. It is hardly conceivable that it will go unnoticed by countries whose interests run contrary to ours.…

  1. This telegram was repeated to Paris and London.
  2. Not printed.