711.56373/1–1752: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France1

top secret

Gadel 764. Distribution only to Jessup, Gross, Sandifer. Re Libya; Tripoli’s 358 Jan 16 rptd Paris 66 for USGADel;2Delga 1086 Jan 17 rptd Tripoli 36.3

Dept shares USGADel’s hope quoted passage will be generally regarded as routine press roundup, and agrees any effort at this stage have it suppressed or deleted wld only call attn to matter.

Publication this passage in official UN report most indiscreet if not actual breach of confidence even though attributed to press sources and was entirely contrary to wishes and interests of US and Libyan Govts. Power evidently well aware (1) strong interest US Govt in not publicizing this matter in any way, and (2) concurrence Libyan Govt this policy. Even if published sources for quoted passage exist, way this item was presented might well suggest inside knowledge to ordinary reader.

Dept seriously concerned that Power shld have published statement in question, knowing fully as he does strong desire of US Govt avoid public discussion US–Libya agreement until submitted to Libyan Parliament. Dept considers this matter sufficiently important to warrant personal interview between him and Gross or Jessup to obtain his explanation. In addition he shld be asked inter alia:

Specify published source or sources quoted passage and exhibit clippings;
Degree his personal responsibility for quoted passage;
Why he caused or allowed to be published any material on this subj, considering his knowledge background of subj and policies US and Libyan Govts on this point.

If Power can not produce published sources this passage, Dept desires his statement re sources he did draw on.

Your report will assist Dept properly assess matter and decide whether further action necessary.

  1. This telegram was drafted by Anderson (UNP) and cleared in the offices of Cyr (AF), Ford (SY), and Popper (UNP). It was repeated to Tripoli.
  2. Supra.
  3. Not printed. It informed the Department that the report referred to was not normally seen by members of the General Assembly delegations, since it would only be distributed within the special agency secretariats. The delegation feared any effort to have part of the report suppressed would only draw attention to the matter, but suggested that it might take up the question with Power to assure that he would attribute the information to newspaper sources if queried. (711.56373/1–1752)