98. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, October 20, 19551


  • Delivery of Message for the President from King Zahir of Afghanistan


  • The Secretary
  • Mohammad Kabir Ludin, Ambassador of Afghanistan
  • SOAN. G. Thacher
  • SOA—J. M. Howison

Observing that he had been instructed to deliver King Zahir’s message orally “at the President’s bedside” if possible, Ambassador Ludin presented “the substance of the remarks he was to have addressed to the President” in the form of a letter of his own drafting and asked that it be brought to Mr. Eisenhower’s attention. Afghan-Pakistan relations had again become critical with the promulgation of “One Unit” in West Pakistan without prior consultation between the Afghan and Pakistan Prime Ministers. Having in mind “the enormous prestige of the President” and the confidence with which the United States is regarded by both governments, the King of Afghanistan had wished to call this situation to the President’s attention and to express the hope that the U.S. would not withhold its efforts to bring about friendly relations between the two nations.

The Secretary undertook to bring the King’s message to the President’s attention as soon as possible. He pointed out that, owing to the state of his health, the President was only able to attend to a limited volume of business, chiefly on matters the background of which was already familiar to him.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 689.90D/10–2055. Secret. Drafted by Howison.
  2. In telegram 250 to Kabul, October 29, the Department informed the Embassy of this conversation and included a verbatim text of the draft reply from the President to the King. (Ibid., 689.90D/10–1555)