25. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State 1

302. King Hussein summoned me today. After usual exchange he expressed hope I was pleased with manner in which Jordan was emerging from present contretemps. In reply said I had been concerned during Cairo meeting but now that important foreign matters in sure hands Prime Minister,2 was much reassured. As gambit I added hope and expectation Egyptians would quiet down in reasonably near future but with weak Government Syria still a matter of preoccupation. He picked this up agreeing generally and added really disturbing Government was Saudi Arabian which he expected would so continue. [1¾ lines of source text not declassified]

Hussein said Jordan fortunately had emerged from family fracas quite well and not compromised in any direction. He said with emphasis even Egypt does not now expect or is pressing Jordan to join its collective arrangement.

King then said Jordan prepared to listen to any request from US to join in agreements and the conditions involved. (I know he is personally interested in some air force which British discouraged in December.) I gave him another review our position stressing we not asking much less urging any state which we feel should exercise its free will in its own interests. However, we are interested in strengthening regional defense and again discussed arms aid to Iraq, et cetera. I was surprised at his ready acceptance and appreciation of our view which apparently I had poorly presented before or which had not penetrated his thinking. I am advised by trusted LC member that on visit to Pakistan from which he returned Monday night that King and party much impressed by Pakistan’s hard work, spirit, martial training and US assistance. It appears Pakistan visit excellent antidote to previous Egyptian visit and pressures. His Majesty has elsewhere noted that while Pakistan army of British tradition air force largely American.

King saw British Ambassador3 immediately after me. Conversation followed same line. We believe main purpose is concern for arms if not coordinated at least springs from same motivation as Prime Minister’s inquiry Embassy telegram 288, March 9.4 Prime Minister [Page 38] also asked British Ambassador what advantage including arms would accrue in event Jordan joined Turco-Iraqi Pact. British Ambassador has sought instructions. It is hoped Department may concur.

I am as yet unable fully assess possibilities raised today or whether they may eventuate in further reorientation Government policy. Positive attitude by King always important component in formulation ultimate Government line.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 682.87/3–1655. Confidential. Repeated to Damascus, Cairo, Baghdad, Beirut, Karachi, London, Ankara, Jidda, Paris, and Tripoli.
  2. Tawfiq Abu al-Huda.
  3. Charles Beresford Duke.
  4. In telegram 288, Chargé Geren reported that Jordanian Prime Minister Abu al-Huda had inquired as to what U.S. intentions were regarding arms assistance for Jordan in case Jordan joined the Baghdad Pact, and whether the United States would give military assistance to Jordan separately from the British. Geren replied that the United States sought to avoid competition with the United Kingdom in these matters and would be making decisions in this area as required by the developments of the Baghdad Pact situation. (Department of State, Central Files, 682.87/3–955)