452. Memorandum of a Conversation, Mayflower Hotel, Washington, February 6, 19571
- Aid to Iraq
- HRH Crown Prince Abdul Ilah
- General Ghazi Daghestani
- Deputy Fadhil Jamali
- The Secretary
- NEA—Lampton Berry
- Ambassador Gallman
After the luncheon today,2 the Crown Prince asked the Secretary if he could give the Iraqi guests a few more minutes of his time in order that they might express certain views to him. The Secretary having indicated in the affirmative, he and the Iraqis were joined by Ambassador Gallman and Mr. Berry.
The Crown Prince indicated that since this might be the last opportunity of consulting with the Secretary, he and his colleagues would like to put certain proposals to him. The Crown Prince then turned to Jamali (Head of the Iraqi Delegation to the United Nations) and the latter proceeded to put forward his well-known theme to the effect that the United States should make Iraq the American model in the Middle East, militarily, economically and culturally. The Secretary laughingly remarked that he seemed to have heard that before. Jamali and General Daghestani then said that Iraq’s needs in the military field were extensive but that they were not getting what was needed. They requested the Secretary to telephone the Defense Department and extend strong support for Iraq’s needs.
The Secretary said that he was depressed by the magnitude of the requests which we are receiving for military aid from a large number of our friends. What good did the large quantities of Soviet arms possessed by the Egyptians do during the recent hostilities? He referred to countries such as Turkey and Korea which had become grossly overcommitted militarily to the detriment of their economies and to the fact that the United Kingdom is actually cutting back militarily. Smaller countries must learn to depend upon the United Nations [Page 1037] for protection or, in the event that the latter cannot act, upon military assistance from their friends. He said that he was not opposed in principle to reasonable military assistance to Iraq but that Iraq must bear in mind the cost of maintenance and re-equipment over a period of years. The prevailing sentiment of Congress and of public opinion in this country is such that in the next few years we must be in a position to reduce the amount of military aid which we are called upon to furnish to our friends abroad. Iraq should, therefore, plan its military establishment in such a way that it can be maintained after five or ten years by Iraq’s own resources rather than dependence on external aid.
The Crown Prince said that they were not asking for an immense force and General Daghestani added that the foregoing was strictly based on their regional commitments under the Baghdad Pact and that they were very much aware of the financial difficulties.
The Secretary said we would give sympathetic consideration to an arms program for Iraq but he asked them to bear in mind the opposition in Congress even to the military and economic provisions of the “Eisenhower Doctrine”.
Jamali said that he sincerely hoped that the friends of the United States in the area would receive the larger share of the funds available under the “Eisenhower Doctrine” and that little would go to “appeasers”. The Secretary indicated agreement.
Jamali then indicated that Iraq needed more help in the economic development field. They would particularly welcome private investment. More needed to be done in the rural areas of the country.
Jamali said that there needed to be much more contact between the peoples of Iraq and the United States in order to promote more widespread understanding. He made a plea for bringing a greater number of Iraqi students to the United States for higher technical training and for the establishment of a technical university in Iraq. We were not pushing the “democratic ideology” enough in the Arab world. There needed to be more American lecturers in the country. We should also establish youth centers in Iraq.
The Secretary concluded the meeting by saying that he had listened with sympathy to their persuasive presentation, more sympathetically to the latter part than to the first.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 787.5–MSP/2–657. Confidential. Drafted by Berry.↩
- On February 6, Secretary Dulles hosted a luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel in honor of Crown Prince Abdul Ilah. During this luncheon, according to a memorandum for the record by Lampton Berry, “the Secretary, in proposing a toast to the Crown Prince, said that it was a source of great satisfaction to us that Iraq had reached a degree of maturity which enabled it to exercise a helpful and stabilizing influence not only in the Middle Eastern area but in international relations generally.” (Ibid., 787.11/2–657)↩