12. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Allen), Washington, January 8, 1956, 12: 50 p.m.1

George Allen telephoned the Secretary that there were two telegrams in telling about the riots in Jordan.2 The Arab L. had not proved very effective. Allen said a significant thing was that the [Page 16] American Consulate was the only one singled out for attack. There was evidence that the Communists were mixed up in it. Mr. Allen said our people had behaved very creditably and they were drafting a telegram to the Consul General commending him for his action. The Secretary thought this all right. The Secretary asked if he shouldn’t see the Jordanian Ambassador to make representation to the J. Government. Allen said he thought so but the Ambassador was out of town. He would, however, get the Chargé and see if he could set up an appointment with the Secretary at 4:00 at the Secretary’s residence.

The Secretary asked how many Marines we had and Allen said three or four out there. They had used tear gas ejectors. Allen said while it was pretty sensitive to use this, if they hadn’t he felt sure that all our files would have been destroyed and perhaps even the building set on fire.

The Secretary said that he would call McCardle once he found out about the appointment and get a press statement lined up to put out.3

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. Drafted by Mildred Asbjornson.
  2. Reference is to telegram 228 from Jerusalem, January 7, which reported an attack on the consulate general in Jerusalem by a mob of 300 rioters. (Department of State, Central Files, 122.4912/1–756) The second telegram was not identified. Reports arriving in the Department of State later that day included telegram 337 from Amman, January 8, which contained a detailed account of the rioting in Amman and the West Bank and noted in part: “Scale and violence of demonstrations prior to arrival of Legion have exceeded all previous and has new feature of arson. Primary targets Western institutions or symbols of West.” In telegram 338 from Amman, January 8, Mallory noted in part: “Amman political situation reaching critical point both with respect what forces are to control country and possible British evacuation. A test is approaching as to whether moderate governments and Legion can control situation or political hotheads and extremists take over. My guess is no extremist take over in near future but continuing tension and possible troubles with flames fanned from abroad.” (Ibid., 785.00/1–856)
  3. In telegram 315 to Amman, January 8, the Department informed the Embassy that it had issued a statement for publication which included the following: The Secretary had expressed his concern to the Jordanian Chargé about increasing “mob violence” in Amman and in Jerusalem and about the damage to American property and the threat to American lives. It was obvious, Dulles had informed the Chargé, that steps taken by the Jordanian Government were “inadequate to the situation.” Dulles also requested that the Jordanian representative communicate to his government the importance of safeguarding American lives and property. Finally, the Department had instructed the American Ambassador in Amman and the Consul General in Jerusalem to make similar representations. (Ibid., 785.00/1–856)