182. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia1

190. Saudi Ambassador today brought King’s response to Secretary’s conversation October 5 (Deptel 1832). Ambassador reiterated King’s desire be friends with US but stated King needed arms. Saudi poorest armed of all countries in area despite wealth. King has considered Secretary’s replies and accepts them as negative answer since they imply conditions. If this is final answer of US, King considers it refusal and wishes be excused if he tries to find arms where no conditions are attached.

Department replied His Majesty’s decision is one for sovereign country to make. We pointed out however large amount US arms Saudis have purchased over four-year period and fact only outstanding [Page 280] formal SAG request (for M–47 tanks) is currently under consideration.

FYI there seems little doubt SAG made approach in order be able state US has refused supply arms. Ambassador was categorically informed we have not refused and that provisions of grant agreement are similar to those already largely accepted in Reimbursable Aid Agreement.

Department will consider requests forwarded Embtels 150 and 1603 in light of above. Your comments requested, end FYI.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786A.5–MSP/10–955. Secret. Drafted by Newsom and approved by Russell. Repeated to Cairo and London.
  2. See footnote 1, Document 180. A memorandum of the conversation between Allen and the Ambassador described in this telegram, erroneously dated October 14 but drafted on October 17, is in Department of State, Central Files, 786A.5–MSP/ 10–1455.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 180, and footnote 3, supra.