192. Editorial Note

On November 25, British Foreign Secretary Macmillan, in a message sent through Ambassador Aldrich in London to Dulles, conveyed his impressions of the recent Baghdad Pact meeting held in Baghdad during the week of November 21. After a discussion of the Arab–Israeli problem, the importance of the Baghdad Pact, and the increasing dangers of Communist activities throughout the Middle East, Macmillan turned to the problem of Saudi Arabia:

“The second problem is that of Saudi Arabia, and the misuse of these immense sums now available…. This raises of course very difficult problems and I would suggest that we might do two things. First we could make a joint study of the facts, based upon … information available to us. Secondly we could see what measures we can take either by direct governmental action or through the oil industry. You and I, of course, know all the old difficulties and suspicions. But I think the Middle Eastern position is so serious that we must use our influence to get the same kind of cooperation here as we have established in other parts of the world. It is too big an issue for us to act separately. You will of course reply, what about Buraimi? But I am quite prepared that this should be open for discussion between us just as frankly as the rest of the problem.” (Telegram 2170 from London; Department of State, Central Files, 780.5/11–2555)

Dulles’ December 5 reply to Macmillan reads in part as follows:

“I was pleased that you mentioned the Buraimi incident as a matter of our mutual concern. I am disturbed by the possibility of this becoming another issue to be seized upon by nations in the area to attack the West and I believe a solution is urgently needed, possibly through a resumption of arbitration with an effective neutral supervisory commission in the zone of dispute.” (Telegram 3132 to London; ibid.)