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

783. Joint State–ICA. For Ambassador. Department hopes it will be possible for you proceed Yemen prior your departure for US for presentation economic aid proposals to Imam and other top Yemeni officials. You should indicate to them US willingness undertake economic assistance to Yemen initially along following lines: (FYI. Regulations and policy considerations require that you adhere closely to wording numbered paragraphs. End FYI.)

USG is prepared undertake aerial photography of Yemen providing for aerial photographs, photomosaic maps and probably rephotographing certain areas on larger scale as required for road planning and irrigation studies in Tihama. (FYI. If asked, may say contemplate undertaking work through contract with Aero Services now concluding work in Saudi Arabia. Flying could start promptly on basis your aide-mémoire in order not miss favorable winter flying season. Arrangements for entry and stationing necessary ground crews, with provision adequate police protection and other details can be subsequently negotiated per paragraph 6 below. End FYI.)
USG prepared have US Geological Survey undertake geological survey of Yemen to develop data which would assist GOY in its efforts develop mineral resources of country and which we hope would be useful in seeking to interest reputable foreign firms in prospecting for minerals. It is expected three geologists would be required work in Yemen. Their work would be complemented by simultaneous photogeology analysis of aerial photographs using most recently developed techniques this field. USG believes geologists could commence work shortly after photographs available, presumably six months after initiation aerial survey. (FYI. If asked you may inform Yemenis that approximately 24 months would be required for completion survey and analysis which constitute essential first step in any program mineral development and prospecting. End FYI.)
USG prepared assist Yemen in establishing and developing public roads unit capable conducting road betterment and maintenance program and willing provide advice and assistance with respect organization and operation including training of supervisors, mechanics, machinery operators etc. and demonstration equipment [Page 772] and supplies. Concept would include initiation by demonstration work on Ta’iz–Sana’a route beginning along Ta’iz–Ibb sector.
USG prepared send promptly to Yemen a team of Bureau Public Roads engineers to examine in more detail recommendations of Survey Mission as first step in undertaking construction on Hodeida–Bajil portion of Hodeida–Sana’a route. (It is not in interest either Yemen or US to embark on subject this magnitude and kind without careful review requirements, methods and costs.) Their inquiry would involve detailed survey covering costs estimates, soil analysis, determination of design standards and such additional data as required in connection with engineering and construction. In addition they would expect discuss with GOY problems involved in unloading heavy construction equipment at port, road locations, expropriation procedures and other elements which would be involved in drafting a project agreement with GOY and proceeding with such project expeditiously. Report of this expert team would provide a basis for further intergovernmental discussion and decision as to scope of project to be initially undertaken. (FYI. BPR could have team in field approximately 30 days after authorization. End FYI.)
USG also prepared start forthwith on agricultural assistance by detailing to Yemen an irrigation farming expert to undertake 1–2 month survey of irrigation system and practices in Tihama to provide information as guide to program planning in this field. We would also detail coffee expert to make periodic visits to Yemen to study problems connection with coffee production and marketing throughout 1958 production season in order make appropriate recommendations for improvement and expansion of coffee industry which important as dollar earner. (FYI. It would be our intention not to sign project agreement covering these experts and those described paragraph 4 but if GOY receptive, you may leave aide-mémoires based on this paragraph and paragraphs 1 and 4 requesting GOY confirm acceptability and willingness facilitate travel and investigations these experts within Yemen. End FYI.)
With respect paragraphs 1 through 3 above if GOY willing proceed on basis outlined therein you are authorized state USG will promptly send representatives to negotiate necessary agreements to [Page 773] cover these activities. (FYI. We do not intend discuss cost of projects with GOY. End FYI.)2
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 886H.00–TA/12–557. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Wiens, Newsom, and Lakeland and approved by Rountree. Repeated to Aden.
  2. Wadsworth visited Yemen December 19–28 and met with al-Shami and the Imam. Telegram 598 from Jidda, December 29, stated that although the Yemenis had not accepted the U.S. proposals, they might agree to them in part; it commented that “the ball is now still in the Yemeni court”. (Ibid., 886H.00–TA/12–2957) Wadsworth further reported his conversations in telegrams 580, 600, and 606 from Jidda, December 25, 29, and 30, and despatch 133, December 31. (ibid., 886H.00–TA/12–2557, 886H.00–TA/12–2957, 886H.00–TA/12–3057, and 886H.00–TA/12–3157, respectively) Telegram 904 to Jidda, December 30, requested Wadsworth’s views as to whether steps should be taken to bring the U.S. offers to the attention of the Crown Prince, who had been absent during Wadsworth’s visit. (Ibid., 886H.00–TA/12–3057)