U.S. Efforts to Obtain a Settlement Between Egypt and Israel; the Beginnings of Operation Alpha, January 1–August 26, 19551

1. For previous documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. IX, Part 1, pp. 875 ff.


2. Telegram From the Embassy in Iraq to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/1–555. Top Secret; Limited Distribution—Alpha. Received at 10:09 a.m. “Alpha” was the Department of State’s code word for materials pertaining to a U.S.-British effort, initiated in November 1954, to develop proposals for a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace settlement. Concerning this effort, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. IX, pp. 1683–1741 passim. Distribution of documents labeled “Alpha” was highly restricted; see ibid, pp. 1730–1731.


3. Letter From the Assistant Under Secretary of State in the British Foreign Office (Shuckburgh) to Francis H. Russell

Source: Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Memos, etc. preceding actual meetings (Dated 11/15/54 thru 1/27/55). Top Secret.

On December 20, 1954, Secretary Dulles assigned Russell responsibility for reviewing Arab-Israeli issues, formulating proposals to facilitate the conclusion of a peace settlement in Palestine, and developing a concerted diplomatic strategy with his British Foreign Office counterpart, Charles Arthur Evelyn Shuckburgh. Russell officially remained Deputy Chief of Mission and Counselor of Embassy in Israel until May 17, 1955.


4. Despatch From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/1–755. Top Secret; Alpha— Limit Distribution. Drafted by Lawson and White. Copies were sent to Amman, Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, Jerusalem, London, and Ankara.


5. Memorandum From the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Jernegan) to the Under Secretary of State (Hoover)

Source: Department of State, S/SNEA Files: Lot 61 D 417, Alpha Volume 1. Top Secret; Alpha; Limited Distribution.


6. Memorandum Prepared in the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs

Source: NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Memos, etc. preceding actual meetings (Dated 11/15/54 thru 1/27/55). Top Secret; Alpha. Russell forwarded the memorandum to Secretary Dulles and Under Secretary Hoover on January 16 as an attachment to a memorandum which noted the paper “reflects discussions with, and has received the concurrences of, Mr. Hare, Mr. Jernegan. . . ."(Ibid.)


7. Memorandum of a Conversation With the President, White House, Washington, January 17, 1955

Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Ann Whitman (ACW) Diaries. Drafted by Goodpaster.


8. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, January 21, 1955

Source: Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Minutes [by U.K. & U.S.] of meetings, Jan. 21 thru Feb. 1. Confidential.

Shuckburgh, representatives of the British Embassy, and officers of the Department of State met, January 21–February 2, to discuss operation Alpha and to consider other subjects of mutual concern. Both delegations prepared summary minutes of these meetings. These documents, as well as other papers drafted in connection with these meetings, are ibid.,S/S-NEA Files: Lot 61 D 417, Alpha Volume 1, and ibid., NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Memos, etc. during progress of meetings (Dated 1/24 thru 2/4), Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Memos, etc. preceding actual meetings (Dated 11/15/54 thru 1/27/55), and Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Minutes [by U.K. & U.S.] of meetings, Jan. 21 thru Feb. 1.


9. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, January 27, 1955

Source: Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Memos, etc. during progress of meetings (Dated 1/24 thru 2/4). Top Secret; Alpha; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Burdett on January 28.


10. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, January 27, 1955, 4:05 p.m.

Source: Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955; Memos, etc. preceding actual meetings (Dated 11/15/54 thru 1/27/55). Top Secret; Alpha. Drafted by Hart between January 29 and February 1. According to Secretary Dulles’ appointment book, this conversation concluded at 5:13 p.m. (Princeton University Library, Dulles Papers)


11. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.34A/1–2755. Confidential; Priority; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Burns and approved by Jernegan who signed for Dulles. Repeated to Cairo.


12. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Egypt

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5274/1–2755. Confidential; Niact; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Jernegan; cleared by Murphy and Hoover; approved by Jernegan, who signed for Dulles.


13. Memorandum From Francis H. Russell to the Under Secretary of State (Hoover)

Source: Department of State, S/SNEA Files: Lot 61 D 417, Alpha Volume 1. Top Secret; Alpha; Limited Distribution. Russell also transmitted copies of the attachment under cover of separate memoranda on February 2 to Murphy, MacArthur, Allen, and Byroade. (Ibid.: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Memos, etc. during progress of meetings (Dated 1/24 thru 2/4))


14. Telegram From Ambassador Eric Johnston to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/2–355. Secret. Repeated to Amman, Damascus, Beirut, Tel Aviv, London, and Paris. Ambassador Johnston assigned his own numbering system to most of his personal telegrams. Incoming telegrams bear the Ambassadors’ signatures.


15. Memorandum From Francis H. Russell to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State,NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Washington Talks, Jan.–Feb. 1955: Memos, etc. during progress of meetings (Dated 1/24 thru 2/4). Top Secret.Hoover and Murphy initialed their concurrences.Russell initialed for Allen and Hare, who also concurred.


16. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/2–955. Top Secret; Alpha; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Bergus and approved by Jernegan, who signed for Dulles.


17. Telegram From the Embassy in Egypt to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.85322/2–1055. Confidential. Received at 5:34 p.m. Repeated to Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Baghdad, Jidda, Ankara, and Brussels.


18. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, February 11, 1955

Source: Department of State,S/SNEA Files: Lot 61 D 417, Alpha Volume 1. Top Secret; Alpha. Drafted by Hart.


19. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the President’s Special Representative (Johnston), at Amman

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/2–1255. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to the Department of State, which is the source text.


20. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the President and the Secretary of State, White House, Washington, February 14, 1955

Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, Meetings with the President. Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by Dulles.


21. Telegram From the Embassy in Syria to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/2–1455. Confidential. Received at 3:36 p.m. Repeated to Cairo, Tel Aviv, Amman, Beirut, London, Paris, Brussels, Ankara, Jidda, and Baghdad.


22. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/2–1455. Secret; Alpha; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Jernegan and approved and signed by Dulles.


23. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/2–1455. Top Secret; Priority; Alpha; Limit Distribution. Received at 7:45 a.m., February 15.


24. Despatch From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/2–1555. Top Secret; Alpha; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Wilson.


25. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/2–1755. Secret; Alpha; Limit Distribution. Received at 10:37 a.m.


26. Telegram From Ambassador Eric Johnston to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.85322/2–2055. Secret; Priority. Received at 8:53 a.m. Repeated to Amman, Damascus, Cairo, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Jidda, Baghdad, Brussels, and Ankara.


27. Telegram From Ambassador Eric Johnston to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.85322/2–2055. Confidential. Received at 9:35 a.m. Repeated to Amman, Damascus, Cairo, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Baghdad, Brussels, and Ankara.


28. Telegram From Ambassador Eric Johnston to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 120.1580/2–2455. Confidential. Received at 3:05 p.m. Repeated to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Ankara, Baghdad, Brussels, and Jidda.


29. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/2–2455. Top Secret; Alpha; Limit Distribution. Repeated to London. Received at 3:31 p.m. Secretary Dulles was in Bangkok attending the first meeting of the SEATO Council of Ministers, February 23–25.


30. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–BA/2–2455. Secret. Received at 11:27 p.m., February 25. Repeated to London, Paris, Cairo, Ankara, and Baghdad.