232. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

93. Initial reaction Dulles speech cautious, with requests more details and warning it needs careful study. No violence yet and none expected.

King told Embassy officer August 27 speech step in right direction. Ambassador Johnston seeing King again today.
Prime Minister Mufti as reported by Ambassador Rifai to Johnston initially reacts with uncertainty and disappointment. Prime [Page 410] Minister stayed up all Friday night to hear speech, called Rifai at nine next morning and told him HKJ would have to reject Johnston proposals which now tied to political settlement. To press Prime Minister has said only that HKJ will consult other Arab governments in keeping with its policy statement.
Four ministers on committee negotiating with Johnston party were guarded in their reactions and gave impression they considered fate unkind in loading so much controversy on people who only wished to stay in office. Saman Daoud Minister Reconstruction pronounced speech step in right direction. Two ministers took position US would never help in solution border question if condition is desire of both parties since Israel does not desire rectification of borders favorable to Arabs.
Ex-Minister Defense Anwar Nuseibeh described speech as “excellent—major step forward”.
Press urges caution in either accepting or rejecting. Falast in editorial August 28 says “If we reject offhand we make outside world think Arabs are refusing very thing they have requested. Least we must do is ask for more details and study Secretary’s speech carefully.”Ad-Difaa says speech contains nothing new, deviates from UN resolutions, and is loaded with financial inducements to get Arab acceptance fait accompli, “but no doubt it now being studied in all Arab capitals.”
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/8–2855. Official Use Only. Received at 11:48 a.m. Repeated to Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Jidda, and Tel Aviv.