409. Telegram From the Delegation at the Foreign Ministers Meetings to the Department of State1

Secto 302. Following draft of agreed minute meeting of Tripartite Ministers November 122 prepared by Roux, Hancock and Russell for consideration Ministers:Pinay and Macmillan have indicated may not be able give it their attention until following close of conference and will inform us through Embassies Washington:

  • “1. The French and British Ambassadors in Washington, working with a representative of the State Department, will formulate procedures to maintain consultation with respect to arms deliveries to Israel and the Arab States bordering on it. They should consider what functions the existing NEACC can usefully perform as a part of these procedures. In the formulation of these procedures they should take into account the desirability of including in such coordination shipments to the area by other friendly governments.
  • 2. The three governments agree that they will make no shipments or contracts for the sale of heavy military equipment without consultation through such arrangements as may be established.
  • 3. With respect to such types of light equipment as may be agreed upon, shipments may be made without consultation but these should be current and complete exchanges of information.
  • 4. With respect to existing contracts it was agreed that, pending the establishment of the procedures mentioned, such contracts might be carried out except where substantial quantities are involved. The committee, when established, should give prior attention to the question of shipments under such contracts. Information about all existing contracts should be exchanged.
  • 5. The governments concerned should continue, in accordance with the Tripartite Declaration of 1950, to oppose an arms race between the Arab States and Israel. As regards deliveries to Israel, it is not, however, the present policy of the three governments to approve shipments in an amount to balance the current deliveries to Egypt. The governments would give priority to sales of defensive equipment as opposed to weapons of offense.
  • 6. The committee should draw the attention of their governments to cases in which representations might usefully be made to other friendly governments about the supply of arms to the countries concerned. In any event the committee should take into account shipments made by other friendly powers in determining upon the advisability of shipments by any one of the three governments.
  • 7. The committee should examine the relative strengths in armaments of Israel and the bordering Arab States and exchange intelligence on this subject.
  • 8. It is desirable that full and early agreement should be reached in Washington on the detailed arrangements for consultation.”3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–1555. Secret. Received at 11:12 a.m. Repeated to London, Paris, and Rome.
  2. For a report on the tripartite meeting, see Document 404.
  3. Dulles instructed the Department in Secto 303 from Geneva, November 15, to include Italy in these efforts to control the delivery of arms to the Arab States and Israel, on the grounds that the Italians were “emerging as prominent potential suppliers of arms to Middle East.” (Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/ 11–1555)