166. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France1

3252. Eyes only Lodge from Hoover. Secretary and I are so concerned over seriously deteriorating situation in Near East that we feel prompt US initiative in UN Security Council mandatory to take as positive and dramatic steps as possible remedy the situation. Soviet supply of arms to Egypt, increasing feeling of desperation in Israel and talk of preventive war, question of our supplying arms to Israel, Syrian-Israeli border situation, and recent developments in Jordan, in our opinion indicate increasingly serious situation in area. Department would be remiss and subject to justifiable criticism if we did not immediately consider what preventive steps we may take within UN.

Prior to his departure, Secretary directed Department to consider possible plan of action in Security Council which would attempt to achieve his idea that Security Council should appoint some internationally [Page 309] known figure with as broad powers as possible to 1) keep the peace in Palestine area; 2) recommend to UN members steps which they may take in assuring hostilities do not recur; 3) bolster conscientious but currently unproductive efforts of General Burns.2 While we have no illusions as to obstructionist position which Soviets may take we feel we must through some such step in Council demonstrate our determination to use UN if at all possible to tranquilize area promptly.

Will be consulting with UK with idea of early Security Council meeting in mind.3 Will advise you of progress. We do not expect consult with French until we have had full exchange of ideas with UK. I do not think it will be necessary to ask you to return. Barco will be in constant consultation with us as we proceed.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 780.00/3–656. Top Secret; Priority. Drafted by Ludlow; cleared with Wilcox, Rountree, Wilkins, and Russell; and approved by Hoover. Wilcox signed for Hoover.
  2. Documentation concerning a possible request from the United States for U.N. Security Council action to keep the peace in Palestine is Ibid., NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Alpha—Memos, etc., Feb. 16 to March 31, 1956, and Ibid., UNP Files: Lot 58 D 224, Palestine and Originals from Secty—Kashmir & Palestine, and Ibid., Central Files, 684A.86, 320.51, and 780.00.
  3. See Document 172.