471. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Canada1

24. Embtel 22.2 Canadian desire for joint responsibility entirely understandable.

We have declined supply F86s to Israel because we wish to avoid action which might lead step by step towards hardening of lines between US and USSR in Middle East. Public pressures to supply arms to Israel known to be considerably heavier in US than in any other country and psychological effect direct supply F86s by US would create more dangerous possibilities in view of overall [Page 859] US—USSR relationships than supply by Canada. We also see hazards in concerted action by Western powers to arm Israel as suggested by Canada which would place West in opposition to Arab states armed by Soviet bloc. However, we believe Israel has justifiable need for small3 number F86s for training purposes4 in interest ME security.

We hope Canadian objection to acting may be overcome by explaining extent to which other Western countries meeting Israel requests on continuing basis. Sales by US since January 1 have exceeded $3,500,000. We now considering additional releases, including 5 helicopters, 400 heavy machineguns and 130 White scout cars. France has supplied 24 Mystere Mark 4s, AMX tanks and artillery, and is delivering 12 Mystere Mark 2s. UK delivered 2 destroyers and preparing deliver 6 Meteor Jet Fighters. Netherlands discussing sale 10 Meteor Jets and artillery. Italy selling ammunition various types. Thus, sale by Canada would be consonant with action by other Western countries. Piecemeal sales tend avoid unfortunate confrontation Soviet and Western blocs as units in Near East.

Please discuss with St. Laurent or Pearson along above lines.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5622/7—1356. Secret. Drafted by Allen and Burdett on July 14; cleared with Elbrick; and approved by Dulles.
  2. Document 458.
  3. The Secretary inserted the word “small”.
  4. The Secretary inserted the following: “F86s for training purposes”.