127. Telegram From the Consulate General at Dhahran to the Department of State1

78. From Anderson. In meeting with Faisal August 25 [23]2 I had opportunity to fully outline US efforts to secure settlement without resort to force and to urge acceptance by Saudi Arabia of London proposals in ultimate best interests of area and to present facts concerning future requirements of canal, need for international capital to expand facilities, problems of creating alternative methods shipment and the peculiar problems that would face Saudi Arabia in event canal became involved and confidence in its use was not restored.

While Faisal continued stress his “personal belief” conference as composed was not way to approach problem, proposal not in accord with Egyptian sovereignty, it was obvious he had not studied matter and was simply following agreed line. Faisal wished to make two points (A) Situation must be cleared of any threat of use of force by both parties; otherwise anything emerging from conference would appear dictated and (B) No country should be asked to negotiate on basis of “stipulated” proposal. He expressed Egypt would negotiate directly with US on this type proposal, but would likely not agree consider conference proposal which he says had the appearance of being presented under threat of use of force.

We pointed out Dulles statement at conference August 20,3 and Faisal and counselors impressed. Yusuf Yasin told me this was first time he knew US had made clear we would support no ultimatum. This he said was good.

Following meeting, however, decision apparently taken study US proposal further. Private audience with King scheduled same [Page 283] evening cancelled, apparently because King was conferring with advisers on this problem. I am meeting Faisal morning August 24 and hope have further audience with King prior departure afternoon August 24.

While the Counselors continue to stress need for settlement and hope we will do “more”, they are vague as to what may be done other than to make proposal more palatable to Egypt. I consider their apparent decision actually study proposal may be beneficial.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–2456. Top Secret; Priority. Received at 3:23 p.m. Repeated Priority to London and to Jidda and Cairo.
  2. A memorandum of this conversation, dated August 23, is ibid., NEA Files: Lot 59 D 518, Report of Special Mission to Saudi Arabia August 20–27, 1956.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 104.