153. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1

1513. Suez for Henderson. Embtels 1144,2 1147,3 11704 and Cairo’s 496,5 August 29. Suggestions made in Urtel 1147 are heartily approved. Support indicated by Menzies, Unden and Aklilou is encouraging. We are also encouraged by Cairo’s 496 which indicates, on basis of confidential sources, that GOE will be prepared go considerably further in effort reassure users and that GOE is thinking in terms of counter proposals for possible presentation to Committee.

We fully appreciate difficult position Committee may find itself if Nasser attempts turn explanations into negotiations but feel Committee, as representative 18 countries, should not hesitate make suggestions, using illustrative approach much possible.

While UK, France may react adversely later do not feel this possibility should influence USDel, Committee’s best judgments manner explanation to Nasser. We agree Menzies’ suggestion in urtel 1170 that Committee could give Nasser written statement that its illustrative suggestions only tentative.

We also believe it would be useful to recast 5-nation proposals for purpose of exchange notes as you suggested in 1170.6

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We will send separately shortly several suggestions7 on details of ideas outlined in urtel 1144.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–2956. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Wilkins and Rice; cleared by Ludlow, Armstrong, and Raymond; approved by Rountree who signed for Dulles.
  2. Telegram 1144, August 29, contained a series of ideas, prepared by the U.S. Delegation, as to how the principles contained in the Eighteen-Power Proposal might be implemented. (Ibid.)
  3. Document 145.
  4. Dated August 29, telegram 1170 contained a summary report of a meeting of the Suez Committee held during the afternoon of August 29. (Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–2956)
  5. Dated August 29, not printed. (Ibid.)
  6. In telegram 1170, Henderson described his exchange with Menzies on this subject as follows: “I then asked whether committee should use Five-Power Proposal as actual ‘Heads of Agreement’ to be agreed with Egypt or whether we should have five nation proposals recast in form which could be embodied in an exchange of notes signifying willingness of both sides to enter into negotiations on basis of principles outlined therein. Menzies suggested this might also be considered by experts of committee but thought my latter suggestion be recast heads of agreement might be preferable.”
  7. The suggestions were forwarded in telegram 1548 to London, August 31 (ibid.) and in telegram 657 to Cairo, September 5 (ibid., 974.7301/9–156). Neither is printed.