203. Report Prepared in the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State1

Summary No. 5

SUMMARY OF DEVELOPMENTS IN SUEZ SITUATION

[Here follows a brief account of recent developments concerning the Five-Nation Committee. See Document 194.]

Present US Position

With regard to the reference of the problem to the UN, Secretary Dulles has now agreed with the British and French proposal that they should write to Secretary General Hammarskjold, “reporting” on the Suez situation but not asking for action at this time. This will establish a “priority” in case the Egyptians raise the question but is contrary to the earlier UK/French intention to take the problem to the UN for consideration and action.

We are not prepared to announce our unwillingness to pay tolls to Egypt as requested by the British and French, at least not until there has been a thorough study of the consequences which would result from the diversion of shipping from the Suez following such action, and an indication by the British and French that they are prepared to accept such consequences.

The Secretary has given informally to the British and communicated orally in summary to the French as a “think-piece” his Outline of Proposal for a Voluntary Association of Suez Users, designed to ensure the most effective possible enjoyment of the right of passage given by the Convention of 1888. It recommends that the governments of the users should organize a Cooperative Association of Suez Canal Users (CASU) to function through a 5-nation Executive Group chosen from among the members; said Executive Group to designate an Administrator who will manage the operations of the canal and will maintain relations and cooperate with the Egyptian Government to ensure that the canal remains free and unobstructed.

Dillon has indicated that, when talking with him, Pineau had not yet seen the report from the French Embassy in Washington of the Secretary’s meeting with Alphand and the British Chargé on Sunday.

[Here follow a report that the Greek Government intended to inform the Egyptian Government that United States proposals on [Page 465]Suez offered a way to an honorable solution (reported in telegram 866 from Athens, September 10; Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/9–1056) and an update on emergency and evacuation plans.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. Top Secret; Eyes Only for Designated Recipient. A marginal notation on the source text reads: “Pres has seen”.