223. Memorandum for the Record by the Counselor of the Department of State (MacArthur)1

The Secretary informed me last evening at 6:30 p.m. that he did not wish any action taken with the Canadians suggesting that the Canadians might delay action on the supply of certain F–86 aircraft to Israel. In Mr. Rountree’s absence, I informed Mr. Wilkins of NEA this morning of the Secretary’s wishes with respect to this problem. Mr. Wilkins told me that a telegram had gone out last evening to Ottawa instructing our Embassy to approach the Canadians about this problem.2

[Page 505]

Accordingly and in the light of the Secretary’s instructions of last evening, I telephoned to our Embassy in Ottawa this morning and spoke to Second Secretary Falkner, the Embassy duty officer. I instructed him to take no action on Deptel 115 to Ottawa and asked him to confirm that the telegram had been received and that no action had or would be taken on it unless the Embassy was further instructed by the Department. Mr. Falkner said he understood and would telephone me later this morning to confirm receipt of the telegram and the fact that action had been stopped. I told Mr. Falkner that I would send a confirming telegram to him canceling action.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5622/9–1556. Top Secret.
  2. Reference is to telegram 115 to Ottawa, September 14. (Ibid., 784A.5622/9–1356) The telegram, which was approved by Rountree, noted with great concern reports of recent Israeli attacks against Jordanian installations resulting in at least 40 Jordanian fatalities. In view of this situation, the Embassy was instructed to point out in confidence to the Canadian Foreign Office that an announcement of the sale of jets to Israel “would greatly inflate importance attached by Arab States and might be taken by Israelis as evidence their policy large scale retaliation does not adversely affect attitudes of others” and to suggest that the announcement be delayed.
  3. In telegram 116 to Ottawa, September 15, the Department instructed the Embassy: “Please take no action whatsoever on Deptel 115 unless further instructed.” (Ibid., 784.5622/9–1556) On September 20, the Embassy reported that the Canadian Cabinet had that day approved the release of 24 F–86 airplanes to Israel. (Telegram 143 from Ottawa; ibid., 784.5622/9–2056)