258. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Egypt1

879. Embtel 840.2 Department is repeating separately Secto 253 which contains texts of declaration and statement issued final session second Suez Conference and Secto 264 which contains transcript Secretary’s background briefing of American correspondents at [Page 567] end of Suez Conference which is not for attribution to Secretary or U.S. officials.

Department suggests following points be stressed in your conversations with officials GOE if latter raise Suez issue. At moment would not appear desirable for you to take initiative on this.

US desires peaceful solution of problem but believes it should be fully consonant with rights of international community in Suez as well as rights of Egypt.
Eighteen-nation proposals provide basis for negotiations leading to such a solution.
Although major users of Canal, after reaching identity of views among themselves, approached Egypt in spirit of cooperation and conciliation, GOE did not respond to this initiative in its discussions with the Committee of Five.
In view attitude GOE and need of majority users protect their interests as a step leading toward permanent arrangement governing status Canal, users proceeding form users association in hope this will result in practical measures of cooperation at operating level with Egyptian personnel concerned with transit Canal. US hopeful such cooperation may lead to creation atmosphere conducive to establishment permanent arrangement.
US believes next move is up to Egypt. US desires that traditional friendship between Egypt and US shall be strengthened and is hopeful future attitude of GOE toward Suez problem will reflect conciliatory spirit and complete realization of deep importance which users attach to a permanent solution of problem which will ensure protection of their rights and interests in Suez.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/9–2156. Confidential; Priority; Suez Canal—Limit Distribution. Drafted by Rockwell and Wilkins, cleared by Rountree, and approved by McCardle.
  2. In telegram 840 from Cairo, September 21, Hare requested the Department’s guidance as to what general approach he should take if Nasser raised the Suez question. Hare also requested guidance as to what points he should make and what degree of initiative he should take if the Egyptian Government did not raise the question. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated September 21, not printed. (Ibid., 974.7301/9–2256) For texts of the declaration and statement, see Documents 251 and 252.
  4. Dated September 21, not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/9–2256)