642. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at the United Nations1

482. Re US resolution on Palestine. While Secretary did not have time yesterday explore fully this question, he stated his belief that US should seek have GA consider resolution on Arab-Israeli problem before Christmas recess. We note SYG statement in Delga 2012 that it is timely bring up discussion US Palestine resolution after arrangements made for withdrawal forces and clearance canal. We not certain whether SYG still holds to this view in light Delga 276.3

Now that substantial progress made by SYG to this end, Department requests GADel explore Palestine resolution on confidential basis with SYG in first instance and then UK, French and subsequently with select members of other delegations reporting to Department as matter progresses in event changes in position may be required.

[Page 1277]

Following guidelines for GADel’s use in consultations:

Now that substantial progress made on withdrawals, deployment effective UNEF, and on practical arrangements for clearance canal, US believes GA must seek with equal vigor long-range settlements outstanding problems between Arabs and Israelis. US intends press hard for such settlements and to make every feasible effort to this end. FYI In view UK, French influence in Middle East has reached nadir, only US can provide free world leadership at this time. End FYI.
US convinced early solution Arab-Israeli problem is prerequisite to political stability and economic and social progress in Middle East.
US believes must look to some new approach to achieve basic settlement outstanding issues. While Palestine Conciliation Commission has made useful contribution since 1948, we are hopeful that new committee of Assembly can take fresh look at outstanding problems. US resolution envisages committee composed of five members which will prepare recommendations, after consultations with parties to the General Armistice Agreements, regarding settlement major problems outstanding between them. We believe this committee should submit its recommendations to parties concerned, to GA and if necessary and appropriate to SC. Objective is to achieve negotiated settlement agreeable to parties not a solution imposed on them.
We do not believe it necessary for US resolution to refer to numerous past resolutions. In order to get fresh start emphasis should be on future rather than on past. Our desire not to include reference to numerous past resolutions, however, is without prejudice to position taken by parties in past.
We are not now, of course, in position to say concretely what specific substantive recommendations committee may make after consultations with parties. Nevertheless in US view, following are principal issues: (a) refugee problems; (b) territorial problems, including lack of fixed boundaries between Israel and neighbors; (c) economic development projects such as Jordan waters; (d) security guarantees, including guarantees against incursions. US policy regarding above remains as defined by Secretary in August 26, 1955 statement.

Department pouching brief status report, for your guidance, regarding approaches made to Governments re specific individuals to serve as members of Palestine committee.

In event question raised regarding US plans on Suez resolution, GADel should indicate that in our view most fruitful approach at this time is for SYG promote quiet conversations between UK, France, and Egypt based on his elaboration of six basic principles adopted by SC on October 13. In connection these discussions, may be desirable at some stage submit resolution for GA consideration. [Page 1278] FYI Position Dept will take re substance Suez settlement will depend on course of negotiations between parties. End FYI.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/12–856. Secret. Drafted by Sisco; cleared by Phleger, Meeker, Murphy, Rountree, and Nunley; and approved by Wilcox who signed for Dulles. Repeated to London, Paris, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Tripoli, Jidda, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, and Baghdad.

    On December 6, Wilcox forwarded to Phleger, Rountree, and Elbrick a much longer draft of this telegram under cover of a memorandum that indicated that the draft had been the subject of considerable discussion at the working level and that Wilcox had asked Murphy to invite Phleger, Rountree, and Elbrick to a meeting in Murphy’s office at 11:15 a.m. on December 7 to discuss the draft telegram. (Ibid., NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 229, Suez Problem) No account of the meeting has been found.

  2. Document 620.
  3. Document 638.