73. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Gray), Washington, August 9, 1956, 2:41 p.m.1


The Sec. returned the call, and G. said he has a problem which seems inconsequential but it could have important ramifications. They have a request from the British to allow the Expeditionary Forces to take some MDA equipment—in this case radio electronic equipment. G. stopped it because he thinks the British know what they are doing and if we specifically approve it—he does not want to compromise the Sec’s ultimate position. If we specifically approve it there may be other requests and we may be in the position of endorsing the Expedition. And if we don’t, it may appear we are not giving them the proper support. If the Sec. thinks it is trivial, we will approve it. The Sec. read from a cable from London making [Page 177] some requests.2G. does not have it. The Sec. would agree to the above request because of its relative unimportance but put in a caveat so it won’t establish a precedent. They agreed we will have to face up to this.

The Sec. said he spoke to Wilson re Gray’s going to London. G. will.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Bernau.
  2. Reference presumably is to telegram 764 from London, August 8, which relayed a request from the British War Office to purchase under reimbursable aid 106MM recoilless rifles and ammunition from USAREUR stocks, the material being urgently required to equip troops being redeployed in connection with the Suez situation. The Embassy in London commented that this might be the first of several requests for weapons and equipment under reimbursable aid for the same purpose. (Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–856)