95. Telegram From the Delegation at the Suez Canal Conference to the Department of State1

Secto 20. Secretary today reached agreement with UK and French Foreign Ministers on following text draft USA Declaration. Copies this Declaration being discreetly circulated tonight to delegation heads all participating nations. Secretary now plans formally submit declaration at fifth plenary Monday afternoon as US paper.

Selected officers assigned liaison task personally to follow up with other delegations Sunday.

Begin text:

London Conference on the Suez Canal

U.S.A. Proposal for a Declaration

The govts approving this Declaration, being participants in the London conference on the Suez Canal;

Concerned by the grave situation regarding the Suez Canal;

Determined to seek a peaceful solution in conformity with the purposes and principles of the United Nations; and recognizing that an adequate solution must, on the one hand, respect the sovereignty and rights of Egypt and, on the other hand, safeguard the Suez Canal as an international waterway in accordance with the Suez Canal Convention of October 29, 1888; join in this Declaration:

They reaffirm the purpose stated in the preamble of the Convention of 1888, to establish “A definite system destined to guarantee at all times, and for all the powers, the free use of the Suez Maritime Canal”.
Such system must assure:
Efficient and dependable operation, maintenance and development of the Canal as a free, open and secure international waterway in accordance with the principles of the Convention of 1888.
Insulation of the operation of the Canal from the influence of politics of any nation.
Respect for the sovereignty of Egypt.
An equitable and fair return to Egypt for the use of the Suez Canal as an international waterway on Egyptian territory.
Payment to the Universal Suez Canal Company of such sums as may be found its due by way of fair compensation.
Canal tolls as low as is consistent with the foregoing requirements, and otherwise without profit.
To achieve these results on a permanent and reliable basis there should be established by treaty:

Institutional arrangements for cooperation between Egypt and other interested nations in the operation, maintenance and development of the Canal and for harmonizing and safeguarding their respective interests in the Canal. To this end there should be an international board for operating, maintaining and developing the Canal and enlarging it so as to increase the volume of traffic in the interest of the world trade and of Egypt as a participant in the benefits of the Canal. Egypt would grant this board all rights and facilities appropriate to its functioning as here outlined.

The members of the board, in addition to Egypt, would be other states chosen in a manner to be agreed upon from among the states parties to the treaty, with due regard to equitable geographical distribution in relation to the Canal and its use and to assuring that the proposition of the board would be such as to assure that its responsibilities would be discharged solely with the view to achieving the best possible operating results without political motivation in favor of, or in prejudice against, any user of the Canal.

The board would make periodic reports to the United Nations.

An arbitral commission to settle any disputes as to the equitable return to Egypt or fair compensation to the Universal Suez Canal Company or other matters arising in the operation of the Canal.
Effective sanctions for any violation of the treaty, including provisions for treating any use or threat of force to interfere with the use or operation of the Canal as a threat to the peace and a violation of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
Provisions for appropriate association with the United Nations and for review as may be necessary.

End text.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–1356. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Cottman. Received at 7:45 p.m.