2. Note From Secretary of State Dulles to Secretary-General Hammarskjöld 1

My Dear Hammarskjold : I enclose herewith a copy of the informal memorandum which I used as a sort of a talking paper with you this afternoon in relation to the putting up of funds to help finance the reopening of the Suez Canal.

It was a very great pleasure to have seen you and to have had the good talk with you.

With best wishes for a good New Year.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles 2



This memorandum is written to cover certain points which it did not seem desirable to include in the formal reply made by the United States to the Secretary General’s note of December 25th.4 These points [Page 4] are considered by the United States Government to be important in the working out and implementation of any plan for clearing the Suez Canal. They relate to assurances from some of the Governments most directly concerned with the Suez Canal problem.

In the Secretary General’s note of December 25th it was stated that “the Government of Egypt has given its assurance that the United Nations will have the full cooperation of that Government in the execution of its part in the Canal clearing operations”. It was also emphasized that the funds being solicited for initial work in Canal clearance were in the nature of an advance. It is the understanding of the United States that the Secretary General will make earnest efforts to secure assurances: (1) that negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations, will be pursued rapidly for an over-all agreement on the Suez Canal problem in accordance with the six principles approved by the Security Council in its resolution of October 13, 1956, and (2) that there will be included in the over-all agreement provisions for the repayment of all advances made by United Nations Members, to the extent that repayment is not otherwise provided for, in order to facilitate the clearance of the Canal and the restoration of its ancillary facilities. It is also the understanding of the United States that assurance will be sought from the Government of Egypt that, pending a final settlement of the Suez Canal problem, any interim operation of the Canal will be in accordance with the six principles set forth in the Security Council’s resolution.

The above points are of importance in laying the foundation for a satisfactory financing of the total cost of clearing the Suez Canal. They are also important in regard to the actual reopening of the Suez Canal and its serving as a secure international waterway open at all times to the ships of all nations.

The United States is prepared to make an advance of funds, as indicated in the reply to the Secretary General’s note of December 25, under arrangements taking account of the points summarized in this memorandum. The United States understands that the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development has agreed to act as fiscal agent in the handling of all funds advanced.

  1. Source: USUN Files, Unnumbered Files, Suez Canal. According to the notes of the Secretary’s Staff Meeting for January 3, this note and the enclosure were not delivered to Hammarskjöld until January 2. (Department of State, Secretary’s Staff Meetings: Lot 63 D 75)
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  3. Confidential.
  4. Dated December 25, not printed. The text was transmitted to the Department of State in Delga 403 from USUN, December 27. Delga 403 indicated that the note had been received by the U.S. Delegation at 1:14 p.m., December 27, although according to the U.N. Secretariat it had been prepared and ready for distribution late on December 25. (Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/12–2756) Hammarskjöld included the note contained in Delga 403 as Annex III to his second report on the clearing of the Suez Canal. (January 10; U.N. document A/3492) In Annex III, the document is described as a note dated December 23


    Regarding the formal U.S. response to the December 25 note see footnote 2, supra .