348. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the President and the Secretary of State, Washington, June 27, 1957, 7:09 p.m.1


[Here follow Eisenhower’s comments on his choice to fill the post of Secretary of Defense.]

The Sec said he has the note re Saud.2 We are in a bad way and the Sec has been thinking about it and working on it. Saud is acting as the head of the Moslem religion and not as head of state. The route through the Gulf of Aqaba does not go through Saudi water. It is Egyptian and they are not kicking. The Pres said he understands. Saud, said the Sec, talks in terms of Arabs and Holy Places. The Pres asked if he suggested he would allow it to go before the World Court. [Page 661] The Sec said we got an intimation from some Aramco people he is getting an opinion from Manley Hudson and somebody else as to how they thought it would come out. The Pres said we said from the beginning we would go to the Court. The Pres thinks the note3 would say here is one place where we don’t see eye-to-eye and this is with great regret but we have looked at the thing and the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba seems to be on the Egyptian side. Because it was over and we thought it would not disturb you much and also because we have always said we were ready to take it to the Court and since he is concerned about the travel of the pilgrims we content ourselves at the moment that any agreement of which we are a part will guarantee freedom of use by the Arabs and put it before the Court. … The Près would like to get in a plane and see him [Saud] if it would not create a storm. …

[Here follow Dulles’ comments on his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that day.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Bernau.
  2. See the editorial note, supra.
  3. Reference is presumably to a proposed response to Saud’s letter of June 25.