133. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at the United Nations 1

45. Re Lebanese situation. USUN requested to take following steps immediately:

Request urgent meeting SC to be convened Tuesday 10:30 a.m. Request should be made within framework item already on SC agenda.
Objective SC meeting would be give US opportunity make report to SC regarding decision to make available US military assistance to Lebanon pursuant to its request.
In order establish most favorable possible climate for request for US assistance without having SC take action which might inhibit military efforts, suggest you indicate to Lebanese desirability of including following elements in its statement before SC: (a) expression appreciation of SYG’s and UNOGIL’s efforts in carrying out SC mandate; (b) recognition that UNOGIL has made useful, though limited, contribution in connection with problem of infiltration, emphasizing at same time factors which have tended to limit UNOGIL’s effectiveness; (c) expression of hope that UN will soon be able provide armed forces to maintain independence of Lebanon; (d) forceful and factual statement of infiltrations that continue seriously threaten independence and integrity of Lebanon; (e) expression of deep concern that recent grave developments in Iraq, and plots in Jordan constitute grave further threat to independence of Lebanon; (f) expression intention GOL cooperate and support fully UNOGIL, but in meantime necessity in light of circumstances to request military assistance from US.
We believe at this stage it would be undesirable to seek further SC resolution since proposal which would record fact of Western assistance and call upon friendly SC members to stand up and be counted might very well embarrass number our friends in SC without enhancing our public posture. We hope other SC members will be able likewise express their concern over present events and endorse in their statements, to extent feasible, action being taken by Western states pursuant to Lebanese request. We hope statements will also emphasize grave situation created as result of developments in Iraq. Statements should also point out continued need for UNOGIL and for increasing its strength and effectiveness by all appropriate means. It would be desirable if supporting statements from number other Council members could be secured. However in order avoid premature leaks re US military presence in Lebanon you should not consult with other SC members or with Lebanese with view to getting supporting statements until 9:30 a.m. (exception to above procedure is UK who fully aware of timing). Of utmost importance to abide by above injunction re consultations.
We believe USSR will seek identify US military presence with aggression and may even submit resolution condemnatory of US action. We believe it essential avoid having SC bogged down by transparent propaganda maneuver this character. Therefore USUN should in so far as possible lay groundwork for countering any Soviet initiative by seeking focus SC attention on external character of threat to GOL and fact Western forces operating under mission limited to support of legitimate government threatened from outside its own frontiers and which requested assistance. You would of course counter any Soviet efforts to press condemnatory resolution to vote which in any case we believe would fail to obtain necessary 7 supporters.
You should concert fully with Lebanese representative, SYG and friendly SC members.
Department preparing urgently Lodge SC statement.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783A.00/7–1458. Top Secret; Niact. Drafted by Elizabeth A. Brown, David Gamon, and Joseph J. Sisco in IO/UNP. Cleared with IO, L/UNA, EUR, NEA, C, and with Secretary Dulles. Repeated to London, Paris, Beirut, and Cairo.
  2. Lodge telephoned Dulles on July 14 at 7:20 p.m. to ask for an appreciation of the situation in the Middle East and guidance on the approach to take at the United Nations. Dulles outlined the decision to intervene militarily in Lebanon. Lodge was directed to arrange for a Security Council meeting the next morning to explain the intervention as an interim measure taken until the United Nations could organize a force to deal with the situation, at which point the United States would withdraw. (Memorandum of a telephone conversation; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations; included in the microfiche supplement) Lodge cabled back, after requesting the Security Council meeting, to say that Hammarskjöld was very concerned and wanted some warning concerning U.S. intentions. The Secretary-General told Lodge that “you and we” were in a jam, and added that some “gifts” the United Nations received were “too big for the UN lap.” (Telegram 59 from USUN, July 15; Department of State, Central Files, 330/7–1558)