22. Editorial Note

In briefing the National Security Council on May 8 on significant world developments affecting U.S. security, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles offered an assessment of the situation in Lebanon:

“Turning to the situation in the Middle East, Mr. Dulles noted that the question of the Presidential succession in the Lebanon had now become very serious. If pro-Western President Chamoun decided to run for re-election, it would require a Constitutional change. We don’t know that he has actually decided to run again, but that was the probability. Such a decision would be bound to cause internal difficulties which Nasser was certain to exploit. Meanwhile, the Lebanese [Page 35]Government has been putting the heaviest kind of pressure on our State Department to secure very large amounts of grant aid. Indeed, the amount desired was very far beyond the needs of Lebanon, and really constituted a kind of economic blackmail.” (Memorandum of discussion at the 365th Meeting of the National Security Council, prepared by Gleason on May 9; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)