297. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

632. Reference: Department telegram 644;2 Embassy telegram 597,3 626.4 My opinion which in some measure supported by British Ambassador Johnston conversation King Hussein Embassy telegram 626 “beneficial repercussions Arab resolutions” have not caused either Hussein/RIFAI change their positions/attitude for following reasons:

While paying lip service theory revival Arab League signals “dawn new era Middle East relations” neither Hussein/RIFAI believes Nasser will abandon his aggressive policies although he may make temporary tactical shift with greater emphasis on covert means.
Both Hussein/RIFAI realize British troops must be withdrawn near future otherwise Jordan position vis-à-vis other Arab states untenable.
Opposition Hussein/RIFAI within Jordan has not diminished as result GA action and while actual coup may not be as imminent as July 16 slightest relaxation police state control could start slide down slippery slope. [6 lines of source text not declassified]
Hussein/RIFAI realize Jordanian public senses country’s geographic, political, economic isolation fear of being left alone surrounded hostile (despite reaffirmation Arab brotherly love) states. I believe present regime has accurately gauged public opinion when they say Jordan must have a champion who will demonstrate in unmistakable terms its determination support pro-Western government against all opposition both within/without country regardless its source or political coloration feel anything less will fail achieve its purpose.

Lessening tension and feeling of imminent disaster noted Embassy telegram 6295 are surface reactions which have little bearing on [Page 527] attitude Hussein/RIFAI both of whom appreciate basic problem as far they concerned remains same or on those determined destroy them who are convinced both time/Nasser are on their side.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 785.00/8–2658. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution.
  2. In telegram 644 to Amman, August 25, the Department asked, in light of the problem posed by the possible resignation of Rifai whether the Embassy felt that the “beneficial repercussions” of the Arab resolution adopted by the General Assembly might have caused the King and the Prime Minister “to take less gloomy attitude regarding future Jordan vis-à-vis UAR and their own immediate personal positions.” (Ibid., 785.00/8–2358; included in the microfiche supplement)
  3. Document 290.
  4. Telegram 626 from Amman, August 25, reported on an exchange between Wright and British Ambassador Johnston. Johnston discussed a conversation with King Hussein in which Hussein conveyed the impression that he would have to change the Rifai government for one which would reach an accommodation with the UAR if his requests for increased financial and military support were not met by the Western powers. (Department of State, Central Files, 785.11/8–2558)
  5. Dated August 25. (Ibid., 785.00/8–2558; included in the microfiche supplement)