300. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, August 27, 1958, 5:30 p.m.1

SUBJECT

  • Aid to Jordan

PARTICIPANTS

  • Lord Hood, British Embassy
  • The Acting Secretary
  • W—Mr. Dillon
  • NEA—Mr. Rountree
  • NE—Mr. Dorman
  • NE/E—Mr. Shaw

Pursuant to Lord Hood’s inquiry on whether the United States could say something more definite to the HKJ on budgetary aid than proposed in the earlier draft telegram Mr. Rountree said technicians within the Department had been at work on a revised draft message. They have prepared a new draft which is acceptable to them and which should be satisfactory if Mr. Herter approves. Mr. Rountree then read the proposed telegram.2 In the discussion which followed Lord Hood said that the British offer to contribute $5 million against a United States contribution of $45 million was intended to provide support to Jordan over the next 12 months and that if the United States planning covered only the next six months, i.e. to the end of the current HKJ fiscal year (March 30, 1959), then the UK contribution would presumably amount to $2.5 million. Mr. Rountree, while evidencing disappointment in the effect of this on current budget planning, did not think the United States could commit itself beyond the [Page 532] present Jordan FY 59. In reply to Mr. Herter’s concern that the United States offer might be construed as a commitment to any Government in Jordan, Mr. Rountree said this would not be so, since our offer was being made only to King Hussein and Rifai.

The second aspect of the telegram in which Lord Hood was interested related to the establishment of 2 brigades. Mr. Rountree said this had given us considerable difficulty; he prepared to say more than that the matter was under consideration and that the Department hoped to be able to inform HKJ of our views as soon as possible. It was agreed that the United States would seek the views of our Chargé on these brigades: on whether both are necessary, the purpose for which they are to be organized, the problem of financing them, and his recommendations. Mr. Dorman was to prepare a message asking for the Chargé’s views on these points and requesting the Chargé to consult with the British Ambassador in the preparation of his reply.3

In response to Mr. Herter’s inquiry as to whether Secretary General Hammarskjold should be informed of our intention to supply economic aid, it was agreed our Chargé in Amman would be instructed to so inform him; if the Embassy had difficulty, however, in reaching Mr. Hammarskjold the Chargé would advise the Department and some other channel would be used to keep him informed of our offer.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.0085/8–2758. Secret. Drafted by J. F. Shaw.
  2. Infra .
  3. A telegram posing these questions was sent to Amman on August 28. (Telegram 677 to Amman; Department of State, Central Files, 785.00/8–2858; included in the microfiche supplement)