304. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State 1

674. Re Deptel 666.2 Met with UNSYG Hammarskjold his hotel this evening, conveyed substance reference telegram, advised him it passed on highly confidential basis which he promised protect. During our conversation lasting more than an hour Secretary General provided following information:

Has great personal admiration Prime Minister Rifai whom he regards as intelligent/able negotiator dedicated best interest his country, expressed hope he would continue act as stabilizing force on young King Hussein whom he (SYG) believes somewhat prone “make snap judgments”.
Secretary General has no explanation sudden violent attack by Damascus/Baghdad Radios against Hussein/RIFAI, called it act “neurotic children who may not be understood but must be lived with.” He intends seek agreement among Arab states put stop this type psychological warfare, same true press.
Although he believes both Hussein/RIFAI men of high principle he concerned their utter lack appreciation present government unpopularity, fact impossible put all your political enemies in jail. He said he knew several opposition leaders who were good men against whom police-state tactics lowest order had been used. His opinion unless Hussein/RIFAI at least make honest attempt enlist people’s support internal situation, extremely explosive, cannot be contained indefinitely. He said he had attempted bring this point home Hussein/RIFAI by asking them spell out so-called threats external aggression; unfortunately they had missed point or deliberately avoided it.
Secretary General intends return Amman after Cairo talks,3 hopes work out some form “practical approach” implement GA resolution, but admitted at best it only question “buying time” in absence [Page 539] any fundamental change Jordan internal situation which cannot be attributed entirely external subversion no more than case Lebanon. Secretary General said he had prepared draft paper covering points at issue which he intended discuss Hussein/RIFAI later tonight, felt at least two more sessions required before general picture clear enough evaluate chances success, even then this contingent compromised with views other Arab states. As I left he said if possible would like talk with me again either before he departs Geneva or on his return Cairo.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 785.00/8–2858. Secret; Priority; Noforn; Limited Distribution.
  2. Document 301.
  3. Hammarskjöld left Amman on August 29 for Geneva, where he participated in the opening session on September 1 of the second U.N. Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. He returned to the search for a Middle East settlement in Cairo on September 3 with talks with UAR officials which lasted until September 5. He visited Baghdad on September 7 and 8, returned to Amman on September 8 and 9, and concluded his trip to the Middle East with a visit to Beirut September 10–12. At the conclusion of his trip, Hammarskjöld prepared a report to the General Assembly on his activities under the mandate established by the resolution adopted on August 21. The report was submitted to the General Assembly on September 29. (Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, Vol. IV: Dag Hammarskjöld, 1958–1960, pp. 203–216)