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

1442. Early this evening Palace protocol officer called said King Hussein wished see me. On arrival Palace I was surprised find King alone (usually he has Rifai with him).

He opened conversation by saying he had not seen me for several days and while he had no urgent problems, did wish discuss some matters general interest. He began by asking my opinion on decision lift martial law which he said was designed first counter influence foreign press which had labeled Jordan police state, second, serve as answer Nasser’s latest propaganda attack which inferred Hussein afraid his own people. I replied on basis my conversation early today with Prime Minister Rifai it would appear so-called lifting martial law was for purely psychological reasons, from practical standpoint would be little change present conditions. King admitted this, but said he hoped over period months army could be relieved its police duties which are destroying its effectiveness both as fighting force and as special instrument suppress public demonstrations when situation gets beyond control civil authorities.

[Page 667]

King launched into bitter attack on Nasser for his latest insults, said he has about reached limit his patience. He would like counter propaganda offensive but Prime Minister Rifai takes position Nasser has violated GA resolution therefore it is UN Ambassador Spinelli’s responsibility deal with matter. Hussein is convinced neither Spinelli or UNSYG can handle Nasser even if they wanted to which he doubts. He said Spinelli’s record to date most disappointing pointed out not a single Jordanian oil truck has been permitted transit Syria while charges on phosphate trucks have been raised to point margin profit completely wiped out. Although GA resolution passed August 21 it is now December, yet neither Spinelli nor any member his organization has even visited Damascus where UN was supposed to open office. [3 lines of source text not declassified]

King expressed his appreciation delivery Hawker Hunter aircraft, was pleased to hear spare parts should begin arriving December 9.

[2 paragraphs (11/2 pages of source text) not declassified]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 785.00/11–3058. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution. Repeated to Cairo, Damascus, and USUN.