390. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1
Chargé and acting USOM director met today with Prime Minister at latter’s request to receive written reply dated December 28 to Embassy aide-mémoire provided Prime Minister December 205 per reference telegram B.
Prime Minister paraphrased reply orally in English for stated purpose of “providing any necessary explanations and answering questions.” Following are Prime Minister’s paraphrased statements of contents of HKJ reply.
- HKJ continues to be highly grateful for generous US support in trying circumstances last several years.
- HKJ disappointed that request for additional $10 million for budget support current JFY considered “out of question” but accepts this language as final. Accordingly HKJ planning use during last four months current JFY at least $5.6 million from reserves “and even more to extent necessary”. On basis US will provide $4.4 million in addition $7.5 million previously promised, HKJ can thus cover budget expenditure requirements during balance JFY 1959. Re US contention that increase during last 11/2 years of HKJ reserves by $5.6 million represents unutilized US aid, HKJ considers this erroneous and probably result “superficial analysis or lack of understanding”. In fact, outstanding [Page 678] indebtedness HKJ substantially in excess of cash reserves on hand, which really means HKJ has no actual reserves and is practically bankrupt.
- While as outlined above HKJ can manage balance JFY, to use US phrase, “out of question” for HKJ to manage during JFY 1960 with $40.5 million offered by US.
- Assuming HKJ can finance with local and other revenues budget cost for civil governmental operations, impossible to reduce Jordan Army and public security budget requirements below level current JFY. In fact Jordan Army budget will require increase in JFY 1960 to meet requirements (A) operation/maintenance of Hawker–Hunter aircraft and (B) inclusion in new army brigade of personnel now in National Guard. Prime Minister stated latter contemplated per General Risden recommendations.
- Accordingly, HKJ renews its requests for FY 1960 of US budget aid of $50 million on basis such aid essential if present pro-free world regime and policies are to survive.
In addition to above, Prime Minister referred to 2 note sheets on his desk which he stated were in King’s handwriting and submitted by King for inclusion in aide-mémoire reply. Prime Minister stated that he had “sweetened” King’s language for inclusion in reply but that King was emphasizing again that US offer for JFY 1960 “contrary to assurances of US support he has received from highest US levels, and that the present Jordan could not survive with the aid offered”.
Prime Minister then stated he “could not put his hand” to a budget situation such as the limited US aid of JFY 1960 would require and that in such case he “would retire to his house and give the King opportunity to form another government to cope with the crisis”.
During meeting it was made obvious by Prime Minister that upon serious reflection and study since December 20 prospective situation for JFY 1960 continues appear untenable, as stressed to Chargé in meeting December 20 with Rifai, and again same day with King at which UK Ambassador Johnston present. Rifai again emphasized the situation re Syria and now Iraq even more serious than previously and accordingly “impossible” for HKJ to assume different defense posture or policies in foreseeable future.6 He emphasized that Syria and Iraq much more of problem in this country than Israel.[Page 679]
Aide-mémoire text follows next pouch.7
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 785.5–MSP/12–2958. Secret; Priority.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 388.↩
- Document 388.↩
- See footnote 3, Document 388.↩
- The Department replied to the Jordanian aide-mémoire on February 12 with an instruction to the Embassy to reiterate the position that the United States could not assure Jordan of more than $40.5 million in budget support during Jordanian fiscal year 1960. (Telegram 1629 to Amman; Department of State, Central Files, 885.10/2–659; included in the microfiche supplement)↩
- The text of the Jordanian aide-mémoire, dated December 28, was transmitted to the Department as enclosure 2 to despatch 122 from Amman, December 29. (Department of State, Central Files, 785.5–MSP/12–2958; included in the microfiche supplement)↩