122. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Iraq


  • UK
    • Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd
    • Admiral Denny, NATO Standing Group
    • Marshal of the RAF Dickson
    • Sir William Hayter, Foreign Office
  • US
    • Secretary of State
    • Secretary of Defense
    • General Nathan Twining
    • Mr. Allen Dulles
    • General W. Wisenand
  • UK
    • Lord Hood, British Chargé d’Affaires
    • Mr. Roger Jackling, British Embassy
    • Mr. Willie Morris, British Embassy
    • Mr. Denis Laskey, Private Secretary to FM
    • Mr. Donald Logan, Foreign Office
  • US
    • Under Secretary Herter
    • C—Mr. Frederick Reinhardt
    • NEA—Mr. William M. Rountree
    • EUR—Mr. C. Burke Elbrick
    • IO—Mr. Francis Wilcox
    • NE—Mr. Stuart Rockwell
    • NE—Mr. David Newsom
    • GTI—Mr. Owen Jones

Mr. Lloyd expressed the view that if the new Government of Iraq obtains effective control of the country it would be out of the question to consider reconquering the country from the military standpoint.1 Marshal Dickson agreed that it would take a major military operation requiring a line of communications through Syria.

It was formally agreed that there were few possibilities or figures around whom resistance in Iraq might be rallied. Mr. Lloyd [1–½ lines of source text not declassified] commented that if there should be any spark of resistance in Iraq the British landings in Jordan would bring it out.

The Secretary commented that it appeared to be premature to make any decision on the matter since the information received to date from Iraq was very sketchy.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 787.00/7–1758. Top Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Newsom on July 18. Lloyd was in Washington for consultations on the Middle East crises July 16–19.
  2. In telegram 181 from Baghdad, July 17, 10 a.m., received at 3:51 a.m., Ambassador Gallman sent the following assessment reached jointly with the British Ambassador as of 9 a.m. Baghdad time:

    “It is our considered opinion that allied landings in Iraq, unless swiftly executed in overwhelming force, would very likely lead to indiscriminate killing and looting among Americans and Europeans (some 5,000, of whom 2,000 British and 2,000 Americans) by mobs whom army would be totally unable, even if willing, to control. Allied landings in Jordan would also entail risk that this might happen.” (Ibid.)