2. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 0
I entirely agree that it is necessary to find something else to put in our bags before we get to Ankara. For this reason I can tell you in strictest confidence that we are making a special effort to see if we can provide some more economic assistance. I am hopeful that we can come up with $10 million or so, perhaps to be applied to the telecommunications project.3 Meanwhile, although I appreciate the difficulties for you, if [Page 3] you were also able to contribute something additional on the economic side it would, I feel, be a big help. As you say it is going to be difficult to meet expectations.
I continue to believe that we should seek to avoid consideration of the Palestine issue in the deliberations of the Pact Ministerial Council. It will probably be brought up, but we should not contribute to diverting the attention of the Pact representatives to this matter, especially since, for the US part at least, we have little to say that would be received with enthusiasm.
As for Syria, we have the impression that the Turks may not press so hard on this as they did in Paris, at least publicly. The difficulties in Nuri’s approach are known to both of us.
You mentioned the discussions in Washington on military assistance to Iraq. These were initiated by us not in the framework of the Baghdad Pact or in connection with the relative merits of candidates for US military aircraft but in light of the increased importance of our aid program in Iraq, and of our belief that adjustments are desirable in the US-UK procedures with regard to handling military assistance to the Iraqi Government. The survey mission will be a fact-finding one, designed to provide information to help us form a judgment as to whether we should provide assistance to the Iraqi Air Force, and if so in what form. We are anxious that the Mission proceed quietly, but in view of your request it will not go forward until we have had an opportunity to discuss the matter in Ankara.
Incidentally, our military people believe that Iran has received all the jet aircraft it can at present effectively use.
With best regards,
Text of Lloyd message pouched today.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–AN/1–1758. Top Secret; Verbatim Text. Drafted by Rockwell; cleared by Rountree, Owen Jones, and J. Wesley Jones of EUR; and approved and signed by Dulles.↩
- In a personal message to Dulles, transmitted by British Ambassador Caccia on January 17, Lloyd wrote of his concern that the Baghdad Pact meeting would fail to live up to the expectations of its members, especially their expectation of “visible and concrete evidence that the United States is behind the Pact.” Lloyd feared that the United States and United Kingdom would also disappoint the members on the question of Palestine and promotion of Western influence in Syria. He noted that the only suggestion his government had so far received from the United States was a survey of the possibility of the United States supplying aircraft to Iraq. As the traditional supplier of the Iraqi Air Force, Lloyd continued, such a proposal gave the British problems. Lloyd suggested that if the United States had aircraft to spare, it should give them to Iran “who is always asking for more, and would be the better candidate.” Lloyd concluded his letter with the observation that Dulles’ presence at the meeting precluded any possibility that it could be considered “a routine and business-like meeting.” (Ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204)↩
- The fourth meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Baghdad Pact was held at Ankara, Turkey, January 27–30, 1958. Secretary Dulles attended as Chief of the U.S. Observer Delegation.↩
- On January 21, Dulles sent a memorandum to Eisenhower informing him that at the Ministerial Meeting of the Baghdad Pact “further evidence of U.S. support for the Pact will be expected.” Since formal U.S. adherence to the pact and further military assistance to its members had been ruled out, Dulles stated that the best alternative was a $10 million grant to construct a Baghdad Pact-approved telecommunications system linking the capitals of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan. Dulles asked for authorization to announce it at the meeting. (Department of State, Central Files, 780.5–MSP/1–2158)↩