328. Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State0
888. On April 20 meeting with Faisal, I referred to numerous reports reaching Embassy of serious differences between King and Crown Prince,1 I explained that during these critical times Embassy anxious report situation accurately and unable assess veracity these rumors which, if true, would have significant effect Saudi policy.
Crown Prince welcomed opportunity set record straight and in direct answer which his impressive presence made sound more effective than the words themselves, said: “I wish to assure you there are no differences between myself and King. As is case among friends we sometimes do not see eye to eye, but we are never at loggerheads with each other. Day will never come when I stand in one place and King in another.”
Against background other reports on subject which Crown Prince attempted dismiss Embassy’s considered judgment that:
- Serious differences of opinion on state policy do exist between King and Faisal and Faisal unwilling reveal them to foreigner not because he dishonest but because he convinced he can resolve them before they cause trouble.
- Faisal refuses let these differences develop into open split (in his view takes two to quarrel and he will not quarrel).
- Loyalty to King and dedication to safeguard dynasty preclude Faisal’s plotting against King.
- Faisal will work doggedly for internal economic reforms, governmental reorganization, and foreign nonentanglement until such time as King may choose act against him.
- If King asked Faisal to leave he would do so without fuss.
- Best outlook for Saudi Arabia is for King continue as nominal monarch with Faisal in effective control.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786A.00/4–2259. Secret. Limit Distribution.↩
- Such reports were contained in telegrams 875 and 877 from Jidda, both April 18 (ibid., 786A.00/4–1859), and telegram 934 from Jidda, May 10 (ibid., 786A.00/5–1059). In telegram 978 to Jidda, May 11, the Department instructed Heath to avoid pressure “to take sides or assume the mediator’s role re Saud–Faisal relationship.” (Ibid.)↩