330. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the President and the Libyan Ambassador (Mansour), White House, Washington, June 23, 1958, 9:56–10:07 a.m.1


  • Presentation of Credentials by the Libyan Ambassador to the President

The President welcomed the Ambassador and, after an exchange of amenities, said that he believed that the various aspects of Libyan-American relations were progressing in a very satisfactory manner. He added that he was confident that continued cooperation by the two countries would successfully forestall the possibilities of Libya falling under communist domination. The Ambassador indicated his concurrence with the President’s remarks and emphasized the importance that Libya attaches to close relations with the United States.

The President alluded to oil exploration activity in Libya and asked about the prospects for success. The Ambassador indicated that a large number of American, British and French companies were presently engaged in exploration; that others (principally the Italians) are interested in obtaining concessions; and that some interesting, but as yet unproven, strikes have been discovered. The President emphasized his strong hope that substantial quantities of oil might be found in Libya, noting the great benefit that this would bring, not only to Libya, but to other Western countries by decreasing their present heavy dependence upon vulnerable Middle Eastern supplies.

The President inquired about the King’s health. The Ambassador stated that although His Majesty is greatly bothered by arthritis, his health is otherwise good. He added that this arthritic condition constitutes the reason why His Majesty spends so much of his time at Tobruk, where the climate is drier. The Ambassador remarked that, in [Page 725] a conversation prior to his departure for the United States, the Queen expressed the hope that she would be able to visit the United States sometime when His Majesty’s health might permit her absence.

The conversation closed with a further exchange of expressions of mutual esteem and cooperation.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. Confidential. Drafted by Joseph Palmer 2nd. The time of the meeting is taken from Eisenhower’s appointment book. (Ibid., President’s Daily Appointments)