332. Editorial Note

On November 20, Prime Minister Kubar handed Ambassador Jones a note asking the United States to enter into negotiations to revise the 1954 base rights agreement. Dated November 18, the note stated Libya believed the nature of U.S. payments for use of the bases and the value of Libyan services merited review. Specifically, it held that economic assistance was given to Libya unconditionally in return [Page 727] for use of the bases, and that these payments should be included in the Libyan budget. It also maintained that the Libyan political and security situation would be enhanced if the United States provided “an unconditional allotment of a specific sum for the period of an agreement in return for use of the bases,” rather than reducing its payments in 1960, as currently stipulated. (Telegram 254 from Benghazi, November 21; Department of State, Central Files, 773.5–MSP/11–2158)

Jones gave Kubar the U.S. response on January 15, 1959, stating that although the United States felt Libya suffered no economic losses because of the presence of Wheelus Field, it was willing to discuss the points raised in the November 18 note. Kubar agreed the base benefited Libya economically, but noted it was a political liability. (Telegram 333 from Benghazi, January 15; ibid., 773.5–MSP/1–1559) The text of the U.S. note has not been found.