360. Memorandum of Discussion at the 422d Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, October 29, 19591

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and items 1–3. For item 2, see Document 337.]

4. Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria [here follows a list of references]

Mr. Gray briefly discussed the proposed policy (see attached briefing note) calling the Council’s particular attention to the fact that the Council had adopted and the President had approved paragraphs (nos. 24 and 31) on the Moroccan bases at the meeting in August.2 He stated that subsequent developments had not indicated any requirement to re-examine these paragraphs. However, he asked the Secretary of State whether he would care to comment on the visit of the Prime Minister of Morocco and its relationship to the base question.

In response, Secretary Herter said that Prime Minister Ibrahim had talked with the President and him and that he had been staying on in the U.S. hoping to get some resolution of the base problem. A satisfactory resolution of this problem was important to his political position in Morocco. The Secretary noted that there had recently been further talks in New York as a result of which a statement had been drafted with which the Prime Minister was apparently satisfied. Ibrahim had wanted public recognition of the principle of evacuation. Instead the statement would only recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the bases. The Secretary said that the statement had been given to Defense for clearance and that it would be issued on Friday at the [Page 794] time of the departure of the Prime Minister.3 The Secretary then read the full text of the proposed statement which, in addition to recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the bases, contained a general statement to the effect that discussions, including discussion of the base problem, had taken place during the Prime Minister’s visit and that they would continue in Rabat. The Secretary said that the Prime Minister had tried to pin the U.S. down to a two-year term. We, however, had stuck with a five-year term while recognizing that a year and a month had gone by since we had originally proposed such a period. The Prime Minister had not balked too much at the U.S. position and we were still hoping for an agreement on the basis of a four-year term. The Secretary stated that we had advised the French that we contemplated issuing a statement along the lines indicated and that the French were resigned to it.

Secretary Gates suggested that it was important in the negotiations with Morocco to distinguish between the communications facilities and the bases. Secretary Herter said that we had never raised the question of communications facilities but had made a distinction in the discussions with respect to the two bases that we were prepared to evacuate very soon. The communications facilities, however, were being treated as a separate thing.

The National Security Council:4

Discussed further the draft statement of policy on the subject contained in NSC 5911; in the light of the revisions circulated by the reference memorandum of October 19, 1959, and the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thereon, transmitted by the reference memorandum of October 27, 1959.5
Adopted NSC 5911, as revised by the reference memorandum of October 19, 1959.
Noted and discussed an oral report by the Secretary of State on recent discussions with Prime Minister Ibrahim of Morocco, and the text of a statement proposed for issuance on the departure of the Prime Minister from the United States.

Note:NSC 5911, as adopted by the action in b above, subsequently approved by the President; circulated as NSC 5911/16 for [Page 795] implementation by all appropriate Executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government; and referred to the Operations Coordinating Board as the coordinating agency designated by the President.

[Here follow items 4 and 5.]

Robert H. Johnson
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Johnson.
  2. The proposed policy is NSC 5911; see footnote 1, Document 268. The briefing note is not printed. Regarding the August 18 NSC meeting, see Document 357.
  3. A memorandum of Porter’s October 27–30 discussions with Ibrahim, who had returned to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, is in Department of State, Central Files, 711.56371/10–3059. For text of the statement, issued simultaneously in Washington and Rabat on October 30, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, p. 1106.
  4. Paragraphs a–c and the Note that follows constitute NSC Action No. 2141. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)
  5. Copies of the October 19 and 27 memoranda are ibid.,OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, NSC 5911.
  6. Document 268.