303. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, March 27, 19581
- Pakistan Prime Minister Noon’s March 8 Public Speech
- Mr. Mohammed Ali, Ambassador of Pakistan
- Mr. M. S. Shaikh, Counselor, Pakistan Embassy
- NEA—Mr. Rountree
- SOA—Garrett H. Soulen
The Ambassador called at his initiative and among various subjects discussed the background of Mr. Noon’s foreign policy remarks in the National Assembly on March 8.2
He pointed out that Mr. Noon had made a very fine, pro-West speech on March 6 but that under extreme “badgering” by the opposition he had said things on March 8 which might have been misinterpreted [Page 631] in the US. The Ambassador excused such statements as resulting from harassment and as reflecting a proclivity on the part of Mr. Noon to take extreme positions from which he would later resile [recede]. He stated that Noon’s remarks did reflect the frustrations and exasperations of the people and that for the time being, Mr. Noon would have to go along with the political current in Pakistan.
In response, Mr. Rountree stated that he knew Mr. Noon very well and appreciated his abilities as a statesman. He had no doubts as to which side Mr. Noon was on and could understand the frustrations referred to. However, even though the remarks might reflect certain feelings of the Pakistani people, it was, nevertheless, true that they had not been articulated before by a high Pakistani official; the political currents to which the Ambassador alluded had been created by this particular speech. He also pointed out that the record, as of now, showed that Noon had made certain statements which had been interpreted in some US circles as inimical to US interests; those statements had not been refuted. Mr. Rountree pointed out that his concern was not only with the adverse reaction in the US but primarily with the favorable reaction which Noon’s statements had engendered throughout Pakistan.
The Ambassador closed the discussion with a recounting of a speech he had made in the US on March 21 which reflected Pakistan’s pro-West orientation and mentioned the March 25 interview which President Mirza had given a United Press correspondent which reiterated Pakistan’s “firm adherence to the integrity and ideology of the free world.”