13. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President’s Special Assistant (O’Donnell)0

SUBJECT

  • Possible Visit to the United States of Crown Prince Faysal of Saudi Arabia

Our Embassy at Jidda has been informed by the brother-in-law of Crown Prince Faysal that the latter is considering attending the forthcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly. He is reported also to wish very much to have a visit with the President.

While the continued illness of King Saud may preclude a visit by Prince Faysal to the U.S., we would wish to be able to inform Faysal, should he inquire, that the President would be happy to see him. We have in mind a brief meeting either in Washington or New York, whichever is most convenient for the President.

We believe it important that the President see Faysal if he comes because he is heir to King Saud, whose health is rapidly deteriorating.1 Faysal is much more intelligent, worldly and sophisticated than his brother, King Saud, and is in a position to exercise considerable influence over the latter. At a time when the King is petulant towards us as a result of our economic aid to Nasser, the King’s sworn enemy, a meeting between the President and Faysal could prove most useful.

Accordingly we propose dispatching the attached cable authorizing our Embassy at Jidda to respond to an official inquiry that the President [Page 27]would be happy to see him either in Washington or New York whichever appears most appropriate at the time.2

J.L. Rogers3
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786A.11/8-662. Confidential. Drafted by Seelye on August 2 and cleared by King, Talbot, Ludlow, and Strong. Sent through Bundy at the White House.
  2. A note from Komer to McGeorge Bundy, August 6, reads: "I emphatically agree that JFK should express willingness to see Faysal. Since Saud is visibly failing, F. may be the guy we’ll be dealing with shortly. In any case, he is much better man than his brother and worth using as a restraining influence. I am assured there will be no repetition whatsoever of protocol fuss with Saud. However, in setting up meeting we should pass word informally [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that President not interested in sterile repetitions of familiar Saudi complaints re Nasser, etc. but prefers talk about matters on which mutual constructive action feasible. At my request, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] already exploring informally how well this would go down. Without revealing above to State, suggest amending cable as attached.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 7/62–9/62)
  3. A typewritten note at the top of the source text indicates that on August 7 the White House approved transmission of the cable, which was sent as telegram 49 to Jidda, August 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 786.11/9-162) On September 1, the Department of State revised its instructions to allow the Embassy in Jidda to initiate such a discussion in conjunction with reports that Faisal planned to attend the U.N. General Assembly session. (Telegram 77 to Jidda; ibid., 786A.11/9-162) On September 6, Hart raised the issue during a conversation with Faisal, who immediately accepted the offer. (Telegram 148 from Jidda, September 7; ibid., 786A.11/9-762)
  4. Rogers signed for Brubeck above Brubeck’s typed signature.