109. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco0

1209. Hold for Ambassador Yost. Following will serve as guidance for your conversation with King on the problems posed by Moroccan acceptance of Soviet jet aircraft:

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Our objective still remains as stated in Deptel 771,1 (1) persuade Morocco to store Soviet aircraft and (2) in any case prevent Soviet instructors and technicians from entering Morocco (or remaining if already there).
Arguments you use with King must be left largely your discretion and will presumably depend on trend actual conversation.
You should certainly emphasize extreme seriousness with which we view presence of Soviet bloc technicians and attempt explain, in whatever detail appropriate, jeopardy not only to United States but to Moroccan interests.
If King reiterates earlier assurances regarding Soviet Bloc technicians, you should express our appreciation but point out that, apart from problem of instructors, mere presence planes with technical and maintenance difficulties ensuing in time will sooner or later oblige Morocco obtain outside technical help. It would be useful if you could elicit Morocco’s intentions this regard.
Regarding Bloc technicians already in Morocco, you should express your frank surprise in view assurances given you earlier. If King says they are merely assembly crew and will soon depart you should attempt to pin down exactly when. Throughout conversation you should attempt to elicit all possible information about Soviet planes, other military equipment, intended use thereof and nature and number accompanying personnel.
We suggest your tone at outset should be sympathetic but firm. If in course of conversation King adopts unhelpful attitude, and if in particular it appears to you GOM has in fact breached assurances given you, you may emphasize gravity with which US Government will view such development.
We naturally hope however conversation will take more encouraging direction. If this proves to be case and you feel King is looking for way out of his dilemma, you may point out, as you had indicated to him some months ago, that USG stands ready see how it can further help Morocco under present military assistance program. Specifically, you may if necessary draw on authority Deptel 771 to offer jet aircraft squadron, training aircraft and necessary training personnel. As you are fully aware, however, any aircraft offer must be contingent on achievement objectives para (1) above.
If King not satisfied with offer under Deptel 771 and shows desire either for jets of later model than F-86’s or for military transport aircraft (either in lieu of jets or in addition thereto), you may say you will personally recommend that USG give prompt and sympathetic consideration to King’s wishes. Such assistance would of course likewise be to subject to conditions specified para (1). FYI. Regarding possibilities discussed Hare meeting Feb. 18 for improving US offer over that contemplated Deptel 771, additional assistance would of course require further formal action here, including Presidential determination. If King prefers military air transport to combat aircraft Defense thinks C-54’s could be made available. If he wants such transport aircraft in addition to F-86’s, this possibility too could be examined. If what he wants is improved type jet, there is possibility obtaining F-100D’s. If delivery any foregoing urgently required, planes could probably be taken from US operational units and delivered to Morocco in 15 to 30 days. Action to implement any part of foregoing would first require your recommendation based on conversation with King and then formal clearance and authorization as above, which we would undertake to obtain as rapidly as possible. Obviously we do not wish to go any further into aircraft aid than situation requires and of course would not wish contemplate such aid at all unless it achieves objectives para (1). But foregoing intended indicate to you lengths to which we are willing to try to go to achieve these objectives. End FYI.
Tactics in discussing aircraft assistance must again be left to you. You can perhaps say to King he will understand US assistance this nature could hardly be justified to American Congress or public if USSR, through introduction equipment and personnel, were in slightest position to threaten US air bases. You might then ask whether His Majesty would consider conveying his renewed assurances this regard in reply to President.
In connection foregoing, and particularly in regard to Embtel 1502 of February 14,2 you may also wish to remind King of his written assurances to President Eisenhower that GOM would not permit utilization of US bases relinquished to Morocco in any way inimical to US security.3
You can say that you would like to report urgently to Washington King’s responses and (if you have discussed possibility obtaining US aircraft) you are confident US can move rapidly to provide any equipment and training on which agreement reached.
Depending on King’s reaction in your audience, you would presumably wish to take any appropriate steps that would be necessary to [Page 165] insure that Crown Prince does not feel we are circumventing him and to enlist support friendly members of cabinet. You may even think it desirable that Prince should be present in audience with King.

FYI. If conversation does not go as well as we hope, and particularly if GOM seems determined make use Soviet aircraft and technicians, question arises as to means and desirability demonstrating harder US line. On this we wish to be guided largely by your recommendations and assessment of effect any retaliatory measures on overall US interests. US economic aid suggests itself as one area where US could make its displeasure felt. While pressures this regard, particularly those likely to be felt by or revealed to Moroccan public, run risk at some point of dangerous counter-effects, it might be possible take certain meaningful steps in our dealings with GOM officials. For example, while $40 million aid figure has been announced to GOM, most of FY’61 program pending. Although GOM does not appear to be in pressing need this aid, we might, for example, stall on commodity import schedule or tighten up on terms $20 million loan (requiring written Battle Act assurances, etc.). In last analysis, however, this or any other form of reprisal would raise grave considerations requiring most careful study. End FYI.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 771.5622/1-1861. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Root; cleared by Grantham (DOD), Bell, Penfield, and Veliotes; and approved by Hare.
  2. Telegram 771 to Rabat, December 7, 1960, provided the Ambassador with standby authority under certain conditions to offer a squadron of jet aircraft to the Moroccan Government. (Ibid., 771.5622/11-2960) For additional information on the Presidential Determination of December 6, 1960, see Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, vol. XIII, pp. 812814, footnote 1.
  3. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 771.5622/2-1461)
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, vol. XIII, pp. 806807.