24. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy 0

4:30 meeting1 will cover Algeria-Morocco crisis and Yemen because of Nasser’s interest in both. Attached are some of the more recent cables.2

Core of Moroccan/Algerian problem is to get a cease-fire and negotiation going before Algerian buildup (with UAR/Cuban/USSR support) leads BB to enlarge the war. Moroccans hold both disputed cases, and [Page 30] one press report has them heading for ultimate objective of Tindouf. Of course the farther they go, the wilder BB will get.

Our hopes are pinned on Bamako meeting Tuesday and mediation of Selassie and Keita.

We seem to be softening up Moroccans a bit; your message to Hassan, plus our stall on his appeals for aid, should carry this further. We must get Hassan to compromise before he gets in over his head.

Meanwhile Badeau did a good job of beating up Ali Sabri and then Nasser, but we’re not on too good a wicket here. If we and French are still supplying Moroccans, how can we tell Nasser not to equip Algerians?

We also don’t want to get too far out of step with DeGaulle; latest suggests French are switching hands-off policy to extent of sending Hassan ammo and food, plus continuing regular military aid. This may be a reaction to reports about UAR involvement.

We hear Chicom delegation due in Algiers tonight to sign agreement covering 25 billion old franc loan announced earlier. Soviet Foreign Trade Minister Potolichev is also arriving to discuss aid. In this light, should we still hold up announcing $10 million Moroccan SA loan, which we’ve already stalled a week?

[Here follows discussion of Yemen.]

R.W. Komer 3
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Morocco, 10/63. Secret.
  2. At the White House meeting on October 28, the President agreed to the following courses of action: 1) the signing of the $10 million Supporting Assistance Loan for Morocco; 2) expediting shipments of small arms ammunition to Morocco already programmed under MAP; and 3) raising with Ambassador Porter the particular concern and interest of the United States in the shipment of Cuban arms to Algeria. (Memorandum from Newsom to Williams, October 29; Department of State, Central Files, POL 32-1 ALG-MOR)
  3. The source text indicates the following cables as attachments: 1079 to Rabat; 742, 744, 745 from Rabat; 276 from Tunis; 882 from Algiers; 1645 from USUN; 969 from Cairo; 2041 and 2042 from Paris.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.