254. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan 1

246. Joint State-Defense. London’s 2350 and 2358 to Department; Deptel 2598 to London.2 If King or Khammash approach Embassy re supersonics, you should be guided by following:

French and British have made offers to sell supersonics to Jordan. From reports available seems clear costs are beyond current GOJ funding from UAC.
If Jordan has exhausted bargaining for lower cost and improved terms for aircraft with UK and France, it is our view that their next step should be to seek UAC concurrence to proposition that (a) either UAC provide more funds for Jordan’s purchase of Western European aircraft, or (b) UAC reduce its demands re number of planes (see Para F Deptel 219 to Amman).3
USG believes UAR fully aware nature US-Jordanian relationship and recognizes difficulties posed by UAC’s strict alternative of MIG’s or Western aircraft at same price. (FYI: Foregoing points were made to UAR presidential advisor Hassan Sabri Al-Khouli recently during private visit Washington. Airgram CA 5637 pouched Amman.4 End FYI.) Showdown this issue could force undesirable decisions on USG, effects of which could introduce unmanageable instability in area.
Finally, USG has no intention provide either direct or indirect funding Jordanian purchase French or British supersonics. Nor is sale US supersonics contemplated at present reading.5
For London: In view favorable reports from Jidda to effect Saudis have opted for mixed package, what are prospects for pressing UK make Lightning offer to Jordan more attractive? Davies and Hoopes would like discuss this question with appropriate Embassy and UK officials next week.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, DEF 12–5 JORDAN. Secret. Drafted by Officer in Charge of Iraq-Jordan Affairs Lee F. Dinsmore and J.D. Stoddart of DOD/ISA; cleared by Symmes, Meyers, Macomber, Hoopes, Davies, and Komer and in substance by B.W. Byrd of NEA/NR; and approved by U. Alexis Johnson. Repeated to Beirut, Cairo, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, and POLAD CINCSTRIKE.
  2. Telegrams 2350 and 2358 from London, November 22 and 23 respectively. (Ibid.) Telegram 2598 to London, November 15, set forth the response that the Department of State planned to make to a British Embassy query concerning possible U.S. financial support or guaranty for the purchase of British aircraft by Jordan. The Department wanted to avoid any commitment of U.S. funds to enable Jordan to comply with UAC demands, especially on supersonics, and thought the British and Jordanians should continue to explore how Jordan might satisfy UAC demands within the available UAC funds. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 2598 to London, cited in footnote 2 above, was repeated to Amman as telegram 219.
  4. Circular airgram CA-5637, November 24. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 7 UAR)
  5. Telegram 322 from Amman, December 1, reported a conversation on November 30 with Prime Minister Tell and Court Minister Sa’d Juma in which Barnes set forth the U.S. position along the lines of telegram 246. (Ibid., DEF 12–5 JORDAN) Telegram 355 from Amman, December 16, reported a December 15 conversation along the same lines with King Hussein, who declared there was no hope of obtaining French or British planes at an acceptable price and no hope of getting more money from the UAC. He thought the only alternative left was to buy MIGs. (Ibid.)