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

210141. Amman’s 4190.2 Please convey to King Hussein at earliest opportunity the following: [Page 431]

We fully appreciate need to clear up once and for all charges US and UK actively involved in support Israel in hostilities. We have already issued categoric denial, including specific statements by Secretary, Ambassador Goldberg and Defense Dept. British also denied charges.

In SC on June 6 Ambassador Goldberg said (unnecessary words omitted): “US prepared, first, to cooperate in immediate impartial investigation by UN of these charges, to offer all facilities to UN in that investigation; second, as part of or in addition such investigation, US prepared invite UN personnel aboard our aircraft carriers in Mediterranean today, tomorrow, or at convenience of UN, to serve as impartial observers of activities of our planes in area and verify past activities our plans from our official records and from log each ship carries. These observers will, in addition, be free interview air crews these carriers without inhibition, to determine their activities during days in question. Their presence as observers on these carriers will be welcomed throughout period this crisis and so long these ships in eastern waters of Mediterranean.”3

We have now transmitted to UN same offer in official communication for circulation to all Members.4 This places us in position to take formal initiative at any time. In light this fact any Jordanian initiative would be superfluous. Moreover, it seems to us Jordanians upon reflection would realize not in their own interest take any such initiative which bound antagonize other Middle Eastern states.

We are continuing watch problem carefully with view to seeing how play of UAR charges evolves worldwide. UN so far has shown virtually no interest in formal follow-up. We know USSR considers charges have no foundation and has said so to Middle Eastern ambassadors privately, but it obviously will not say so publicly. In this connection Goldberg on June 10 noted that Soviets have been shadowing our fleet in Mediterranean and are in position to disprove charges of involvement by US aircraft. He also remarked that Soviet Ambassador to UN has made no comment on these charges.5
We will keep in continuous review whether to take further steps including submission specific proposal in light developments.
Begin FYI. We will forward comments on Hawker-Hunters and Canberras in septel. End FYI.
For London: Embassy should urgently review contents of Amman’s 4190 with appropriate UK officials and seek their comment on Jordanian impression that Canberras and Hawker-Hunters were [Page 432] active in area. You should specifically try confirm our impression these aircraft obsolete and no longer in use by any British forces in Middle East.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Sisco, cleared by Eugene Rostow and Battle, and approved by Walsh. Also sent to London and repeated to USUN.
  2. Telegram 4190 from Amman, June 10, reported that the previous evening, after Nasser reiterated the charges of U.S. involvement on behalf of Israel, King Hussein urged that this issue should be cleared up and suggested a U.S. invitation to the United Nations to investigate. He said he was willing to take the initiative himself but thought a U.S. initiative would be preferable. He cited the following points for investigation: (a) Jordanian radar readings indicating aircraft flying into Israel from stationary objects in the Mediterranean for 3–4 days preceding the hostilities, (b) reports from Jordanian officers that British Hawker-Hunter aircraft were used in Israeli attacks, (c) Jordanian, UAR, and Syrian reports that British Canberras were used in Israeli attacks, and (d) UAR General Abdul Munim Riyadh was convinced that something more than the Israeli Air Force was involved. (Ibid.)
  3. For text of the statement under reference, see Department of State Bulletin, June 26, 1967, pp. 934–936.
  4. UN document S/7963; printed ibid., July 3, 1967, p. 11.
  5. The text of a statement made by Goldberg on June 10 is ibid., pp. 3–5.