302. Telegram From President Johnson to Prime Minister Wilson1

CAP 67542.

Your messages of the last two days2 have been helpful, as always.

None of us can predict what situations may arise in the days ahead, but my present thinking is this.

  • First, at the moment I doubt that anything useful can come from my personal participation in the General Assembly.
  • Second, from the beginning of this crisis I have not looked with favor on a four-power meeting outside the U.N. Security Council. It is something of an illusion that the four powers have the capacity to design and impose successfully a peace plan on the Near East. The states of the area have made it abundantly clear that they are not subject [Page 508] to effective control from outside. What the major powers can do is to try to create a climate in which the nations of the area themselves might gradually settle their affairs on a peaceful basis. But I am not confident that a four-power session is the best way to do this.

Moreover, I should think both of us would wish to avoid the possibility of having the four of us split or otherwise be strained in such a session.

I hope we can keep in close contact in the days ahead as the situation evolves, and we might wish to counsel together shortly after the smoke clears to assess the situation and see what is required to move things forward towards our common objective of stable peace in the area.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Histories, Middle East Crisis, Vol. 3. Secret; Nodis. The text was sent to the Embassy in London in telegram 212063, June 16. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARABfISR)
  2. Messages of June 15 and 16 from Prime Minister Wilson to President Johnson conveyed Wilson’s thoughts on the forthcoming Special Session of the UN General Assembly and expressed interest whether Johnson planned to attend. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Head of State Correspondence File, UK, Vol. 6)