48. Memorandum by the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Read)1
Washington, May 23, 1967, 4:30 p.m.
Results of 4:30 Meeting with Secretary Rusk, Messrs. Rostow, Kohler, Popper and Read
- The Secretary decided against holding a backgrounder tonight in view of the President’s reconsideration and decision to go on television this evening with a statement of his own.
- It was decided that evacuation from Tel Aviv and Damascus should occur simultaneously but that all posts would be given discretionary authority to proceed with evacuation of USG dependents.
- It was the consensus that the Soviets probably do not want a blow-up in the Middle East based on our knowledge here of Soviet intent.
- On Congressional matters the Secretary indicated that the President considers it vital that we have Congress with us on each important move. Ambassador Battle is scheduled to brief the Hill further on the House and Senate sides tomorrow. The White House has been strongly advised by members of Congress that we obtain a joint resolution of support for USG actions if there is going to be actual fighting.
- The UK, Canada and Denmark have already agreed to join us in a letter requesting Security Council action. Brazil has raised certain problems. When signed, the letter would become public. The Secretary General has sent word that he does not want to stand in the way of Security Council action if that is the wish of the members, but if there is a division of opinion he hopes such action will await the SYG’s return on Friday. The Secretary General’s first meeting with a UAR official, Foreign Minister Riad, is at 3:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
- George Thomson arrives in Washington at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and will see Under Secretary Rostow at 10:30 and the Secretary at 11:00. The Secretary wants the control group to initiate urgent consideration of what the Maritime powers might say and do. He thinks that Maritime action may proceed concurrent with Security Council action or before or after the latter, but he emphasized that Maritime actions must be approved at the highest level and have strong Congressional support.
- Not resolved.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Secret. Drafted by Read.↩