513. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson1


  • Present Status of King Hussein’s Visit

You will have seen a detailed memorandum of my conversation with King Hussein at lunch yesterday.2 I met privately with him for a half hour preceding that luncheon and, among other things, referred to his conversations with Ambassador Goldberg in New York.3 I intended to incorporate the statements made by Ambassador Goldberg to him and by reference to indicate my approval of Ambassador Goldberg’s statements.

Following the luncheon, a member of the King’s party inquired as to whether I had specifically meant to include a reference to the statements made by Ambassador Goldberg with respect to territorial integrity. I authorized a U.S. official to confirm to the King that I had by reference incorporated Ambassador Goldberg’s assurances in my comments.

The net effect of this incorporation is to state that the United States as a matter of policy does not envisage a Jordan which consists only of the East Bank. The United States is prepared to support the return of a substantial part of the West Bank to Jordan with boundary adjustments. However, the United States would use its influence to obtain compensation to Jordan for any territory it is required to give up.

For example, if Jordan is required to give up the Latrun salient, the United States will use its diplomatic and political influence to obtain in compensation access for Jordan to a Mediterranean port in Israel. Finally, although as a matter of policy we do not agree with either Jordan’s or Israel’s position on [Page 1013] Jerusalem, we are prepared to use our diplomatic and political influence to obtain for Jordan a role in Jerusalem. In short, we are prepared to make a maximum diplomatic and political effort to obtain for Jordan the best possible deal in terms of settlement with Israel.

The foregoing was conveyed to the King with a clear statement that we cannot guarantee that everything will be returned to Jordan since, of course, we cannot speak for Israel.

King Hussein’s visit has so far gone quite well. During his visit, King Hussein will have made a number of public appearances in addition to meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House. He appeared on the TV program “Face the Nation” on November 5. He also has delivered an address at Georgetown University and at the National Press Club.

The major theme of the King’s public statements is the need for a permanent understanding between Israel and its Arab neighbors. In what he described as the “new and positive approach of the Arabs towards a lasting peace in the Middle East”, he has stressed the willingness of the Arab world to consider a political approach to the Arab-Israel question.

Specifically, he has called on Israel to state what it proposes to do with respect to Arab lands it has occupied, Arab refugees it has displaced, and the future of the Old City of Jerusalem. He has stressed the Arab desire for peace and has pointed out that Israel has a choice of either living with the Arabs peacefully or of remaining an isolated outpost in the Arab world.

A separate memorandum is being submitted with respect to the current situation at the United Nations.4

Dean Rusk
  1. Source: Johnson Library, President’s Appointment File. Secret; Exdis. The Department of State record copy of this memorandum is dated November 8 and indicates it was drafted by Battle on November 7. An attached note states that Rusk took the memorandum to the President on November 8. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 JORDAN) He presumably took it with him when he attended the President’s lunch meeting at 1 p.m. that day. The Middle East situation at the United Nations and plans for the meeting with Hussein were on the agenda. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Rostow Files, Meetings with the President)
  2. See Document 508.
  3. See Document 509 and footnotes 3 and 5 thereto.
  4. An unsigned, undated memorandum from Rusk to the President with supplementary talking points for his meeting with King Hussein urging that he do everything possible to persuade the Arab delegations, especially the UAR delegation, to accept the U.S. draft resolution, is filed with this memorandum.