231. Letter From John J. McCloy to Secretary of State Rusk 1

Dear Dean:

I have just had read to me over the telephone a communication from Aramco reporting a conversation which the head of Aramco in Saudi Arabia had with King Faisal, which I think you will be interested in reading. I am enclosing a copy of the message herewith but meanwhile I have asked the Washington Office of Aramco to deliver a copy of it to you this afternoon.2

I have also received just now a communication from Dr. Calvin Plimpton, President of Amherst College and Chairman of the Board of the American University in Beirut, to the effect that the President of the latter institution (the American University) has asked him to stress with the U.S. Government that any stand by the United States against the Arab position in favor of Israel could have the deepest consequences in prejudicing the good relations between the United States and the Arab world. He referred to the fact that all of the important Christian professors on the University’s faculty feel strongly to the same effect. I do not know whether this communication was sent before or after the outbreak this morning, but I am certain that the view of the President of the American University would not be moderated by anything that happened today.


  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, PET 6 SAUD. Exdis. A handwritten note initialed by Assistant Secretary Battle reads, “S—Mr. Borg. Thank you. Will you see that DR acknowledges this.” No acknowledgment was found. McCloy, Chairman of the Ford Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations, was also a board director of Chase Manhattan Bank and the Allied Chemical Company, both of which had investments in Iran. In addition, the Consortium in Iran included a number of McCloy’s clients.
  2. Not printed. In this June 5 cable from Dhahran, Aramco’s R.I. Brougham reported on a conversation with King Faisal that was intended to be a courtesy call after his return from Geneva. Upon arrival, Brougham learned that Egypt had been attacked by Israel. The King, in a very somber mood, said that the issue had been joined and that the Arabs and Israelis could no longer live together—“one side or another must be defeated.” “No direct reference to Aramco nor oil policy but His Majesty has made it perfectly clear that major powers and America in particular must not become involved in conflict on either side because consequences of such involvement on behalf of Israel will leave Arab states no alternative but to take measures against those countries involved in providing such assistance.”