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EXCHANGE WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM REGARDING THE STATUS OF THE DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS OF THE UNITED STATES IN EGYPT AND IRAQ
124.90G/47: Telegram The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Bucknell) to the Secretary of
LONDON, May 26, 1944–6 p. m.
[Received May 26–6 p. m.] 4255. A letter dated May 25 signed by Eden 1 has been received, of which the following is a paraphrase:
Mr. Wallace Murray, during the discussions with members of my Department which he had recently,' said that it appeared likely that the question of the raising to Embassy status of the American Legations in Iraq and Egypt would soon arise. Mr. Murray drew attention to the fact that the representatives of the U.S. in many smaller countries had become Ambassadors and that in Egypt, in particular, where the American Minister to Egypt was U.S. Ambassador to Greece as well, the position was anomalous.
It was recalled to Mr. Murray by Sir Maurice Peterson * that British representatives, by our Treaties of Alliance with Iraq and Egypt, had precedence over other foreign representatives in those countries; altho there was a Persian Ambassador in Egypt our representative would in fact always be senior to him by virtue of special arrangements which had been made to ensure this. As Mr. Murray requested, Sir Maurice gave an undertaking that the position would be considered further and that our views would be transmitted to the Department of State.
With reference to the conversations above referred to, I shall be pleased if you will be so good as to inform the Department of State that the British Government would much prefer, after considering the matter fully, that the missions of the U.S. in Baghdad and Cairo
1 Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. · Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs.
3 Mr. Murray was in London during much of April as a member of the mission of Under Secretary of State Stettinius which was engaged in informal conversations with officers of the British Foreign Office, April 7–29, 1944; for correspondence relating to the Stettinius Mission to London, see vol. III, pp. 1 ff.
Superintending Under Secretary, Eastern Department, British Foreign Office. 5 Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of Alliance, signed at Baghdad, June 30, 1930, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. CXXXII, p. 363; Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of Alliance, signed at London, August 26, 1936, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. (LXXIII, p. 401.
should not at present be raised to the rank of Embassy. If the Department of State nevertheless feels unable to permit this question to be held in abeyance, it is not the wish of the British Government to put opposition in the way of the appointment of U.S. Ambassadors, provided that it could be arranged that the present system should be maintained whereby the British representative in these two countries is entitled to the right of precedence. The importance of retaining this precedence is stressed by His Majesty's Government, in view of the fact that they have undertaken special responsibilities, for example for the defense of the territories in question. The Department of State will no doubt recall that the Egyptian Government recently insisted, in agreeing to accept the Soviet Government's representative, that he should have the rank of Minister only.
In connection with this question, may I suggest that the sole arrangement necessary for the securing of the British Ambassador's precedence is that, before the appointment of a U.S. Ambassador, copies of the relevant treaty provisions should be communicated by the Iraqi and Egyptian Governments to the U.S. Government together with a request that before appointing such an Ambassador the U.S. Government should accept the aforesaid treaty provisions.
124.90G/47 : Telegram The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the United Kingdom
WASHINGTON, June 12, 1944—7 p. m. 4658. Your 4255, May 26, 6 p. m. You are authorized to reply to Mr. Eden in the following sense:
The Department has noted the preference of the British Government, as set forth in Mr. Eden's letter of May 25, that the American Missions in Cairo and Baghdad should not be raised to the rank of Embassy at this time. In the light of the considerations set forth in this letter, as well as in the conversations between Sir Maurice Peterson and Mr. Wallace Murray, the Department will defer for the time being to the wishes of the British Government in this matter, while reserving full freedom of action to resume discussions on this point as well as on the question of precedence, at some time in the future.
* In his despatch No. 16,590, June 30, the Ambassador in the United Kingdom informed the Secretary of State that in a letter of June 28 the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had stated: “I note with much appreciation that your Government are willing to defer, for the time being, the raising of the United States Legations in Egypt and Iraq to the status of Embassies.” (124.83/6–3044)
The Legations at Baghdad and Cairo are being informed of the foregoing.?
'In instructions Nos. 868 and 193, July 3, sent respectively to the Minister in Egypt (Tuck) and the Minister in Iraq (Henderson), the Department transmitted copies of the foregoing exchange of telegrams, with the following statement: "If ... the matter should be broached by representatives of either of the two Governments concerned, the Department perceives no objection to their being informed that this Government would be pleased to consider appointing Ambassadors to the countries in question whenever the situation is such as to permit American Ambassadors to become members of the Diplomatic Corps of these countries on a non-discriminatory basis.” (124.90G/47)
EXCHANGE WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM REGARDING THE CONDUCT OF UNITED STATES AND BRITISH POLICIES IN THE NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST
740.0011 Stettinius Mission/101b: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Egypt (Jacobs)
WASHINGTON, May 17, 1944—10 p. m. 1167. For Chargé and Landis. During the recent visit of the delegation of the Under Secretary of State to London officers of the Department and of the Foreign Office and other British agencies informally reviewed questions of mutual interest throughout the Near and Middle East from Egypt to Afghanistan. British and American interests were reciprocally explained, examined and recognized. It was cordially agreed that these interests do not conflict and that Anglo-American relations throughout the area should be conducted in a spirit of cooperation based upon mutual frankness and good will. Detailed memoranda are being forwarded by airmail to the Missions concerned.
It was agreed that these ends and thus the long-run interests of general Anglo-American relations would be served by the provision of machinery in the Near and Middle East whereby rumors, complaints and grievances, which if left unsettled might subsequently be ventilated publicly with effects harmful to both sides, could be raised frankly, jointly examined and disposed of immediately they arose. If such points could not be settled on the spot and at once in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation, they would be promptly and fully reported for direct settlement between Washington and London.
James M. Landis, Director of American Economic Operations in the Middle East, with the personal rank of Minister. Minister Landis was also ranking civilian representative of the United States at the Middle East Supply Center (MESC) at Cairo, an organization set up in 1941 by the British to control the supply and distribution of essential goods to the civilian populations of the Near and Middle East.
2 Under Secretary of State Stettinius led a mission to London in April to engage in informal conversations with British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Eden and officers of the Foreign Office, April 7–29, 1944. The principal member on the American side concerned with problems of the Near and Middle East was Wallace Murray, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs; his British opposite was Sir Maurice Peterson, Superintending Under Secretary, Eastern Department. For correspondence concerning the Stettinius Mission, see vol. III, pp. 1 ff.
Lord Moyne 3 and British Missions in the area have already received instructions to the foregoing effect. You should accordingly consult your British colleagues with a view to arranging the proposed machinery at all necessary levels, reporting results to the Department. FEA 5 and War and Navy Departments are being asked to collaborate in this policy.
Please repeat to Jerusalem, Beirut, Jidda, Addis Ababa, Tehran and Kabul. Separate message being sent to Baghdad.
Sent to Cairo. Repeated to London for information of Foreign Office.
711.00/1926 : Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Tuck)
WASHINGTON, June 23, 1944—6 p. m. 1575. For the Minister and Landis. War Department states that Commanding General, Persian Gulf Commando and Commanding General, United States Army Forces in the Middle East 10 have been instructed to confer with appropriate State Department representatives and to collaborate in implementing policy and procedure regarding Anglo-American relations in Near and Middle East set forth in Department’s 1167, May 17, 10 p. m. Navy Department states its representatives throughout area have received similar instructions.
Repeat to Jidda, Jerusalem, Beirut, Tehran, Kabul, Aden, Addis A baba. Separate message sent to Baghdad.11 Sent to Cairo. Repeated direct to London.12
3 British Minister of State at Cairo.
4 The Department was informed of this action in a letter of May 10 from the Counsellor of the British Embassy to the Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, in which it was also stated that "Mr. Eden hopes that it will be found possible to take corresponding action from Washington”. (880.24/5-1044)
5 Foreign Economic Administration.
Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Giles.