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creating a system of universal democracy and political justice. And to this political justice the Arabs have as much a claim as other peoples. They have also found in the Atlantic Charter as much satisfaction for the present, as hope for the future. Firmly united, they find in the aggression on one of them aggression on all; and will thus not tolerate politicians and Zionists denying Palestinians the benefits of the Atlantic Charter.
The Egyptian Government would, therefore, like to emphasise once more the danger and gravity of the declarations of the Zionist leaders, who make no secret of their intention to transform Palestine into a purely Jewish State.
Their concealed activities, which find a ready response in America, has had a deplorable effect on both Arab and Moslem public opinion the world over; for this unfortunate propaganda, unhappily, tends to give the Arabs and the Mohammedans the impression that America is supporting the Jews at the expense of the Arabs.
The Egyptian Government, therefore, firmly believes that official and responsible circles in America cannot afford to overlook such a state of affairs, already most irritating in itself as it has proved. For Egypt and the other Arab Peoples are firmly resolved to develop even still further the friendly ties already binding them with the United States and hope nothing can impair them.
Egypt, thus, finds it incumbent upon herself once again to recall the gravity and import of the declarations made by responsible personages, whether in the form of public utterances, or solemn pledges, in favour of the Zionists. The Egyptian Government, accordingly, trusts that the American Government will give the present AideMémoire its fullest consideration and study.
Hence the spirit of the Atlantic Charter, as well as the rising tide of American interests in the Middle East, both call for a reconsideration of the Palestinian Question. In any event no settlement can be arrived at without the concurrence and approval of the party most directly interested of all, namely, the People of Palestine.
[WASHINGTON,] February 24, 1944.
867N.01/2205 : Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Iraq (Henderson) 40
WASHINGTON, February 26, 1944–9 p. m. 23. Department's 341, February 19, 5 p. m. to Cairo 41 and your 35, February 23, 3 p. m. It now appears unlikely that the Palestine Resolutions will be reported out of either the Senate or the House Committee. You may make discreet use of this information in any conversations you may have on this subject. In such conversations you should stress (Department's 19, February 16, 6 p m.) the point that even if the Resolutions had been reported out and passed, such action would merely have represented the views of the members of the two Houses and would not have been binding upon the Executive.
4° Repeated, mutatis mutandis, in telegram 408, February 26, 9 p. m., to Cairo, with instructions to repeat in turn to Jerusalem, Beirut, Damascus, and Jidda.
41 Not printed.
In this general connection the Department is under the impression that few people in your territory, even educated and intelligent leaders, fully understand the structure and method of operation of the American form of government. You should take every opportunity to explain our system, particularly with regard to such matters as the Resolutions under discussion.
867N.01/2-2644 The Assistant Secretary of War (McCloy) to the Assistant Secretary
of State (Long)
[WASHINGTON,] February 26, 1944. DEAR MR. SECRETARY: In accordance with our telephone convertion I am sending you herewith a memorandum which I prepared for General Marshall at his request, preparatory to his talking to several senators about the pending Palestine resolution.
I do not know what the General actually said to the Senators beyond his statement to me that he had followed the general facts and tone of this memorandum, so I assume that it can be safely treated as a basis for the remarks which he made.
Mr. Bloom, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House, has asked me to advise him informally of about what I would say if I were called upon to testify before his Committee, and I propose to testify in conformity with this memorandum. Sincerely,
JOHN J. McCloy
[Enclosure] Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of War (McCloy) to the
Chief of Staff (Marshall)
[WASHINGTON,] 22 February 1944. I believe the Secretary before he went away arranged with Wadsworth that an officer to be selected by you and I should attend an Executive Meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House in connection with the pending Palestine resolution. It was originally arranged that this meeting should take place on Tuesday of this week but it has been postponed until Thursday. Mr. Wadsworth has advised me that the meeting will now take place some time Thursday morning.
In preparation for this meeting I have read the old resolution of 1922 42 and compared it with the pending resolution. I have also talked to some G-2 43 officers and gone over some reports, and I intend to testify in general along the following line:
The pending resolution deals with highly controversial issues in that it comes out for unlimited immigration into the area, a matter definitely in sharp issue, as well as for the establishment of a Jewish state as distinguished from a homeland. It also requires that the United States take “appropriate measures” to bring these things about. Our G-2 reports all indicate that there is a high degree of tension in Palestine between the Arabs and the Jews and that each side have substantial quantities of arms. Bombings have occurred in the Migration Offices maintained by the British Government in Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Any action which would tend to increase this tension or threaten an outbreak in this area would greatly compromise our military capacities. Among other considerations there are the following:
1. There are substantial Allied forces in that area which we are seeking to reduce and any outbreak at this particular time would be certain to pin down troops for garrison duty that are badly needed for replacement and other duty both in Italy and for other operations.
2. Our military forces are in contact with the Moslem world not only in Palestine but throughout the entire Mediterranean area and in many places further east. The Palestine issue is a source of more or less concern to all the Moslem population of the Near East and North Africa. The tribes in Morocco are restive and already disturbances have occurred there. These activities are mainly pointed against French dominion but it is known that German agents are active in the area and certainly will use the Arab-Jew issue to the limit in order to foment further disturbances if an opportunity presents itself.
3. We are dependent not only upon peace in the area but our lines of communication throughout Africa are to an important degree dependent upon the cooperation and goodwill of the Arab. His willingness to supply goods and services in furtherance of the Allied effort is a matter of real military importance.
4. The strategic supply routes to Russia via the Persian Gulf as well as the supply routes to the Far East run through Moslem territory and would be subject to constant threat of sabotage and disruption in the event of any disturbances or hostilities. There are Allied Moslem troops scattered throughout the area on whom we depend for active operations as well as supply. Such troops are in Italy at the present time and we intend to use them elsewhere.
- June 30, 1922, Congressional Record, vol. 62, pt. 10, p. 9799. 43 War Department General Staff, Military Intelligence.
5. The Near East is an important supply base for European operations. Any threat to it is a great military concern, particularly in respect of oil and aviation gasoline supply. The existing pipeline from Iraq to Palestine could
be cut or damaged as it has been in the past. This naturally affects naval and military operations in the Mediterranean which depend on the Haifa refinery for their oil. The Abadan refinery at the head of the Gulf is the only Allied source of aviation gasoline outside the Western Hemisphere. The distances are great and the supply and installations in many places are highly vulnerable. It would require a substantial number of troops to protect them in the event of disorders.
I do not intend to exaggerate the consequences which would flow from the adoption of this resolution as I can not be certain that all these results will flow, but from the foregoing considerations I think it is quite apparent that from a military point of view we would much prefer to let such sleeping dogs lie.
I have debated whether to refer to the pending negotiations for the laying of an oil pipeline from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to the Mediterranean as there may be some controversial aspects to this question. However, Secretary Ickes 45 indicated that the primary purpose of this new pipeline was to provide a reserve of one billion gallons of oil for the United States Army and Navy. I doubt that we could get very far with these negotiations if this issue is agitated in the United States. My rather strong inclination is not to bring this up, however.
The one thing that I imagine we will be pressed for will be to suggest a form of resolution which will not be provocative and which will not in our judgment induce the disorders that we fear. This is a matter on which I feel we should be most reluctant to express any view. What is provocative or unprovocative in the Palestine problem is a political matter on which the State Department rather than the War Department should speak. It has been pointed out to us by the State Department that this resolution does embody burning issues. What lesser position might be taken without offence is not a matter for military determination, but from a military standpoint I think we can and should say that we would be in favor of taking any steps which would postpone without prejudice to either side this issue for determination after the war when military considerations will be less acute.
The State Department has furnished us with a telegram conveying expressions from the Governor [Government] of Iraq to the effect that German agents in the area are using as propaganda against the Allied effort the existence of this resolution.
* For correspondence regarding the concern of the United States for the safeguarding and developing of petroleum resources in Saudi Arabia, see pp. 8 ff.
45 Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, and Chairman of the Governmentorganized Petroleum Reserves Corporation.
General Bissell is prepared to go up and give in very general terms the disposition of troops in the area and generally buttress by factual data statements made along the above lines.
I am going to emphasize that I am dealing with the matter purely from the point of view of military considerations and that is the limit of my competence.
I attach hereto a copy of the resolution together with a copy of Secretary Stimson's letter to Senator Connally.48 I would like to know how you make out.
JOHN J. McCLOY
867N.01/2215 : Telegram The Minister Resident in Saudi Arabia (Moose) to the Secretary
JIDDA, February 27, 194411 a. m.
[Received February 28–4:35 a. m.] 57. Finance Minister 46 called yesterday and read me telegram he had just received from King Ibn Saud about Palestine resolution mentioned Department's 341, February 19, 5 p. m., to Cairo.47 After citing news items published in London, King's message continued in translation as follows:
"Meet American Minister in Jidda; notify him of this news; advise him that the news has disturbed us; that it will have an ill-effect in Arab circles; that we think discussion of the subject of Palestine at this moment premature; that it will stir up emotions and produce uncertainty; that we ask him to refer the matter to his Government in view of the friendship and attachment between us because we know of its good aims toward the Arabs and of the good will and assistance which the friendly American Government and its ally the British have shown and of which the recent incident in the Lebanon 48 is the greatest proof.”
In reply I explained to Finance Minister sense of Department's 19 to Baghdad, February 16, 6 p. m.
Sent Department, repeated to Cairo, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Beirut; Beirut repeat to Damascus.
452 Ante, p. 563.
See correspondence regarding representations by the United States to the French Committee of National Liberation concerning the Franco-Lebanese crisis of November 1943, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. IV, pp. 996 ff.