Volume #25 - 340.|
CRISIS IN LEBANON AND JORDAN
UNITED STATES AND UNITED KINGDOM INTERVENTION IN LEBANON AND JORDAN; SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Extract from Cabinet Conclusions|
July 15th, 1958|
MIDDLE EAST CRISIS; LEBANON AND IRAQ; EMERGENCY MEETING of SECURITY COUNCIL OF UNITED NATIONS
5. The Secretary of State for External Affairs reported that, following the uprising in Iraq,85President Chamoun of Lebanon had appealed to the United Kingdom and the United States for effective aid in sealing Lebanon's borders and for protection of the sovereignty of his country. The President of the U.S. had immediately consulted the Prime Minister of the U.K., who had suggested Mr. Eisenhower get in touch with Mr. Diefenbaker. This had happened last evening. Mr. Eisenhower had indicated that the U.S. would respond to Chamoun's appeal and it appeared that U.S. marines were landing near Beirut at this moment. The press report mentioning the landing also stated that Mr. Eisenhower had announced that troops had been ordered to land in response to the request from President Chamoun, that the U.S. would report its action to an emergency meeting of the Security Council, and that the troops would be withdrawn just as soon as the U.N. was able to stabilize the situation.86
The U.K. High Commissioner had been asked during the night what the U.K. intended doing. So far no reply had been received although an announcement was probably being made in the House of Commons at Westminster at the present moment. It appeared from reports of officials that U.K. troops might be sent to Jordan but not to Lebanon.87
The powers of the present Iraqi representative at the U.N. were being withdrawn and a new representative despatched from Baghdad. Consequently, the first issue in the debate on the crisis would be over credentials. The U.S. intended to seek the Security Council's approval for the action it had taken, for an appeal to governments for the cessation of infiltration of arms and personnel to the Lebanese rebels, and for the establishment of a U.N. force to protect the independence of Lebanon. This submission would undoubtedly be vetoed by Russia, in which case the U.S. would take the matter to the Assembly under the uniting for peace resolution. It was highly unlikely that the U.S. would receive the necessary two-thirds majority in the Assembly for its proposals, in which case the action taken could be considered only as a bilateral move.
6. Mr. Smith submitted instructions for the Canadian representative to the Security Council, whose first meeting on the matter would be held to-day. These provided for the support of the U.S. proposal and for efforts to enlarge its U.N. content, if possible, by reconciling current U.N. action in the Lebanon with measures that might now be taken by the U.S. and the U.K. It was also proposed to express Canadian concern about the well-being of U.N. observers in Lebanon. It was quite possible that Nasser would now demand the removal of the U.N.E.F., to which nearly 1,000 Canadian service personnel had been assigned.
He asked what Canada's attitude should be in the event of a U.N. request for further participation in a new U.N. force along the lines of the U.S. proposal.
7. The Prime Minister said the U.K. did not intend to be caught in the same position, on this occasion, as they were over Suez, when Mr. Dulles had undertaken to assist the U.K. and France. From the conversation he had had with President Eisenhower and from his assessments of U.K. moves in the past few hours, he was sure the U.K. would not take any step until they were certain of the U.S. position.
8. Mr. Diefenbaker said he had told the U.S. Ambassador last evening that Canada would support the U.S. in bringing the matter before the Security Council, express support for U.N. action, and show no opposition to U.S. actions. The Soviet Foreign Minister had called in the U.K., U.S., and French Ambassadors in Moscow, presumably to say that their countries might be precipitating a general war. Mr. Macmillan had intimated that France should stay completely out of any action in the eastern Mediterranean, otherwise the whole Arab world would be inflamed.
In explaining the government's position one should not, at the present moment, go beyond saying that the matter was before the U.N., nor could a decision be taken now on a possible U.N. request for a contribution to a new force in the Middle East.
9. During the discussion the following points emerged:
10. The Cabinet noted the reports of the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for External Affairs on the situation in the Middle East and approved the instructions to the delegation at the emergency meeting of the Security Council on Lebanon.
85Le 14 juillet 1958, des officiers
de l'armée iraquienne réussissent un coup d'État contre le roi Faysal II, tuant
le monarque, le prince héritier et la plupart des membres de la famille royale. Les conjurés proclament
immédiatement la république d'Iraq et le brigadier Abdul-Karim Qasim est investi premier ministre. Le
premier geste du nouveau gouvernement est de résilier l'Union arabe entre l'Iraq et la Jordanie. Craignant la
propagation de la révolution iraquienne, les gouvernements du Liban et de la Jordanie demandent
immédiatement le soutien militaire de l'Occident.
86Voir/See United States, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower 1958, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1959, pp. 549-550.
87Voir/See Documents on International Affairs, 1958, London: Royal Institute of International Affairs - Oxford University Press, 1962, p. 296.