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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa
(1947)

Palestine,   pp. 999-1328 PDF (126.4 MB)


Page 1271


  501.BB/AS-19T1
       Memorandum for the File by Mr. Robert M. McClintock
  TOP SECRET                      [WASHINGTON,] November 19, 1947.
    Mr. Rusk telephoned at 4 p. m. to say that Ambassador Johnson was
 poised to enter the 3 p. m. meeting of the Subcommittee on the
 Majority Report and prepared to carry out to the letter the Depart-
 ment's instruction on the Negeb as set forth in our telegram this morn-
 ing [afternoon] with the subsequent modification that the USDel need
 not maintain its position on the Negeb after the point where it was de-
 feated in the Subcommittee. Ambassador Johnson was further pre-
 pared, if there was a fighting chance at all to carry our position on
 the Negeb, to take it up in the ad hoc Committee.
   At this point President Truman, who had seen Dr. Wizeman.   today,
 telephoned General Hilldring. The President asked General llilldring
 how things were going and Hilldring said he was not too happy.
 Hilldring told the President of the instruction received this morning
 [afternoon] from the Department on the Negeb and apparently re-
 peated that he was not pleased with these instructions.* President
 Truman    then said that.. nothing should ,be done to "upset -the
 apple-cart."
   Mr. Rusk said it was obvious that there had not been enough dis-
 cussion on either side during this brief telephone conversation for the
 President to have a clear idea as to the substance of the matter at issue.
   Mr. Rusk added that Mr. Bohlen2 had the story from        General
 Hilldring and that I could find out from him what Hilldring had
 reported.
   Mr. Rusk said that there were two points which should be empha-
 sized to Mr. Lovett following a consultation with Mr. Bohlen:
   1. That Ambassador Johnson in no sense had intended to change his
 instructions or had asked to have them changed.
 Chaim Weizmann, former President of the Executive of the Jewish Agency.
 *Mr. Bohlen later told me that General Hilldring told the President that
 neither he nor Mr. Johnson were at all pleased with this morning's telegram.
 [Footnote in the source text. ]
 2 Charles E. Bohlen, Counselor of the Department. A memorandum of Novem-
 ber 19 by Mr. Bohlen to Mr. Lovett notes that General Hilldring called Mr.
 Bohlen "urgently" at about 4 p.m. on November 19, informing him
of a personal
 telephone call he had just received from President Truman. "The President
said-
 he personally agreed with Weizmann's views and although he apparently did
 not issue any direct instruction, he made it plain that he wished the Delegatlon
 to go along with the majority report on the Negeb case .... General Hilldring
 said that in the circumstances in view of the contradictions between the
Presi-
dent's wish .... and the definite instructions from  the Department to the
opposite effect, he and Ambassador Johnson felt that they would not take
a U.S.
position this afternoon in the Subcommittee but would through the Chairman
make it plain that the U.S. position would be made clear either later today
or
early tomorrow morning." (867N.01/11-1947)
333, 774--72,- 81
PALESTINE
1271


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