16 Noel-Baker to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 24, LONDON, 24 January 1948, 7.40 p.m.

SECRET

Your telegram 16th January, No. 10.

MIDDLE EAST We are grateful for the view of the Australian Government on our policy of building up a defensive system in the Middle East based on a series of bilateral agreements with Arab States.

2. In framing this policy we have not overlooked its bearing on the situation in Palestine. It seemed to us that conclusion of these agreements rather than in any way implying condonation on our part of Arab resistance to carrying out of United Nations recommendations would in fact have advantage of placing United Nations in an improved position to exercise moderating influence over the policy of the Arab States and to discourage them from making any rash move with regard to Palestine.

3. It will have been seen from my telegram 16th January, D. No. 32, that this latter point was stressed in our communication to King Abdullah.[1] Opportunity of recent negotiations for revision of Treaty with Iraq was taken to speak in similar terms to Iraqi Prime Minister and it is also intended to make the point in conversations which we hope to have with Amir Faisal of Saudi Arabia (my telegram 14th January, D. No. 27).

[1] Of Transjordan.

[AA : A1838, 852/20/2, III]