Suez Canal - 2 November 1956

Return to list

Suez Canal - 2 November 1956

P.M. 

Mil. posn. v. satisf.
 I are to-night w'in 12 miles of Pt. Said.  Have won tank battle nr. Ismailia.  Are opposite Suez.
 U.S. 6th. Fleet mght go into Pt. Said.
 Proposals.  i)  Announce tht. Israelis shd. not advance w'in 10 miles of Canal.
   ii)  Content tht. U.N. shd. send internatl. force - to wh. we would hand over.
 Suggest we shd. discuss i) and ii) with Pineau, who arrives this p.m.


A.H. 

Mght get para-drop on Sunday at Cantara - with view to unopposed landing at Pt. Said on Mon.


S.Ll. 

Read draft statement re U.N.
 Arguments a)  We may have oil sanctions applies v. us (-? by Arabs)
   b)  Syria has severed relns. with us.  J., Iraq & Libya may
   follow.  Serious for Iraq - Nuri wd. fall.
   c)  Bagdad Pact wd. disintegrate or we wd. be asked to
   leave it.
 Can't hope to complete occupn. of Canal Zone in less than 3 wks. 
 Doubt if we can hold internatl. sitn. or Arabs for that time.
 Mght establish 1 key-point by Tues.
 But, if we cancel now, we shall seem irresolute etc.,


A.H. 

Proposal i) cd. be put as 20 miles - to keep out of way of our landing.


S.Ll. 

Iraq cdn't be saved by anything less than request to I. to go back beyond their frontiers.


R.A.B. 

Put case in H/C. on basis of checking hostilities.  Achieved max. vote wh. we can hope for.  Cdn't expect to hold that, unless we exploit suggn. of handing over to U.N. force.
 Don't yet see just how we get to that posn, with strength.  Optimum, however, is to get landed with others or as part of international force.


H.A. 

Y'day's vote enables us to play for strength.  Pol. posn. wd. be strengthened if we cd. now secure cease-fire. e.g. by I. w'drawal to 20 miles.


P.T. 

But essence of P.M.'s offer re U.N. was that we shd. have landed first.
 If we stop fighting before we land, we shall never get an internatl. force - and shall lose credit.


D.S. etc., 

Diffy. of 12 hr. cease-fire.  Little mil. objn.  But     pol. diff. here to get moving again at expiration.

Taken from C.M. 77(56) - Meeting held on 2 November 1956.