Suez Canal - 1 August 1956

Return to list

Suez Canal - 1 August 1956


F.D. wishes to help & support.  We have got to make Nasser "disgorge".  Also agrees –internatl. consortium for long-term.  He agrees tht. we must have a conference.  But v. nervous over re-action on Panama Canal.
 He is v. anxious to include R. in conference because signatory of 1888 Convn.  Hope it may be in Ldn. on 13/8.
 Invitees :  8 of 1888 signatories (R., Sp., Turkey, U.K., France, Holl., Italy, Egypt, U.S.).
    5 principal users by tonnage  N. Swed. Denm. U.S. & W. Germany.
    6 vital interested.  Ind., Pak, Cey., Austr., N.Z. & Japan.
 Management – on basis of Jap. Peace Treaty.  Procedure.
 At Conference rail-road thro' a scheme of internatl. control.
 Communiqué of this mtg.  Good condemnn. of Nasser.  Affirmn. of internatl. control.  Decn. to call a conference.
 D. is robust v. assocn. with U.N.  Gratifying.


V. encouraging.


They thght we were going to launch opern. w'out internatl. discussion.  Scared about that – effect on U.S. opinion.  Eis. also scared about long-term mil. diffies.
 We have said we will make serious effort to get agreemt. at conference – not a mere façade.  But we have also made it clear that, if we can't get results out of it, we must act militarily. 
 Don't like invitn. to R.  But cd. they come to a mtg whose purpose is proclaimed to be to reverse an act of natn.


If they don't come, we shd. be free to go ahead?


Yes : and it wd. help to resist their claim to be on consortium. 
 Conference.  List omits Canada & S. Africa. Canada doesn't matter.  S. Africa (U.S. say) more interested in Cape route.  Basis of appln:  Austr., India etc., life-line argument.


Against R. participn.  But accept it, if it's a condn. of U.S. support. Tories wd. like it better w'out R.  

Taken from C.M. 56(56) - Meeting held on 1 August 1956.