Suez Canal - 14 August 1956

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Suez Canal - 14 August 1956

a) Conference.


S.Ll. 

First business – procedure.  Rules designed to prevent obsn. – but may be agreed because based on U.N. procedure.  One day for these.  Then Dulles will put fwd. tripartite plan.  Two p.m. sessions, with none in a.m.  Meet Saty., not Sunday.  Shall need to consider wtr we adjourn (before a vote) to obtain views of E. Govt.  India will urge that.  Mght adjourn confce., after vote, for E. reply:  if sufft. robust attitude by Scandinavians.  Don't want inconclusive adjournment.
 Sc. countries will ask how we propose to enforce a resoln.  Must say no commitmt. involved by supportg. resoln.  If it's passed. we shall do out utmost to bring it about w'out use of force.


P.M. 

Confce. might : or members of it might: agree to pay no more dues to Nasser.  He now gets about 35% of all dues (5% only of ours).  If almost all agreed to pay into some blocked a/c until internl. system establd., N. must accept humiliation or act (stop ships) in a way wh. gives ground for action by us.


D.S. 

Procedure.  Wd. it admit of amendmts. – e.g. reference to U.N., or no use of force.


S.Ll.

Can't rule out amendmts.  U.N. ques will damage us.  Wd. like to announce soon tht. we favour some link with U.N.


H.  

Reqn + annual report.


S.Ll. 

Yes : not specialised agency – for all 76 can share in discn.


L.P. 

Atoms : technical agency – merely reports.  This also is technical.


H.B. 

Internatl. Bank?


S.Ll. 

Then open to all who contribute.  Wdn't do.


S.Ll. 

Chairmanship.  U.K. as host.  India wd. support that.  Procedure provides for election of Chairman.


P.M. 

U.N. complicn.  U.S. wd. be opposed to that.


L.P. 

Art. 33 covers our conference attempt.


M. 

U.S. attitude over last 24 hrs. – conflicting reports.
 What is the plan for internatl. authority?


S.Ll. 

U.S. Press report of internl. controllg. authority with E. operatg. authy. below it.  Not out of court, so long as technical side adequate.  So long as real control (not advice) comes fr. internatl. body above it.
 No indicn. that F.D. has changed view.
 Menon says E. Govt. will accept a body mtg. once or twice a year to wh. ques of dues wd. be "referred".


H.A. 

It must have powers.


P.M. 

Also the point tht. E. can't technically run it alone.


P.M.

 Labour Party.  Talk this a.m.


L.P. 

i) Parlt.  ii) Force.  Impn. we meant to use it anyhow.  Saw effect of a threat, in b'round.  But cdn't support line – accept concln. of confce. or fight.  Wd. like that made clear in advance. iii) Internl. authy. : but shd. be set up by U.N.  But a further act (interference with shipping) wd. create new situatn. in wh. force wd. be justified. 
 Latest "U.S." plan (Press) wd. involve surrendering management to an E. Co.


M. 

Management & control shd. not be ceded to E.
 Ownership cd. be.
 Prefer perpetual lease (recognises E. Sovereignty) – but which internatl. lessee wd. be clearly respons. for control & opern.  Near Panama model.
 Apprehensive re annual report to U.N.  Much discn. by irresponsibles.  Similar trouble in U.N. already – e.g. Trusteeship.  Wd. prefer some more tenuous link with U.N.


S.Ll. 

W'out that link, worse debate by inscribing Suez on Assembly's Agenda each year.  Choice of evils. cf. Cyprus.
 Say, pro. tem., "some link" w'out more definition.  Must make some bow in U.N. direction.


M. 

N.A.T.O. has no "link" with U.N.  Regd. with U.N. – but no reports.
 Suez wd. be a comparable "regional" organn.  Avoid oblign. to report.


S.Ll. 

Agree on merits.  But in battle for publ. opnion, must make a bow to U.N.  F.D. accepts some link: prs. regn. only. 


P.M. 

Some link, but no interference.


P.M. 

Mil. Preparations.  Necessary because we must be ready.  Labour Party accept that. But N. may act further – employees : Br. community : stopping ships.  Tho' we can't hold our prepns. in readiness indefinitely.


W.M. 

In planning, seeking greatest flexibility possibility.  By reducg. time of prepns. & considering how long opern. cd. be held poised.


P.M. 

We have completed plan.  Have enough force to deal with situation.  Fr. contn. makes it more than enough.  But occasion to use it!


I.M. 

Attitude of T.U.C.  Tewson is v. feeble.  Thinks U.K. more isolated over this than we are. Rt. wing motions on f. affairs can't pass T.U.C. w'out link with U.N.  T.&G.W. Union, now under Cousins, cd. be decisive.  All we can do is ensure resoln. & debate is as little embarrassing as poss. – e.g. defer publn. until after conference.  F.O. mght also brief T.U.C. leaders.


P.M. 

Better for me to do that.


I.M. 

V.well. – with me.


P.M. 

Consequences.  If we lose M/E, we are finished.
 Shd. that be brght home more clearly to public?


L.P. 

That is best ground on which to stand.


S.Ll. 

cf. Nasser's own book.
 U.S. at last understand this.


L.P. 

Combine 2 arguments by saying : either internatl. control or leave it to dictator – & we know what dictators are.  Plug the second part of argument.  For we must bring N. down.


P.M. 

Doubt if we shall bring him down, w'out force.
M. U.S. attitude to force.  U.S. will be heavily on our side.  i) They understand effects, not only on Canal, but as M/E. ques.  ii) They don't want U.N. – intolerable delays.  They will stand to a good positive resoln.  iii) They are beginning to think of econ. sanctions.  If U.S. will apply them hard, it tends to bring them on twds. force.  They don't want that now, a) because Election  b) if they stand out of it, R. mght stand aside too.  But, if strong resoln., followed by sharp econ. pressure (e.g. dues) – other measures may come in, for N.'s popularity may wane: if large line-up against (includg U.S.) & no revenue fr. Canal.  Dictator's stock, when it begins to fall, falls fast. 
 Favoured that in W'ton because imprtce. of getting U.S. thoroughly involved.

Taken from C.M. 59(56) - Meeting held on 14 August 1956.