Memorandum of Conversation
Between the King of Saudi Arabia (Abdul Aziz Al Saud) and President Roosevelt
Aboard the U.S.S. “Quincy” (Suez Canal), 14 February 1945
[This memorandum was drawn up in an English and an Arabic version by Col. William A. Eddy, the Minister to Saudi Arabia, and Yusuf Yassin, the Saudi Arabian Deputy Foreign Minister. The Arabic text was signed by King Ibn Saud on February 14, and President Roosevelt signed the English text the next day at Alexandria. It was shown later to President Truman for his information. The memorandum includes 3 sections: only section I, related to the Palestine question, is reproduced below.]
The President asked His Majesty for his advice regarding the problem of Jewish refugees driven from their homes in Europe. His Majesty replied that in his opinion the Jews should return to live in the lands from which they were driven. The Jews whose homes were completely destroyed and who have no chance of livelihood in their homelands should be given living space in the Axis countries which oppressed them. The President remarked that Poland might be considered a case in point. The Germans appear to have killed three million Polish Jews, by which count there should be space in Poland for the resettlement of many homeless Jews.
His Majesty then expounded the case of the Arabs and their legitimate rights in their lands and stated that the Arabs and the Jews could never cooperate, neither in Palestine, nor in any other country. His Majesty called attention to the increasing threat to the existence of the Arabs and the crisis which has resulted from continued Jewish immigration and the purchase of land by the Jews. His Majesty further stated that the Arabs would choose to die rather than yield their lands to the Jews.
His Majesty stated that the hope of the Arabs is based upon the word of honor of the Allies and upon the well-known love of justice of the United States, and upon the expectation that the United States will support them.
The President replied that he wished to assure His Majesty that he would do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs and would make no move hostile to the Arab people. He reminded His Majesty that it is impossible to prevent speeches and resolutions in Congress or in the press which may be made on any subject. His reassurance concerned his own future policy as Chief Executive of the United States Government.
His Majesty thanked the President for his statement and mentioned the proposal to send an Arab mission to America and England to expound the case of the Arabs and Palestine. The President stated that he thought this was a very good idea because he thought many people in America and England are misinformed. His Majesty said that such a mission to inform the people was useful, but more important to him was what the President had just told him concerning his own policy toward the Arab people.
Source: Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, 1945, the Near East and Africa, vol. viii. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, 1969.