U.S.-Saudi agreements regarding the mutual use of the port of Dammam and the Dhahran airfield

[Saudi Arabia - Port and Airfield Facilities / Murray, Thomas]. Report on Port and Airfield Facilities. Dammam and Dhahran. Saudi Arabia.

Washington, DC, Tudor Engineering Company, July 1957.

Small folio (ca. 216 x 275 mm). (6), IV, 170 pp., interleaved with 3 blank pages. With 5 folding plates included in pagination, as well as several black-and-white photographic prints, maps, and charts in the text. With 3 original black-and-white glossy photographs of the port of Dammam (ca. 202 x 250 - 208 x 254 mm), a copy of a four-page telegram to the Secretary of State, and a copy of a 6-page typescript letter loosely enclosed. Original printed wrappers.


Thorough report on the U.S.-Saudi Arabia agreements regarding the mutual use of the port in Dammam and the airfield at Dhahran, near Aramco oil facilities. It was prepared for the International Cooperation Administration, an organization established in 1955 and responsible for all U.S. foreign assistance programs except for military assistance, until its abolition by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 transferred its functions to the Agency for International Development.

The airfield had been built with U.S. assistance in the mid-1940s, and had for some time been operating as a civilian air terminal for Saudi Arabia. The agreement was renewed in April 1957, the same month the report was drawn up, with the understanding that the United States would provide funding and technical assistance to improve the airfield facilities, as well as the port. The account is based on a field reconnaissance investigation of port congestion at Dammam, and a study of the need for a new airport terminal building development at Dhahran. It is divided into two parts, the first devoted to the port facilities, the second to those at the airfield, both ranging from preliminary reports to appendices. The illustrations include photographic prints of the Dammam main pier and the loading apron and passenger terminal at Dhahran, as well as a map of the air routes serving Dhahran airfield and construction plans for the Dammam harbour and the terminal building at Dhahran.

This report, along with a study of its background, provides a good showcase for postwar U.S.-Saudi relations, the impact of oil on foreign policy, and the expenditure of U.S. funds in the Middle East.

The enclosed copied telegram to the Secretary of State, received 12 April 1957, from the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, George Wadsworth, gives his personal observations on Saudi Arabia, pointing out the "genuine goodwill of [the] King towards US", but lamenting the Deputy Foreign Minister Yusuf Yasin's reluctance to use the term "international communism" in a joint communiqué.

The enclosed copied letter of Thomas J. Murray, the project manager for Tudor Engineering, to his wife ("Dear Babe"), was written two days after drawing up the conclusions and recommendations for the project in April 1957. It is a personal account of his travels with the U.S. Ambassador and Special Assistant to President Eisenhower, James Prioleau Richards (the project was referred to as the 'Richards Mission'), to Riyadh to visit the King, the princes and various ministers, as well as the palace ("The inside of the palace is fabulous - it is something out of the Arabian Nights"), and the city. He tells of receiving a solid gold wristwatch from the King, and comments on the monarch's four wives, and Arab women in general: "In all of our travels in this country, we have yet to see a woman's face".

Red ink stamp "For official use only" on several pages throughout. Hinges and extremities very slightly rubbed. A good copy of a report undoubtedly published in a very small press run.

Art.-Nr.: BN#56140 Schlagwörter: , , , , ,