Jerusalem, 20 February 1956
To the Prime Minister
From the Foreign Minister
I am herewith answering your letter of February 17 regarding your interview with the representative of the New York Times.
In my earlier letter I dealt with, naturally, with your remarks as they were reported and with the wrong impression they made publicly. I could not know exactly what you said. I only heard that Bigart had forwarded his cable to New York Times to your office before it was sent.
Since then I have labored quite extensively, and others at the Foreign Ministry have labored as well, to correct the wrong impression [created by your remarks]. I did that in my conversations with the American and French Ambassadors, and in cables sent to our embassies abroad. Bigart has sent an additional cable in which he clarified the situation as it is.
As to the line adopted by the Foreign Ministry regarding the resumption of work on the Jordan channel, I was under the impression that a clear line was apparent in view of the coded cables exchanged between the Foreign Ministry and our embassies in Paris and Washington, all of which were at your disposal. I have especially in mind my cable to Eban no.547 of January 20 and his reply no.804 of February 2 [DFPI 11, docs.62, 68].
As to coordination in the future, I am proposing:
1. Responses [to be issued] by the Prime Minister to coded cables and other papers of the Foreign Ministry in cases of disagreement with the line adopted in them.
2. Informing the Foreign Minister in advance of any interview given by the Prime Minister to a journalist if it is meant to be published, in order to enable him to make comments regarding current affairs, to be considered by the Prime Minister.
3. Any statement which the Foreign Minister is about to make, which includes a new approach which has not yet adopted by the government, would be forwarded to the Prime Minister for approval in time.
SOURCE: ISA FM 130.02/2446/11.