In February, President Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, known in the West as Ibn Saud, met aboard Quincy. During the meeting, President Roosevelt tried to convince Ibn Saud to support Jewish immigration to Palestine and hoped that Ibn Saud might be able to give constructive advice on the Palestinian issue. It was there that Roosevelt and Saud reached a secret agreement in which the United States would provide Saudi Arabia with military security – military aid, training and a military base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia – in exchange for secure access to oil supplies. [3] [4] [6] The direct interest of the meeting for both parties was an agreement that the United States would grant Saudi Arabia military assistance in exchange for safe access to oil. In fact, Saudi Arabia – cut off from the trade and revenues of the annual Hajj by a war that does not come on its own and with its embryonic oil industry that has further converted the country`s fortune – had already approached the United States for help. An agreement had already been signed in October 1943, under which 5.167 million ounces of U.S. Treasury bonds would be lent to the government of the kingdom, “sufficient for the amount of 15,000,000 rial coins needed to cover Saudi Arabia`s monetary needs for the remainder of 1943.” The two men spoke of a large number of political issues, in particular the project of finding a new homeland for the Jews of Europe in Palestine (Abdul Aziz was vehemently opposed to it). They finally reached an agreement on U.S. support and military training to Saudi Arabia, which was then a young country surrounded by stronger nations, in exchange for oil and political support in the region.

“As chief executive of this government, I would not do anything that would be hostile to the Arab people,” Roosevelt later wrote in a follow-up letter to the Saudi king. The content of this meeting on the Quincy was marked by a disagreement over the future of Palestine: the FDR argued in favour of a Jewish state and Ibn Saud protested for the Jews to have their state in Bavaria. But the substance was secondary to the good atmosphere of the session. The president scoured his usual cigarette and cocktail to honor the king`s Islamic sentiments. They exchanged gifts and came out very impressed with each other. Eddy, a decorated Veteran of the First World War, was born in Lebanon in 1896, the son of American Presbyterian missionaries living in Syria. From 1923 to 1928, he taught English at the American University in Cairo and was the sole interpreter between Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz, commonly known as Ibn Saud. Click here for a complete gallery of King Abdul Aziz`s gifts to the Roosevelts.

The king`s face, McCarthy recalls, “was inactive, as if all this were common to him. He simply climbed on his full 6 feet and 4 inches (and) got out of the whale boat on deck. In addition to the costumes, each of the other officers received a watch with the king`s name, and “through the loudspeaker, the whole crew was informed that the king, in homage to the many politeness shown to him on board, gave 15 pounds sterling to each guard and 10 pounds sterling to each sailor. And they forged the basis for a long relationship: America`s security guarantees for the kingdom in exchange for access to affordable energy supplies.