711.4027/10–3048: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State


4688. Following comments regarding British position as expressed in Embtel 4687, October 301 submitted by Railey, Deak, Satterthwaite:

Memorandum intended to supply full background information [Page 474] and policy guidance. Individual despatches transmitting memorandum to missions will instruct them to consult with US Mission on technique of implementation. (Text proposed instructions will be telegraphed beginning next week for Department’s information and comment and help to prepare parallel instructions to our missions.) Instructions to Middle East countries will clearly indicate objective is complete containment.
Following special cases raised by British desiring Department’s views.
Spain. British recognize Spain might be used as intermediary for indirect sale equipment to satellites but inasmuch as they expect shortly to open negotiations for air transport agreement with Spain, they are reluctant to raise another aviation problem at this time and intend send copy to Madrid information only. British asked if US prepared to approach Spain without their assistance to enlist her cooperation.
British raising question adoption this policy with governments of Canada, South Africa, India, Pakistan, they indicated they would like US make similar representations as they feel this would strengthen their hand. Same applies to Egypt.
Iran. British believe account should be taken of Iran’s special position resulting from her proximity to USSR. It was suggested Iran may be urged to refuse satellite but merely restrict so far as practicable Soviet operations at same time refusing Soviet operations beyond Iran.
Ceylon, Siam, Burma. British see no necessity for approaching at this time.
China. Subject FonOff Far Eastern Division views British agree desirable obtain Chinese concurrence.
Latin-American countries will not be approached. We pointed out that some Latin-American registered aircraft now suspected of engaging in illicit operations and might subsequently find their way back of curtain. Hence we believe British would join with US in Latin-America if we so request.
As will be observed in memorandum to their missions, British go much further on transport aspect of policy than their October 1 reply2 indicated. It became evident from discussions and reflected in memorandum itself, that insofar as British themselves are concerned, divergence from our position is limited to their desire to retain their (1) courier service to Warsaw and (2) commercial service to Prague, However, British have not yet agreed to persuade other western European countries to give up, or to start minimum services to satellites so long as it meets conditions of subparagraph (a) of paragraph 7.

[Page 475]

Sent Department 4688; repeated via air pouch Paris 821, Bern 54, Stockholm 93, Berlin 577.

  1. Pursuant to instructions in telegram 4030, October 21, to London, supra, American representatives began discussions with British Foreign Office officials on common Satellite aviation policy. These discussions resulted in the drafting of a memorandum which the Foreign Office proposed to send to all British Missions with appropriate covering instructions. The British hoped that the Department of State would send identical memoranda to American Missions. The draft text of the proposed memorandum was included in telegram 4687, October 30, from London, not printed, and the text of the draft instructions was included in telegram 4959, November 22, from London, not printed (711.4027/10–3048 and 740.4127/11–2248). For the texts of the memorandum and the accompanying instructions as subsequently slightly amended and agreed upon by the U.S. and British Governments, see the enclosures to instruction of January 5, 1949 to Certain Diplomatic Officials, p. 481.
  2. For the text of the reply under reference here, see telegram 4340, October 1, from London, p. 467.