Memorandum by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Thompson) to the Secretary of State
Subject: US position on Spanish participation in the NAT and military cooperation with Spain outside the NAT.
Attached is a briefing paper on this subject, prepared for your guidance in the event this matter arises during the NAT Council meetings. Mr. Halaby1 of the Department of Defense has indicated that from [Page 1558] the purely military point of view, his Department believes that in any discussion of Spain which may occur in London, the US should be prepared to go further in proposing steps for insuring Spanish military cooperation than is provided in the attached paper. In view of the Defense Department’s interest in Spain, it is possible that Secretary Johnson may raise the question of this position paper when he meets with you on April 24.
A review of our Spanish policy is currently being prepared, having in mind such factors as the military importance of Spain, in order to devise more effective means for its implementation. Any substantial changes, such as the action desired by the Department of Defense, would, however, require the President’s approval, particularly in view of his strong feelings on the subject. Once the US position has been established and approved, we propose to undertake working-level conversations with the British and French to establish, insofar as possible, agreed objectives and methods of implementation. We believe the problem of Spain is a matter which must be worked out in close cooperation with the British and French and that it is preferable to explore it with them in this manner rather than to discuss it formally with the British and French Foreign Ministers. Raising simply the issue of military cooperation with Mr. Bevin at this time would, in our opinion, only serve to crystallize British opposition, to the detriment of a more thorough review of the Spanish problem as a whole.
If Secretary Johnson raises this question with you, it is recommended that you inform him in the above sense.2
- Najeeb Halaby, Director of the Office of Foreign Military Affairs.↩
- No record of Secretary Acheson’s conversation with Secretary Johnson has been found in Department of State files.↩
- Not found in Department of State files.↩
- Dunham’s memorandum was incorporated in the series of papers prepared for the Foreign Ministers meetings in London, May 11–13, given the series indicator FM D B–7/1, and dated April 24. An earlier draft in this series, FM D B–7, dated April 12, not printed, dealt with the Spanish question at the United Nations. For copies of this earner draft, see the CFM Files: Dot M–88: Box 149, May FM Meeting B Series. Lot M–88 is a consolidated master collection of the records of conferences of Heads of State and Foreign Ministers meetings for the years 1943–1955 prepared by the Department of State Records Service Center.↩