No. 364


Memorandum of Conversation, by William B. Dunham of the Office of Western European Affairs


Subject: U.S. Policy toward Spain

Participants: Mr. Jamieson, British Embassy
Mr. Dunham, WE

Mr. Jamieson referred to Mr. Burrows’ discussion with Mr. Byington of this subject on February 12.1 He said they had now received the comments of the Foreign Office on the action which we proposed to take. Before giving me these views, he read me portions of the telegram which they had sent to the Foreign Office following Mr. Burrows’ talk with Mr. Byington. This seemed to check accurately in its essential parts with Mr. Byington’s record of this conversation. Mr. Jamieson then read me the telegram from the Foreign Office which raised the following five points: (1) the Foreign Office fears that the Spanish Government would publicize the approach which the US proposes to make and they foresee unfortunate consequences from such publicity; (2) the Foreign Office believes [Page 799] the US approach to Franco is out of harmony with the understanding between the two governments to act in concert; (3) Spain’s relationship with the NATO is a matter involving all the NAT countries and should be discussed by them before anything is done with the Spaniards. The Foreign Office noted that the US had developed slightly divergent views with respect to Turkey’s relationship to the NATO and it seemed to them that in the case of Spain also the proposed US action indicated that the US is developing a divergent line in regard to Spain; (4) the Foreign Office believes the timing of our proposed approach is unfortunate since raising the Spanish issue now would add this contentious issue to other difficulties already before the NAT members, such as national rearmament, German rearmament and German participation in the integrated defense forces; and (5) the Foreign Office suggests that a thorough discussion of Spain be undertaken in the Standing Group in order to determine the military objectives with respect to Spain prior to any approach to Franco.

I thanked Mr. Jamieson for this information and told him that I would report the Foreign Office’s views at once.

  1. A memorandum of this conversation is printed supra.