740B.5/10–1052: Despatch

No. 691
The Minister in Iceland (Lawson) to the Department of State

top secret
No. 93
  • Subject: Memorandum of General Collins’ Conversation With the Minister for Foreign Affairs; Facilities for the Defense of Iceland.

There is enclosed a copy of a memorandum of conversation on the above subject,1 which describes briefly the general trend of conversation between General Collins and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

As had been indicated in that memorandum, the principal advantage of General Collins’ visit to Reykjavik and his courtesy call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs devolved from their discussion of Iceland’s strategic position in the over-all defense program for the North Atlantic area and the emphasis placed on the need for defense facilities in Iceland which will be available for immediate action. Obviously, the General’s comments and tone of conversation were greatly appreciated by the Foreign Minister. It is believed that he felt that he was obtaining very valuable and useful authoritative information from an important high-ranking official of the United States military organization and that such information could be effectively used by the Foreign Minister in his efforts to [Page 1518] convince his colleague in the Government and others of the importance of having at least minimum defense forces and facilities ready for operation in Iceland. In fact, he said to the General, when the latter was leaving his office, that although the comments made were “common sense”, as the General had remarked, serious consideration would be given them due to the fact they came from the General rather than from the Minister for Foreign Affairs alone.

Edward B. Lawson
  1. Not printed.