No. 833
The Counselor of Embassy in Spain (Jones) to William B. Dunham of the Office of Western European Affairs


Dear Bill : Your letter of December 141 arrived shortly before the Christmas holidays and I have not had an opportunity to acknowledge [Page 1783] it earlier. We took advantage of the long weekend over New Year’s to go south (Ubeda, near Jaén) for four days’ rest and sunshine. It was very pleasant and we missed the Porter visit2 with all of the work and social activity involved. Meanwhile, the subject of your letter has developed into an open issue with the Porter press conference3 and subsequent publicity on both sides of the Atlantic.

While the Embassy has been guided by the policy referred to in Deptel 463 of December 12,4 there has been a feeling here that plans for economic aid, as provided in the MSA Appropriations Act of 1952,5 should not be neglected while waiting termination of the military negotiations which have not even yet begun. This attitude was explained in the last paragraph of Embtel 592 of December 86 to which you referred. Our feeling is rather that the United States Government should be ready to move ahead on economic aid simultaneously with negotations in the military field since the success of our military objectives, we feel, are closely bound up with an intelligent economic aid program. Regardless of whether the Spaniards will grant us military facilities without economic concessions, I think that most of us here are in agreement with Sufrin’s thesis that a thoughtful economic aid program is essential in support of our military objectives and that this support should be simultaneous with and not subsequent to initiation of the military program.

The phrase in Embtel 6047—“position the Department is taking”—was, unconsciously perhaps, a reflection of our feeling that this position was not necessarily that of the ECA (now MSA) and an indication of our concern over a possible conflict of tactical policies in Washington. If I may express my personal concern, it was that the Department would lose control of foreign policy in their particular phase of Spanish–American relations by adhering too rigidly to a pat formula, “limited economic aid for Spain only as a concession to the achievement of specific military objectives”, with the implied timetable of no economic aid until after the successful conclusion of military negotiations. Congress has earmarked [Page 1784] a substantial sum for Spain and in my opinion it is only realistic to assume that the Spaniards consider this figure a floor for their aspirations in the economic field rather than a ceiling. In other words, Senator McCarran tipped your hand to the Spaniards when he wrote his amendment into the appropriations bill.8 Furthermore, MSA will undoubtedly feel a responsibility to Congress to proceed as soon as possible with an aid program, specifically authorized by the legislative branch of the Government, before the fiscal year runs its course—and it is more than half gone now. I agree that the original tactics were sound but they have been weakened—probably beyond usefulness—by time and a series of events, such as the assignment of an ECA group to Spain in August, the McCarran amendment to the MSA Appropriations Act, the delay in the JCS to make decisions on the Spry report,9 and the recent publicity on the Sufrin report and the anticipated establishment of an MSA representation in Spain.

We have just seen a copy of a joint mesage from MSA, Defense and State to Porter dated January 310 which seems to establish a [Page 1785] realistic and workable program for future negotiations. If we can begin negotiations for a bilateral agreement of economic assistance at the same time we undertake negotiations for military facilities, we will have the advantage of a well-coordinated policy during the period of the negotiations with one ready to support the other at the appropriate time.

The sooner the JCS decisions on the JMST report are forthcoming, the easier it will be to keep all this on the track. Your 528 of January 3 is good policy now but it may not be in three months.

All our sincere best wishes for 1952. May it be as good to all of us as the one just past.

Yours ever,

  1. Not found in Department of State files.
  2. Porter was in Madrid from Dec. 30, 1951, to Jan. 2, 1952, while en route from Lisbon to Paris.
  3. Brief accounts of the Porter news conference, given for American reporters while in Madrid, are in despatches 637 and 639 from Madrid, Jan. 4. (752.00(W)/1–452)
  4. For the text of telegram 463, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. iv, Part 1, p. 856.
  5. Mutual Security Appropriations Act of 1952, P.L. 82–249 (62 Stat. 137), Oct. 31, 1951.
  6. For the text of telegram 592, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. iv, Part 1, p. 855.
  7. Telegram 604 advocated the recall of the ECA (Sufrin) group immediately upon completion of the survey of the Spanish economy in order not to leave the impression that aid was forthcoming regardless of what military concessions were granted to the United States by the Spanish. (752.5 MSP/12–1151)
  8. Reference is to the Mutual Security Appropriations Act of 1952, P.L. 82–249 (65 Stat. 730), Oct. 31, 1951. The clause inserted by Senator McCarran, a member of the Appropriations Committee, reads as follows: “Assistance to Spain: For economic, technical, and military assistance, in the discretion of the President under the general objectives set forth in the declaration of policy contained in the titles of the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 and the Mutual Security Act of 1951, for Spain, $100,000,000”.
  9. The Spry Report was the product of the survey of Spanish military facilities conducted between Aug. 22 and Nov. 1, 1951, by the Joint Military Survey Team under the leadership of Maj. Gen. James W. Spry. (For the origin and purposes of this team and its mission, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. iv, Part 1, p. 838.) The Spry Report was transmitted in despatch 425 from Madrid, Nov. 2, 1951. (752.5/11–251) Ambassador Griffis expressed in his covering note to the report his and Spry’s opinion “that the Spaniards will be willing to negotiate a military agreement, including basing and overflight rights, physical developments of military facilities and munitions factories (with their obvious economic correlation), prior to and without any final and definite assurance of substantial direct economic aid.” The report, which consisted of a summary of the findings of the Survey Team and seven annexes, began by proposing the initiation of “immediate negotiations with a view to developing facilities for the support of the foreseeable U.S. military requirements.” It continued by noting that the Spanish Government was not at that time “favorably inclined toward membership in NATO,” preferring instead a bilateral agreement with the United States, and that Spain, “under existing political conditions,” did not want to send troops beyond its borders into Europe in the event of war. After presenting a brief evaluation of currently existing Spanish military facilities, the report suggested a list of eight desirable U.S. military requirements. While most of these concerned Air Force and Navy facilities, the final one (h) provided for “development, equipping, manning and utilization of facilities as required for any projected United States Army operations.” The Spry Report was submitted immediately upon completion to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for approval or modification of its recommendations.
  10. Reference is to telegram 528 to Madrid, Jan. 3, sent originally to Porter through the Embassy in France as telegram 3792. It reported the Department of State plan to undertake negotiations with Spain for economic, technical, and military agreements on a coordinated basis as soon as the Joint Chiefs of Staff had passed judgment on the Spry Report. (752.5 MSP/1–352)