No. 834
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Perkins) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews)1

top secret
  • Subject: Defense Department Recommendations regarding Spain.
The attached letter from Mr. Foster, and the two JCS memoranda enclosed with it,2 contain the tentative Defense Department recommendations on Spain. The first memorandum summarizes the principal findings of the Spry report,3 contains JCS comments and recommendations and encloses a document containing cost estimates of Army, Navy and Air Force requirements in Spain. The second memorandum transmits draft terms of reference for a Joint US Military Group (Spain).
In the first memorandum the JCS state that in broad terms tentative US military requirements in Spain should include: [Page 1786]
Development of air bases to permit some peacetime rotation and an eventual wartime deployment of ten wings and supporting units.
Navy aircraft off-loading dock and flyaway runway and a Navy advanced air base capable of supporting carrier air, marine air, antisubmarine warfare, reconnaissance and fleet logistic air wing operations to include peacetime rotation and possible wartime deployment.
Anchorage rights and use of port repair facilities.
Use of existing subterranean storage facilities.
Air defense system adequate for US installations.
Necessary improvement of Spanish air, maritime, and logistic facilities related to the above requirements.
Implementation of all US Army responsibilities related to the foregoing.
Development, equipping, manning and utilization of facilities as required for any projected US Army operations.
Development of Spanish military potentialities to maximum degree possible within existing US limitations, in order to support the above requirements and to aid in the defense of Western Europe.
Utilization of an amphibious training area.
Such additional facilities as may be necessitated because of developments in negotiations with other countries.
JCS comments and recommendations include the following:
The US should negotiate forthwith for US military requirements in Spain.
Previous restrictions (i.e., the limited approach agreed upon by the President, Secretary Acheson, Secretary Marshall and Admiral Sherman prior to the latter’s visit to Spain4) should now be lifted to permit fuller exploitation of the objectives set forth in NSC 72/6.5
A Joint US Military Group, headed by a general officer of the Air Force, should be established in Spain as a matter of priority. This Group would be the cadre of an eventual MAAG and would be responsible to the Chief of Staff, US Army, acting as executive agent. The team would conduct negotiations at the military level; assist the Ambassador in negotiating a bilateral government agreement; and would also continue the exchange of information, furnish appropriate technical advice, analyze Spanish requirements for military aid, and formulate the terms of reference for the permanent organization for approval of the JCS.
An early allocation of minimum training equipment to Spain is feasible but it would be premature until additional on-site surveys have been made by the JUSMG.
The JCS recognize that the Ambassador will coordinate the activities of the Group and the MSA mission.
The first JCS memorandum originally concluded with the recommendation that the entire $100 million appropriated by Congress in the fall of 19516 (for economic, technical and military assistance) be utilized to meet the construction and other costs of US military requirements in Spain. This did not appear in the memorandum, however, and Mr. Foster’s covering letter states that Defense recommendations regarding the use of these funds will be transmitted later.7
The enclosure to the first memorandum contains cost estimates as follows: a) $15 million for railroad equipment for US Army transportation requirements in Spain; b) $60 million for Navy requirements, including $46 million for the advanced naval air base and $12 million for the off-loading dock; c) approximately $330 million for Air Force requirements. (Although three alternative deployments are given for Air Force requirements the cost is about the same, the principal differences between them being whether the locations are to be nearer coastal areas and whether existing Spanish facilities are to be utilized.)
The draft terms of reference for a Joint US Military Group, enclosed with the second JCS memorandum, place the Group under the general guidance of the Ambassador and authorize its functions as outlined in paragraph 3c above. The terms of reference also include the statement that: “for information and initial planning purposes only, the eventual commitments to be sought from Spain include the following:”
Use of Spanish territory by the armed forces of the US.
Cooperation in the aerial and naval defense in the Mediterranean and Western Europe.
Logistical assistance to support US requirements in Spain.
Deployment of Spanish forces to such areas as are determined by the US and Spanish authorities to be in their mutual interest.
Support of all US commitments and obligations in Western Europe and the Mediterranean against any aggression.
EUR’s comments on the Defense Department recommendations will follow in a separate memorandum.8
  1. Drafted by Millar; a copy was sent to Nitze.
  2. None printed; the letter from Deputy Secretary of Defense Foster, dated Jan. 21, transmitted the two JCS memoranda, dated Jan. 16, and Jan. 17, respectively. (752.5/1–2152)
  3. See footnote 9, supra.
  4. For documentation on this “limited approach”, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. iv, Part 1, pp. 825 ff.
  5. For the text of NSC 72/6, June 27, 1951, see ibid., p. 820.
  6. These funds were made available by the provisions of the Mutual Security Appropriations Act of 1952, P.L. 82–249 (65 Stat. 730), Oct. 31, 1951.
  7. These recommendations were made in a letter dated Mar. 4, from Secretary of Defense Lovett to the Secretary of State. (752.5/3–452)
  8. Infra.