No. 838
Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of European Regional Affairs (Parsons) to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Perkins)1

top secret
  • Subject: Spain.

I feel certain that, in your meeting with Mr. Nash on Spain this afternoon,2 you will have in mind the implications for NATO of any appreciable military end-item aid program for Spain.

At a time when delivery of all equipment for the NAT countries is lagging very badly, any deliveries to Spain other than on a really “bare-bones” training basis will not only delay the NATO arms programs but will create political problems. Such a procedure would indicate a lower priority for NATO, and would be a disincentive to greater NATO action.

In this respect, the off-the-record remark attributed to General Eisenhower yesterday that Spain should not be in NATO indicates to some extent his views on the high priority of the NATO operation.

As we see it, our base-rights can be obtained without giving such end-item aid. Any end-item training equipment should be subject to careful screening by both Departments. The proposed figure of [Page 1799] $25,000,0003 appears about 10 times too high, and should also be subject to screening by item.

End-item aid beyond that should be postponed for future consideration at a time when we are able to give it without impairing the NATO effort, and at that time we should seek and obtain, in return therefor, a commitment from Spain to use the equipment and its forces in support of the NATO and/or UN effort. To tie the base rights transaction to that future trade would be both to weaken our bargaining position and impair the NATO effort.

  1. Drafted by Wolf.
  2. For the background of this meeting, see Document 835. No record of the meeting has been found in Department of State files.
  3. Gordon suggested the figure $25 million in his memorandum of Feb. 2 (supra) as a general guideline for use by the MAAC Working Group on Spain in drawing up its recommendations for a negotiating program.