No. 840
The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Lovett)1

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Dear Mr. Secretary: The Department of State has given careful consideration to the recommendations and proposals of the Joint Chiefs of Staff set forth in the memoranda enclosed with your letter of January 21.2 After consultations with officials of the Department of Defense, the Department of State has the following comments and recommendations concerning the program to be negotiated with the Spanish Government.

Enclosed with this letter are two memoranda3 containing the Department’s recommendations regarding the revised terms of reference for a Joint US Military Group and those requirements, taken from the program set forth by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which the Department considers should be the subject of negotiations with the Spanish Government at this time.

In essence, the Department proposes that the United States Government should negotiate with the Spanish Government for the development and use of the minimum necessary air, naval and related logistic facilities required by the United States in Spain. This program conforms to the course of action decided upon by the [Page 1801] President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and Admiral Sherman, which was confirmed in a letter of July 13, 1951 from the Acting Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of State.4 In the Department’s opinion the considerations which underlay this decision have not changed to such an extent that it would be advisable at this time to undertake negotiations with the Spanish Government for the full program envisaged by the plans of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is the Department’s intention, however, that the forthcoming negotiations and the arrangements which may be made with the Spanish Government shall not prejudice the satisfaction of additional requirements of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at such time as it is decided that further negotiations with the Spanish Government are desirable.

Before the requirements outlined in the second enclosure are finally accepted, it is suggested that they be reviewed to determine whether a program of less magnitude—both as to the number of airfields and the number of United States personnel—could be prepared which would meet the minimum necessary requirements of the United States for military facilities in Spain. If a program of the extent contemplated by present Air Force and Navy requirements is deemed necessary, it should be noted that two important additional problems will be created. First, it would be necessary to proceed gradually in implementing a program of the size proposed, if the facilities desired are granted. In view of the existing political, economic and social circumstances in Spain, the Department believes an immediate and full implementation of a program of this magnitude would entail an undue risk of creating an impact greater than present-day conditions in Spain could readily assimilate, with resulting dislocations—social as well as economic—which would prejudice the attainment of our objectives. Second, in view of the widespread facilities desired, it would also be advisable, if possible, to provide the Ambassador with an evaluation of the relative priority of importance attached to each of the facilities desired for his guidance during the negotiations.

In view of the nature and scope of the negotiations which are recommended, the Department believes that the proposed survey of Spanish requirements for military end-item aid and the allocation of minimum training equipment should be reconsidered. In the Department’s opinion a survey of Spanish needs for military aid, concurrently with the negotiations, would adversely affect those negotiations. It would, we believe, raise Spanish hopes and expectations of receiving military end-item aid, thus making our negotiating position more difficult. Moreover, in the absence of a program which [Page 1802] covers commitments for the use of Spanish troops in the common defense, and in the light of present supply shortages, the Department believes it would not now be justifiable to consider granting military aid beyond military assistance related to the development and protection of the desired military facilities, token training equipment and possible aid to Spanish munitions industries. At a time when delivery of all equipment to the NAT countries is lagging, any deliveries to Spain other than severely limited training equipment would not only delay the NATO arms program but would create political problems with our NATO allies. Such a procedure would indicate that NATO priorities had been lowered, which in turn would act as a discouragement to greater NATO action. End-item aid, beyond these training limits, should be postponed for future consideration at a time when it would be possible to give it without impairing the NATO effort. Also, that aid should be considered only at such time as it will be possible to arrange a commitment from Spain to use the equipment and its forces in support of the common defense. It is the Department’s view, therefore, that the proposed survey of Spanish requirements for military aid by the Joint US Military Group should be dropped at this time.

The Department fully recognizes, however, that the Spaniards are expecting to receive some military aid in return for extending the desired military facilities to the United States. Therefore, in addition to the development and expansion of Spanish air, naval and logistic facilities, which General Franco has indicated will be used jointly, and to the air defense system in Spain proposed by the Air Force, some further military assistance might, if necessary, be considered in two further fields—assistance to the Spanish munitions industry and military training equipment. In view of frequent references by General Franco and other high Spanish officials to their desire for assistance in improving the Spanish munitions industry, both General Spry and Ambassador Griffis have reported that the Spanish Government has a major interest in this type of aid.5 The Department believes, therefore, that the possibility of providing such assistance should be studied and suggests that the Defense Department prepare, from information now on hand, an estimate for discussion in the interdepartmental working group on Spain of the type of assistance which could appropriately be extended to the Spanish munitions industry, if the Spanish Government should request such aid during the negotiations.

The Department believes it would be desirable to consider also what token amounts of military training equipment could be provided, [Page 1803] if this type of assistance is requested. In this connection it is recommended that the reports of the Service attachés and other available information be checked. In the event this material does not prove to be adequate, the JUSMG may be authorized, after future consultation between the Departments of State and Defense, to make a survey expressly limited to training equipment, if the Spanish Government requests such aid during the negotiations. General dollar and item limitations of such a program should, however, be agreed between the two Departments before the negotiations are opened.

The Department agrees with the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that negotiations should be undertaken as soon as possible with the Spanish Government. It is our hope that preparations can be completed in order that negotiations may be initiated shortly after Ambassador MacVeagh has presented his credentials. Present tentative estimates indicate that this would place the opening of negotiations about the middle of March.6

Before the negotiations can be opened, however, and prior to the departure of the proposed Joint US Military Group, the Department believes that the agencies concerned should agree on all aspects of the program to be covered by the negotiations. This will include not only preparations for the negotiations covering the military rights desired but also the development of such economic and military aid as is to be undertaken in support of the US military program in Spain. The Department considers therefore that agreement between the two Departments on the matters discussed in this letter is urgent and we are prepared to discuss the questions raised at any time with you or the Joint Chiefs of Staff if that should be desired. Meanwhile, in order that work on the details of the latter aspects of the program may go forward as rapidly as possible, the Department hopes that the interdepartmental working group on Spain can shortly receive the Defense Department’s views regarding the utilization of the $100 million appropriated by the Congress for economic, technical and military assistance to Spain.7

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
[Page 1804]

[Enclosure 2]

Paper Prepared in the Department of State

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U.S. Military Requirements in Spain

The following U.S. military requirements in Spain, stated in broad terms, should be the subject of negotiations with the Spanish Government at this time:*

Early development of U.S. Air Force airbase complexes to permit some peacetime rotation and an eventual wartime deployment of six (6) medium bomb wings, one (1) strategic reconnaissance wing, one (1) fighter escort wing, two (2) fighter interceptor wings and supporting units.
Early development of a Navy aircraft off-loading dock with flyway runway and a nearby Navy advanced airbase capable of supporting carrier air, marine air, anti-submarine warfare, reconnaissance and fleet logistic air wing operations to include peacetime rotation and a possible eventual wartime deployment.
Anchorage rights and utilization of port repair facilities.
Utilization of existing subterranean storage facilities.
Development of an Air Defense system adequate for U.S. installations.
Necessary improvement of Spanish air, maritime, and logistic facilities related to the above requirements.
Implementation of such U.S. Army responsibilities as are related to the above requirements.
Utilization of an amphibious training area.

  1. Drafted by Dunham and cleared with Wolf, Spaulding, Bonbright, and Perkins.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 834.
  3. The first of these is not printed; it was a response to the general set of guidelines for the U.S. negotiating group contained in the JCS memorandum of Jan. 17 to the Secretary of Defense. (752.5/1–2152)
  4. Not found in Department of State files.
  5. Ambassador Griffis reported the Spanish interest in this aid in despatch 425 from Madrid, Nov. 2, 1951. (752.5/11–251)
  6. Ambassador MacVeagh presented his credentials on Mar. 27; the negotiations opened on Apr. 7.
  7. These views were received in a letter from Secretary of Defense Lovett to the Secretary of State, Mar. 4. Secretary Lovett concurred with the JCS view that the $100 million appropriated for Spain by Congress in the Mutual Security Act of 1951 should be matched for fiscal years 1953 and 1954 as well, and that to the $78 million per year counterpart funds generated by these successive $100 million grants should be added $52 million per year from Department of Defense funds. The total of $130 million per year, or $390 for 3 years, was to be used for base construction costs. (752.5/3–542)
  8. Subject to the considerations outlined in the fourth paragraph of the covering letter. [Footnote in the source text.]