189. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Spain 1

340. Paris pass Knight and Bacon, USCINCEUR. Embtel 160.2 State–Defense Message. Agree with USCINCEUR and Amb Perkins that for reasons stated USCINCEUR’s EC 9–4406 to CSUSA of 26 August emphasized USCINCEUR’s EC 9–4504 of 1 September3 it is undesirable for question Spanish observer at NATO exercise to be raised in NATO at this time. Kissner should inform Spanish High Gen Staff as follows:

Spanish Govt aware U.S. attitude Spanish association with NATO. Question Spanish observer at NATO maneuvers is one however which U.S. could not decide itself but which, in accord established NATO procedure re attendance non-NATO observers at NATO maneuvers, would have to be considered by all NATO nations. Decision, which would be made in light of known Spanish interest in NATO membership, would presumably be based on political considerations. Little doubt exists that certain NATO members would be strongly opposed Spanish attendance at this time. In these circumstances, we believe objective of eventual Spanish membership NATO would receive setback if we now pushed for Spanish observer NATO maneuvers.

Should Spaniards raise question whether observers of other non-NATO nations have attended NATO exercises, may be explained to them that present NATO policy is that as general rule only representatives from NATO nations are invited to attend as observers. In limited number recent cases where exceptions were made, controlling negative factor stated in Para 2 above was not present. [3½ lines of source text not declassified]

While we believe Spanish attendance NATO maneuvers is precluded for near future, it is both possible and desirable that Spaniards attend purely U.S. exercises in Europe whenever appropriate, in addition to Spanish attendance maneuvers in Continental U.S.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 740.5/8–3155. Confidential. Drafted in EUR/RA on September 13 and cleared with WE, EE, and the Department of Defense. Repeated to Paris.
  2. Telegram 160 from Madrid, August 31, reported that it would be desirable to have a Spanish observer at the NATO maneuvers in October provided that broader political objectives were not jeopardized. (Ibid.)
  3. Neither found in Department of State files.