147. Memorandum of Conversation0



Copenhagen, Denmark, May 5–7, 1958


  • United States
    • The Secretary
  • United Kingdom
    • Foreign Secretary Lloyd


  • United Kingdom Support Costs in Germany

Mr. Lloyd brought up the question of support costs. He said that they were going to carry through at the 55,000 level through this calendar year but that unless some more money could be found somewhere they would have to begin on the first of the year to cut down to the 45,000 level and that the decision in this respect would have to be taken sometime between July and October at the latest. He hoped very much that perhaps some way could be found for the U.S. to help the U.K. out financially so that they could keep to the 55,000 level.

The Secretary replied that this was primarily a matter for Defense and that he did not think that the State Department could possibly get from Congress any additional funds for this purpose. The Department might even be criticized for not having pressed hard enough to get funds of our own from the Germans for the current year. The Secretary said that it might perhaps be possible for the Defense Department to squeeze out some money in respect of certain aspects of their program with resultant benefit to the U.K., but that he could not speak in any way for Defense in this respect. The Secretary said that we would raise the problem with them when he got back, but that he could do no more.1

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D123, CF 1013. Secret. Drafted by Secretary Dulles. The meeting was held in Council Room II of the Christiansborg Palace.
  2. In subsequent negotiations between Burgess and Frank Roberts, British Permanent Representative to NATO, the United States agreed to make available $25 million for the mutual weapons development program in the United Kingdom for fiscal year 1958–1959 for projects offering promise of value to the Alliance. This financial assistance permitted the British Government to announce in mid-October that it would be able to maintain 55,000 British troops in Germany through calendar year 1959. Eisenhower’s letter to Macmillan, July 19, authorized Burgess to discuss with Roberts “the problem of the financial gap and to see whether a solution to the problem can be found.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File) Documentation on these negotiations and the handling of publicity concerning the British announcement is in Department of State, Central File 740.5.