373. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Spain0
833. Ambassador Garrigues called on Asst. Secy Tyler May 7 for final discussion prior returning Madrid for consultation. Meeting was to have been review of import numerous conversations Ambassador had had last two weeks with most senior USG officials, but developed during course one hour 45 minutes into curious emotional outburst by Ambassador at what he termed “cold” response of Tyler to his attempts to obtain assent to set of principles which in view of US participants would have had effect of giving Garrigues blank check on a new Defense Agreement.[Page 1011]
Discussion began with Garrigues’ assertion that senior Pentagon official had suggested that Munoz Grandes be invited to US in very near future in his capacity as Chief High General Staff and that visit be reciprocated later by McNamara visit to Spain. Garrigues took position that Munoz Grandes could leave his higher title of Vice President at home and said he hoped receive official confirmation of invitation when he reached Madrid May 11. Tyler said we had not heard of this project, registered our doubts that such visit could be confined to purely military affair or that Munoz Grandes could leave Vice Presidential hat at home, and believed therefore any invitation would have to come from President or Vice President.
Garrigues then said that as result his many recent conversations he was pleased to have had reaffirmation of US friendship for Spain, particularly the President’s assurance that there was no coolness in US feeling for Spain.
As to renewal of Agreements Garrigues described himself as honest broker and not as negotiator. Said he did not know views his Government but said his personal view was that risks Spain was taking by permitting US bases required that Spain be treated equally with any other US ally. He therefore felt Spain should be in NATO. Garrigues said President had agreed there should not be “first class” and “tourist” allies. Garrigues insisted that Spain’s “status” with third countries was key point in base renewal and that US could do something for Spain vis-à-vis NATO, by bringing pressure on other governments, for example. He indicated belief formula could be found whereby Spain could participate lower level NATO meetings, such as day to day technical discussions. He asserted he not asking US for something it could not do.
Garrigues said that similarly means must be found to elevate bilateral US-Spanish relationship. He complained US met regularly at high level at publicly conspicuous meeting with NATO allies, and said there, should be similar formal required meetings with Spain. Spain should receive same information, training, etc. as other allies. Garrigues said he could supply list 20 to 30 things other allies receive which Spain does not. He stated Spanish public opinion required this more elevated US-Spanish relationship.
Tyler summarized situation by stating that we are coming to renegotiation of base agreement in spirit of friendship and cooperation, that GOS has indicated it wishes suggest certain modifications in previously existing agreements, that we are waiting to learn from GOS nature of changes it wishes to suggest and that we will consider these proposals with GOS in most friendly and frank way. We must first know what these ideas are and are therefore eagerly awaiting specific Spanish suggestions; meanwhile it would be inappropriate for us to suggest to Ambassador what he should advise his Government to ask from US. We [Page 1012]would welcome any specific ideas, even including what we felt was such nonstarter as Spain in NATO, and would carefully consider them. In our view detailed negotiations would take place in Madrid between GOS and Ambassador Woodward.
Garrigues then entered upon long emotional harangue, good part of it while standing as if about to leave, complaining that our offer to consider suggestions was nothing we would not offer any country, and that he could not carry such worthless trophy back to Madrid, particularly as he realized from his conversations here he must advise his Government that economic aid was out of the question. He went on at great length about his personal role, his year-long efforts at great personal financial sacrifice, and his utter disappointment at the cold reception he had received today at Tyler’s hands (which he said was in contrast to his treatment elsewhere and on other occasions with Tyler).
Comment: Ambassador evidently hoped obtain our agreement that Spain had been treated unfairly, that present “status” was wrong, and that we were prepared in principle to enter more formal bilateral agreement and to push Spain into NATO. He reacted emotionally when he found he could not get what he wanted (and maybe felt he needed) to bear back to Madrid. He was eventually calmed down, but evident he found meeting a severe disappointment.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, Def 15 Sp-US. Confidential; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Matthews and Meloy and approved by Tyler.↩