405. Telegram From the Department of State to the Delegation to the Heads of Government Meeting at Nassau0

27. For Ball from Secretary. As seen from here and in light of previous experience with complex diplomatic arrangements achieved in conferences we attach great importance to making a matter of confidential record the consensus behind critical paragraph 6 of Nassau 1.1 We are not seeking to go beyond the language of the agreement, i.e., to commit UK to go in the slightest degree further or faster than agreement contemplates. But we do not want to see the UK commitment to NATO multilateral force to lag due to (a) pressure of political in-fighting in England; (b) possible unwillingness of some NATO members to work towards such a force; (c) post-Nassau British public interpretations, in heat of parliamentary debate, of the agreement which might run counter to what both governments now understand to be its substance.

From TylerSchaetzel telecon2 we gather following points may be a part of the US-UK understanding. Would hope that these points could be either made part of US-UK confidential minute or US statement for the record of its interpretation of critical paragraph.

The ulimate objective of the agreement will be the development of a multilateral force in which any other interested NATO countries can eventually take part on non-discriminatory basis, without thereby acquiring national nuclear capabilities.
The commitment on the part of the British to explore and support such a force is not, however, conditional on acceptance of a similar arrangement by France, nor to agreement by NATO as a whole to a multilateral force.
High priority will be given by both governments to the discussion and possible development of the NATO multilateral force. The US and UK agree that early invitation to other interested countries to participate in the discussion and possible development of a multilateral force is indispensable.

Believe we should also make clear, for sake of record in later negotiations with our other allies, that US believes force under multilateral ownership, control, and manning would meet criterion #1.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 741.5612/12–2062. Secret; Priority; Eyes Only. Drafted by Schaetzel, cleared with Rostow, and approved and initialed by Rusk.
  2. Document 404.
  3. No record of this telephone conversation has been found.