284. Note From the Department of State to the British Embassy0

The Government of the United States proposes to the British Government the initiation of discussions by appropriate military and civil representatives of the two Governments looking toward the possible strategic use of certain small islands in the Indian Ocean area.1

The two Governments share a common concern for an adequate long-term allied presence in the area, and it is thus considered important that there be effective coordination of strategic planning on the matter. To this end the United States Government would like to explore with the British Government the military and technical considerations involved in any such joint effort. It is further suggested that if the appropriate authorities conclude that mutually advantageous planning is feasible, the two Governments might then proceed at a higher level to discuss the political aspects of the availability of locations in the area to support military plans.

Accordingly, the Government of the United States proposes that the inital discussions be undertaken between appropriate military authorities of the two Governments either in London or in Washington and, as necessary, in the area under consideration.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 15 UK-US. Secret. Drafted in G/PM on April 18 by Winston Lord.
  2. According to an April 25 memorandum from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs Jeffrey C. Kitchen to U. Alexis Johnson, this note grew out of a recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the Department of State initiate discussion with the British on the possible long-term development of base facilities in the Indian Ocean area. The Joint Chiefs cited a need for such bases for possible contingency operations. (Ibid.)