194. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Spain1

981. Spanish Ambassador in call on Dept (Stoessel) discussed proposed joint U.S.-Spanish press statement on aftermath air accident near Palomares, Spain. We understand Ambassador will report to GOS his concern that issuance proposed joint statement at this time could be misinterpreted as reply or comments on allegations contained Soviet Aide-Mémoire this subject.2 Similar concern by GOS may explain reluctance GOS issue statement at this time. Unless addressees believe otherwise, Dept does not consider this possibility an overriding consideration. Although timing may be unfortunate on balance Dept continues believe proposed statement should be made but requests urgent comments.3

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Text proposed statement being sent Moscow and Geneva by septels.4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, DEF 17 US. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Ortiz; cleared in SOV, P, and G/PM and by the Department of Defense; and approved by Stoessel. Also sent to Moscow and Geneva for the delegation to the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Conference.
  2. Dated February 16. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1966, pp. 911-912.
  3. In telegram 991 from Madrid, February 19, the Embassy transmitted the text of a Spanish statement rejecting the Soviet note. (Department of State, Madrid Post Files: Lot 71 A 2420, Def 17) In telegram 1020 from Madrid, February 18, the Embassy repeated its endorsement of a joint statement but noted that Munoz Grandes still believed release of such a statement “unwise.” (Ibid.)
  4. For text of the February 25 U.S. reply, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1966, p. 916.