202. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Spain 1
Washington, October 4, 1966, 5:57 p.m.
59417. Following based on uncleared memcon is FYI, uncleared, Noforn, and subject to revision upon review:2
- Spanish Ambassador Merry Del Val made 15-minute call on Secretary October 3 on instructions from FonMin Castiella to present Secretary with background document covering Spanish-British negotiations on Gibraltar.3
- Spanish Ambassador also outlined contents of a Pro Memoria which he presented to Secretary re alleged violation of Spanish territory by British military aircraft. Ambassador stressed that British pilots apparently have instructions deliberately to violate air space over Spanish mainland and that Spain could no longer tolerate such intrusions. Secretary asked what purpose British would have in doing so. Merry Del Val lamely said he really didn’t know.
- Secretary said that Spanish and British diplomats have been at work long before US came into existence and he was confident that the two countries would eventually find a way to settle this problem.
- Merry Del Val also handed Secretary a second Pro Memoria to which he did not refer during conversation.4 It attacked US “neutrality” as not consonant with US anti-colonial stand and described US attitude [Page 401] as “inhibition” for fear that a clearer position might annoy either side. Pro Memoria stated this attitude, however, favored status quo and was “against interests of Spanish people.”
- Air pouching copies of Pro Memoria.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 19 GIB. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Drafted by Landau, cleared by Stoessel and BMI, and approved by Landau. Repeated to London.↩
- The memorandum of conversation is ibid.↩
- Talks between the U.K. and Spanish Governments took place on May 18 and 20, July 12-13, September 6-7, and October 10-11, 1967. For documentation, including the text of the May 18 memorandum handed to the Government of the United Kingdom, see Great Britain, Foreign Office, Gibraltar Talks with Spain, May-October 1966, Command 3131 (London, 1966).↩
- For text of the September 29 memorandum handed to the Government of the United Kingdom, see ibid., pp. 110-121. In telegram 59477, the Department of State commented that it believed this second memorandum was a “Spanish attempt to bail us into making statement on Gibraltar. We are not willing to do so.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 19 GIB)↩