224. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Leddy) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • Spanish Base Negotiations

In your October 17 meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Castiella you agreed that as a matter of national policy the two countries desired to continue the defense relationship. The same view was expressed by General Franco in your brief conversation with him in Madrid.2

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You further agreed to a high level military meeting at the middle of November to come up with common strategic concepts which would constitute the framework for continued U.S.-Spanish cooperation; this to be followed by a related program of military assistance.

As a final phase you envisaged political conversations between yourself and Castiella to clear up any remaining bilateral military and political matters.

Military discussions were initiated by General Wheeler, November 18-20 and continued by General Burchinal in Madrid, December 4-6. A follow-up military meeting is scheduled to be held in Stuttgart, December 17-19, with a final round of military talks in January, possibly in Madrid, on a date to be agreed later.

In light of this timetable, it does not seem likely that you will be able to conclude the base negotiations with Castiella prior to January 20. In this connection you might recall that we have firm indications of Spanish interest to carry over the base talks to the incoming administration.

My inclination is not to press for rapid action but to let nature take its course. If you agree, please indicate. If you disagree, we will need to prod Defense to tighten up the schedule on military talks.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 15-4 SP-US. Confidential. Drafted by Landau.
  2. According to the memorandum of conversation, Franco stated: “It had always been his wish to continue relations and that there existed a broad base of common interest for both countries. He stressed, however, that the agreements were old and had to be updated because of the change in the situation.” (Ibid., POL SP-US)
  3. Rusk initialed his agreement on December 6.