226. Letter From President Johnson to Prime Minister Douglas-Home1
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
In our talks in Washington we agreed that we would reaffirm together the understandings of our two Governments with regard to consultation in the use of nuclear weapons. I now confirm this agreement in the attached Memorandum of Understanding. It is very much like the one which President Kennedy sent to Prime Minister Macmillan in February 1961,2 except for minor but necessary editorial changes and the deletion of references to the IRBM (Thor) force which is no longer operational.
I note also that our two Governments have a continuing commitment to consult with the North Atlantic Council concerning the use of nuclear weapons anywhere, if time permits.3
Let me take this occasion to say again how much Mrs. Johnson and I enjoyed your visit, and how clear its value is as we continue to work together on hard problems all around the world.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Head of State Correspondence, UK, Vol. 1. Top Secret.↩
- Kennedy confirmed the understandings in a February 6, 1961, letter. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204)↩
- In a March 12 letter to President Johnson, Prime Minister Douglas-Home confirmed that the Memorandum of Understanding correctly represented the position of the U.K. Government and noted the continuing validity of the undertakings given by the two governments in 1962 to consult the North Atlantic Council, if time permitted, on the use of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world. (Ibid.)↩
- Excluding aircraft of such Command equipped with British nuclear weapons. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- This should not be taken to exclude U.S. nuclear forces based in the UK which might be assigned to a NATO commander in the future. In such event such forces would be brought under the terms of the Murphy-Dean Report by appropriate amendment of that Report. [Footnote in the source text.]↩