257. Telegram From President Johnson to Prime Minister Wilson 1

CAP 66069. I am slow in sending you a line of thanks in acknowledgment for your messages of last week about aircraft sales and about your defense review decisions.2 It has been very helpful to us to have the benefit of full and private discussion with you ahead of time, and our people will be looking to your final conclusions with the greatest interest. I have heard from Bob McNamara of the very important agreements which he and Denis Healey have worked out on some parts of this field,3 and have asked my people to think very carefully about the subject of aircraft procurement. I can tell you, without any staff study, that we are very glad of your decision not to sell that particular airplane to China right now.

While I am at it, let me thank you too for your personal account of the beginnings of your Moscow visit. Our good work together in recent months shows how helpful it is to keep in touch with each other on all these matters.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 67 D 272. Secret; Nodis.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 256.
  3. No record of their meeting was found. In a February 21 memorandum to the President following talks with Healey, Secretary McNamara commented on the U.K. decision to buy F-111 aircraft: “This decision, in my view, is a major one helping to lock the British into a meaningful role East of Suez.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, UK, Vol. 8)