274. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • British Defense White Paper


  • Under Secretary Katzenbach
  • T. M. Judd, UK Affairs
  • Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador
  • Mr. Edward Tomkins, British Minister

Ambassador Dean said he wished to give the Under Secretary a preview of the contents of the British Defense White Paper which was to be released on July 18, at 9:30 a.m. Washington time. He then read from the attached paper.2

Upon conclusion of the Ambassador’s presentation, Under Secretary Katzenbach said that the British decisions were most disappointing to us. Mr. Katzenbach said that, in all candor, he could not see political wisdom in announcing now the total withdrawal which would not take place until the mid-70’s. Ambassador Dean replied that the British Government was certain that this decision would become known regardless of whether or not there was an announcement. HMG had concluded that it was better to come clean.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 1 UK. Confidential. Drafted by Judd and approved in U on July 24. The memorandum is Part 1 of 3. The meeting was held in Katzenbach’s office.
  2. Not printed.