The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102-138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102-138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the 5 years (1964-1968) of the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. The subseries presents in 34 volumes a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of President Johnson’s administration. This volume documents U.S. policy toward Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Vatican, and Canada. Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIII, published in 1995, documents U.S. policy toward the Western European region, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, Volume XII

The editor of this volume sought to present documentation illuminating responsibility for major foreign policy decisions in the U.S. [Page IV] Government, with emphasis on the President and his advisers. The documents include memoranda and records of discussions that set forth policy issues and options and show decisions or actions taken. The emphasis is on the development of U.S. policy and on major aspects and repercussions of its execution rather than on the details of policy execution.

Lyndon Johnson’s preoccupation with Southeast Asia limited his active participation in policymaking for other regions. Although interested in Western Europe as a whole, he cared most about the broad contours of U.S. policy toward the continent, specifically European economic and political integration, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the proposed Multilateral Force (MLF), and the Atlantic Nuclear Force (ANF). Those topics are covered extensively in Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIII.

The documentation printed in this volume highlights the central role of the Department of State in bilateral policy formulation toward individual Western European nations and Canada. The documentation on Denmark focuses on Danish nuclear policy on Greenland and a supplementary understanding reached between the United States and Denmark on their 1951 Defense of Greenland agreement in the aftermath of the crash of a nuclear-armed U.S. B-52 bomber near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. Documentation on France is more comprehensive and includes Franco-American differences, primarily those stemming from President De Gaulle’s actions concerning NATO, as well as differences over Cuba, Southeast Asia, and the People’s Republic of China. The documentation on Italy reflects U.S. interest in the internal political scene in Italy at the outset of the center-left coalition period, as well as developments in the Italian Communist Party. The documentation on Portugal highlights U.S. concerns about the policies of the Salazar regime in Africa. With regard to Spain, the documents focus on negotiations over renewal of U.S. base rights in Spain as well as Spain’s thoughts about its future relationships with Western Europe in general and the European Economic Community in particular. The documentation on the United Kingdom is a tour d’horizon of economic, political, and defense issues. The main topics include the sterling crisis, British plans to pull back “East of Suez,” and Anglo-American differences over Vietnam. Also included in this volume is documentation on the Vatican, which reflects the Holy See’s increasing concern about the conflict in Vietnam and the Pope’s efforts to mediate the conflict. Extensive consultations on Vietnam are also highlighted in the documentation on Canada, but there is also an important focus on trade, Law of the Sea, and fisheries issues.

The editor included a selection of intelligence estimates and analyses seen by high-level policymakers, especially those that were made available to President Johnson.

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Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and, if so, this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and [Page VI] other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

The numbers in the index refer to document numbers rather than to page numbers.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. Although the Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, it does monitor the overall process and makes recommendations on particular problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee has not reviewed this volume but has considered particular declassification issues.

Declassification Review

The Information Response Branch of the Office of IRM Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958 on Classified National Security Information and applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.

The final declassification review of this volume, which began in 1995 and was completed in 2000, resulted in the decision to withhold about .7 percent of the documentation proposed for publication; 3 documents were withheld in full. A determination to acknowledge two sensitive intelligence matters was made by a High-Level Panel consisting of senior officials from the Department of State, the National Security Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency. The Panel arrived at a determination that resulted in the release of additional documentation.

The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that the documentation and editorial [Page VII] notes presented here provide an accurate account of U.S. policy toward Western European nations and Canada during the 1964-1968 period.


The editor wishes to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, especially David C. Humphrey, Regina Greenwell, and Charlaine Burgess, who provided key research assistance. The editor also wishes to acknowledge the assistance of historians at the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly Michael Warner.

James E. Miller collected documentation for this volume and selected and edited it, under the general supervision of former General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie. He also prepared the lists of names, sources, and abbreviations. Vicki E. Futscher and Rita M. Baker did the copy and technical editing, and Susan C. Weetman coordinated the final declassification review. Breffni Whelan prepared the index.

Marc J. Susser
The Historian Bureau of Public Affairs

February 2001