308. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

278461. For Deputy Asst. Secy. Frank E. Loy.

Due recent proliferation demand service to Havana,2 ARA, L, and OA have concluded that direct USG note to GOC should go forward ASAP and without waiting outcome Binaghi/other approaches. Note now being drafted will (a) recite relevant hijacking statistics; (b) point out known anti-hijacking remonstrances by GOC (concurrence in ICAO resolution, GOC disclaimer of having encouraged hijacking, etc.); (c) state USG apprehension that, despite safety record to date, future disaster almost certain; and (d) in general terms, ask GOC cooperation in seeking arrive at mutually agreeable and effective deterrent.
Note theme generally prescribed by ARA (Vaky) and concurred in by interested staffs in lieu of any specific proposal such as returning or trying hijackers, it being feeling that returning/trying proposal more likely to get rejection than general probe.
Boyle has not yet contacted Binaghi, his instructions having arrived after Binaghi left for Manila (airgram time Washington-Montreal five days).3 Concluded here efforts should go forward in [Page 541] parallel rather than seriatim principally because each entity has own legitimate interest not necessarily conflicting with that of any other. Mexican approach still dormant.
OA and H reps briefed House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee staffer November 26 and left package on hijacking similar to that furnished Selden Subcommittee.
Loy comments would be appreciated.4
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, AV 12. Confidential; Limdis; Priority. Drafted by Feehan (E/OA); cleared by Meadows (E/OA), Feldman (L/ARA), Wollam (ARA/CCA); and approved by Styles (E/OA).
  2. Three large American aircraft—carrying more than 230 people—and one Mexican plane had been hijacked to Cuba so far in November. A fourth American plane was hijacked on November 30.
  3. Document 307.
  4. Loy responded that a general request for cooperation “seems a sure way to get fuzzy, unhelpful response.” “Would it not be easier,” he asked, “for GOC to take certain action than to sit down with USG in spirit of cooperative action?” (Telegram 14704 from London, November 28; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, AV 12)