167. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant (Flanigan) to President Nixon1

SUBJECT

  • Determination of Bilateral Agreement with Ireland and Notification of Termination of Aer Lingus (Irish Airlines) Landing Rights in New York

On May 3, I submitted a memorandum to you (attached at Tab I), recommending that you authorize, after private notification of Prime Minister Lynch and an offer to negotiate, the delivery of a notice of termination of Aer Lingus’ landing rights at New York effective one year later.

You directed that Ambassador Moore be given two months in which to attempt to negotiate a solution, after which time the matter would be reconsidered (attached at Tab II).

In the interim, Ambassador Moore has been negotiating in Dublin with no success. He has recently reported that in his opinion the Irish will not at this time grant a U.S. flag carrier landing rights in Dublin. Ambassador Moore says that if we insist on formal bilateral talks the Irish must sit and listen, but he does not believe the talks will be suc[Page 598]cessful. While Moore takes no position on whether or not to proceed with termination, he points out that it would have a very harmful effect on relations between the U.S. and Ireland, and that it is imperative to go through the steps of requesting and holding formal negotiations before delivery of notice of termination. Based on the history of these discussions, the State Department does not agree that negotiations should precede delivery of notification unless there is some assurance that these negotiations will be fruitful. John Mulcahy,2 after talking with members of the Irish government, feels that we have “bent over backwards,” that the Irish government has “acted infairly” in this matter, and that we should proceed now with notice of termination.

Recommendation

As previously recommended, that you authorize, after private notification of Prime Minister Lynch, the delivery of a notice of termination of Aer Lingus’ landing rights at New York, effective one year later. The Department of State and Messrs. Kissinger and Peterson concur in this recommendation.

Approve3

Disapprove

See Me

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 694, Country Files—Europe, Ireland. No classification marking. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the first page reads: “The President has seen.” The tabs are not printed.
  2. Not further identified.
  3. The President initialed this option. Notification of this decision and instructions for its implementation were provided to the Department of State in a July 10 memorandum from Haig. (Ibid.) The notice of termination was delivered on August 18.