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175. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant (Flanigan) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

RE

  • Irish Airways Landing Rights in New York

Attached is a copy of the options paper to the President2 regarding Irish Airways, which he has had since the end of last week. I have called Haldeman in Camp David and urged him to get a decision prior to the 10:00 A.M. call from Prime Minister Lynch to you.3

Assuming the President accepts the recommendation and approves option 3, I recommend that you tell Lynch that the President strongly believes negotiation, rather than confrontation, should be used to settle this problem between two countries so closely allied as Ireland and the US.4 While he recognizes that negotiations have already gone on for 14 years without success, he has decided to take no action at least for the balance of this year on the CAB recommendation that Irish Airways rights to land in New York be terminated on August 18, unless satisfactory Dublin landing rights, including some limited beyond rights, are granted to a US airline. To that end he has instructed the State Department to examine further with the Irish Government possible mutually satisfactory solutions to this matter which has been an irritant between us for so long a time.

Should the President not sign the options paper prior to the 10:00 A.M. call, I recommend that you tell Prime Minister Lynch that the President is currently considering the CAB recommendation regarding New York landing rights for the Irish Airways. You should tell him the President has been made well aware of the importance of this issue and is, of course, most sensitive to its effect on the relations between the US and Ireland. As soon as the President has made a decision on the mat[Page 616]ter, you can inform Lynch that he will be notified of it before any action, public or private, is taken.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 694, Country Files—Europe, Ireland. No classification marking.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Flanigan wrote at the end of this paragraph: “Haldeman promises a decision before 10.”
  4. Option 3 would have suspended U.S. action on Aer Lingus landing rights to the end of 1972 to permit negotiation. Haig wrote “Pres has approved” and drew an arrow pointing to this sentence.
  5. This paragraph was crossed out. An attached August 10 memorandum from Haig to the Department of State reported that the President had approved option 3 and indicated that Kissinger did not place a phone call. Rogers did, however, call Lynch (see Document 176). In telegram 146884 to Dublin, August 11, the Department of State informed the Embassy of the President’s decision and instructed the Ambassador to continue negotiations with the Irish Government in “low-key.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 694, Country Files—Europe, Ireland)