237. National Security Decision Memorandum 1381


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • Administrator, Agency for International Development
  • Director, Office of Management and Budget


  • Policy Toward Malta

After reviewing the response to NSSM 1352 and having considered the issues raised during the SRG meeting of October 5,3 the President has made the following decisions.

U.S. policy toward Malta shall have as its principal objective the successful renegotiation of the United Kingdom-Malta defense and financial agreement, so as to:

—safeguard U.S. strategic interests;

—deny Malta’s military facilities to the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations;

—retain use of the UK’s military facilities by NATO forces;

—keep Malta from becoming dependent on Libya for financial assistance.

The President has approved provision from resources available to the Agency for International Development of the funds pledged by the United States to the UK for the Malta negotiations. The Administrator, AID, should arrange with the Department of State for the transfer of these funds.

The President has directed that the Under Secretaries Committee should monitor the UK-Malta negotiations and make timely recommendations on such actions as may be required to ensure an outcome satisfactory to the United States.

The President wishes to consider all options open to him to prevent the possible breakdown of UK-Malta negotiations in order that he can decide on the future U.S. course of action before any such break [Page 764] down might occur. The Under Secretaries Committee is charged with the development by November 1, 1971 of alternative levels and packages of possible U.S. assistance to Malta for his consideration.4 These recommendations should be so formulated as to provide the President with the option of bridging any funding/assistance gap which may exist between the United Kingdom and Malta in the negotiations.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 622, Country Files—Middle East, Malta, Vol. I. Secret. Copies were sent to the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of the Treasury.
  2. Document 232.
  3. See Document 236.
  4. A copy of these recommendations is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–228, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 138. A subsequent set of recommendations by the Committee, dated December 7, are ibid.