272. Memorandum From Robert Ginsburgh of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger)1


  • Spanish Base Negotiations

You should be aware of the possibility that the current negotiations on Spanish bases may not be completed by the last part of March when the time runs out.2

At the present time a joint military estimate of the threat has been completed. The last week of January joint talks will proceed on tasks and missions.

The following phase will involve the drawing up of equipment lists. This is likely to involve difficult problems, since the Spanish (1) appear to want more than we are prepared to give and (2) appear to feel that the new Administration would view their requests more generously than the previous one.

The final phase of bargaining at the political level ought to be the most difficult one. In the process, it may be desirable to:

—reconfirm just how much we are willing to pay; and

—consider requesting an extension in time period for negotiations. (It might be desirable to make such a request earlier than later. If made by the President, himself, it would probably be honored.)

You will also wish to consider the impact that these negotiations will have not only on U.S.-Spanish relations, but on NATO, a desire by the Portuguese to resume negotiations on the Azores,3 as well as base negotiations in the Philippines, Pacific, etc.

Robert N. Ginsburgh 4
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 706, Country Files—Europe, U.S.-Spanish Base Negotiations. Secret.
  2. For documentation on the previous base negotiations, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XII, Western Europe. The bases agreement expired on September 26, 1968; however, a provision of the agreement allowed the renewal negotiations to continue for six months after the agreement’s expiration, until March 26.
  3. Caetano informed Secretary of State Rusk in November 1968 of Portuguese interest in discussing the Azores base; see ibid., Document 175.
  4. Ginsburgh initialed “G” above his typed signature.