297. Telegram From the Embassy in Spain to the Department of State1

3178. Subj: Spanish Bases: Talk with Foreign Minister.

1. At July 4 reception, Foreign Minister Lopez Bravo asked to speak to me privately.

2. He said he has obtained agreement of military Ministers and Carrero Blanco on U.S. military quid offer. Also he said, at meeting with General Franco this morning, the Chief of State assured him of his full support. Franco went on to commend him on his handling of negotiations. Lopez Bravo implied that Ambassador Arguelles will seek appointment with Acting Secretary Johnson July 6 or 7 to deliver formal GOS acceptance.2

3. Lopez Bravo said he hopes complete negotiations in July and sign before August 1. He said he would, of course, like signature here but understands demands on Secretary Rogers time and will be glad to come to Washington.

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4. FonMin said GOS does not repeat not wish to go treaty route, as a failure in the Senate would be seriously embarrassing here. He hopes U.S. will continue to pursue executive agreement. However, Lopez Bravo said over life of new agreement GOS would like to see U.S. move toward preparing Senate for treaty relationship with Spain which should come in the near future.

5. Foreign Minister reported he will have to go before Cortes to report during July and could go either before or after Secretary Rogers goes to the Hill. I advised he should consider waiting until after Secretary has spoken with Senator Fulbright.

6. I pointed out to FonMin problems remaining, i.e. Congressional consultation, non-military quid, and procedural agreements but he remained firmly optimistic that final agreement could be reached this month.

7. MFA Subdirector General Aragones sought out EmbOff to make exactly same points as above.

8. Comment: It appears GOS has decided to end the negotiation swiftly on the basis of presently offered quid and feels further dragging out would be prejudicial. Danger is that Lopez Bravo will be in a hurry after Arguelles delivers formal acceptance military quid package, and will underestimate complexity and time requirements of remaining work in Washington, especially consultation and acceptance on the Hill.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 705, Country Files—Europe, Spain, Vol. II. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated to CINCEUR.
  2. The meeting took place on July 6. It was reported in telegram 107259 to Madrid, July 6. Arguelles explained that Spanish agreement was subject to clarification of a number of specific technical questions regarding the military quid pro quo and certain clarification of the language in the draft agreement. (Ibid.) On July 16 Johnson and Arguelles initialed the texts of the general cooperation agreement. Johnson and Packard presented the draft agreements to a closed session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 24.