312. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Message from Prime Minister Wilson

On March 7 Prime Minister Wilson sent you a personal message proposing US–UK discussion of mutual domestic problems (Tab A). His proposal is a direct result of your suggestion during the meeting with the British Cabinet on February 25 that you would welcome cooperation and contacts between the American and British Governments in fields other than foreign affairs.

The Prime Minister has proposed that Home Secretary James Callaghan, who will be in Bermuda about March 17 for the annual conference of the British-American Parliamentary Group, might go on to Washington after the conference to meet with the Attorney-General, Mr. Mitchell, and the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Mr. Finch. In the British Government the Home Secretary has responsibility not only for the maintenance of law and order, but for urban programs in such fields as education, housing, public health, and welfare. Callaghan would be most interested in an exchange of views about law and order, social unrest—especially among students, and race relations.

Prime Minister Wilson added that the British Embassy would make the necessary arrangements for the visit through normal State Department channels.

I believe this is a very positive proposal, and your response will be seen by the British as an indicator of your interest in practical application of the suggestions you made during the trip. I suggest, therefore, that you send a brief reply to Wilson welcoming his proposal, and instruct the Department of State to be prompt and helpful in dealing with the British Embassy on details of the Callaghan visit. Furthermore, I believe that you should suggest that Mr. Callaghan confer with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Romney, as well as with your Assistant for Urban Affairs, Mr. Moynihan, in addition to Messrs. Mitchell and Finch.

[Page 955]


1. That you approve Prime Minister Wilson’s proposal to send Home Secretary Callaghan to Washington for working consultations on domestic problems.

2. That you approve the proposed text of a reply to Wilson at Tab B, to be transmitted by cable for delivery by the American Embassy in London.

3. That you approve and sign the memorandum to the Secretary of State at Tab C.

4. That you approve and sign the memorandum to the Cabinet Members concerned at Tab D.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 763, Presidential Correspondence, United Kingdom Prime Minister Wilson Corres. Confidential. Sent for action. The tabs are not printed. A copy was sent to Sonnenfeldt.
  2. The President checked each of the Approve options, and a handwritten note on the first page reads: “papers sent out 3/14/69.”