318. National Security Study Memorandum 791


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Agriculture
  • The Secretary of Commerce
  • The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • The Director of the Bureau of the Budget
  • The Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
  • The Special Representative for Trade Negotiations


  • U.K. Accession to the European Community

The President has directed the preparation of a study of U.S. policy toward U.K. accession to the European Community. The study should discuss the options open to the U.S. in connection with different forms of proposed accession, how these forms will affect the economic and political unity of the Community, and their bearing on the United States. The study should take into account accession by other countries whose entry might accompany or follow that of the U.K.

The study should analyze the effects on U.S. trade and investment of the probable forms of accession, both in the near and longer terms, directly and in relation to third countries. This should include analysis of the impact of accession on EC trade and monetary policies, including the common agricultural policy and new proposals for its reform. It should consider the possibility of policy changes beyond the EC context itself which might be related to U.K. accession, such as Commonwealth trading arrangements and the problem of the U.K.’s external indebtedness.

The study should examine the effects of British accession, and that of others, on the course of political unity in the EC. It should consider the implications for U.S. relations with the future members and with third countries.

The study should make recommendations concerning (a) any conditions which might cause the U.S. to question its basic support for ac[Page 969]cession; (b) the types of accession arrangements which would most benefit U.S. economic and political interests; and (c) the tactics the U.S. should adopt, if any, toward either of these courses of development.

The study should also examine the opportunities open to the U.S., particularly in the fields of trade, international monetary policy, investment, and agricultural policy in order to take the fullest advantage of the fundamental changes attending U.K. accession in order to promote U.S. economic and political interests.

The study should be performed by an ad hoc group under the direction of the Department of State and should include representatives of the Departments of Defense, Treasury, Commerce and Agriculture, the Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Bureau of the Budget and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The study should be submitted to the Review Group by February 15.

In the interim there should be submitted for approval a memorandum containing guidance for U.S. Government officials during the time until decisions can be made on the basis of the study.2

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Box 365, Subject Files, National Security Study Memoranda (NSSM’s)—Nos. 43–103. Confidential. NSSM 91, March 27, 1970, broadened the scope of NSSM 79 to cover preferential trading agreements with the EC. See Document 34.
  2. Eliot sent a memorandum to Kissinger on October 28. (National Archives, RG 59, Executive Secretariat, Files on Select National Security Study Memorandums, 1969–70, Lot 80D212, NSSM 79) The NSC Review Group met on May 13, 1970, to discuss NSSMs 79 and 91; see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume III, Foreign Economic Policy, 1969–1972; International Monetary Policy, 1969–1972, Document 40.