49. National Security Study Memorandum 204, Washington, July 1, 1974.1 2

July 1, 1974

National Security Study Memorandum 204

The Acting Secretary of State
The Secretary of Defense
The Director of Central Intelligence

SUBJECT: U.S. Policy Toward Australia

The President has directed a review of U.S. policy toward Australia in the light of recent changes in the Labor Government. The study should examine the impact of these changes on basic U.S. objectives toward Australia, particularly in the political-security area. It should define and evaluate policy options for giving effect to the resulting objectives.

In particular, the study should deal with the following issues:

  • —The implications of changes in the Australian Government for future relations between Australia and the United States.
  • —The prospects for keeping U.S. defense installations in Australia, and the policy options for trying to prolong their existence there.
  • —The alternatives for relocating essential existing U.S. security functions outside of Australia, and the impact on our alliance relationship of doing so.
  • — The prospects for locating additional U.S. defense installations in Australia, and the policy options for trying to do so.
  • —The risks involved in continued sharing of intelligence with Australia, the alternative means for reducing these risks, and the impact on our alliance with Australia of curtailing or ending such intelligence sharing.
  • —The prospects for growing divergence between Australia and U.S. policy in Asia and elsewhere, and the alternative means for minimizing the potential damage of such divergences to our alliance relationship.

The study should be prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for East Asia, and should be submitted no later than July 15, 1974, for consideration by the Senior Review Group.

[Richard Kennedy signed for]
Henry A. Kissinger
cc: The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Container CL 316, National Security Council, National Security Memoranda, Studies, June 1973–September 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. Hummel, the Acting Chairman of the Interdepartmental Group for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, sent Kissinger the response to NSSM 204 on August 5, 1974. The study recommended preservation of the ANZUS alliance, encouragement of Australia’s stabilizing role as a regional power, and encouragement of “Australian foreign policies that harmonize with, rather than undercut, those of the US.” The study also advocated maintenance of US access to defense installations in Australia and careful regard for political pressure that may require their eventual relocation. The study is attached to a memorandum on NSSM 204 from Smyser to Kissinger, August 22, in the Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–12, Institutional Files, Meetings (IFM), SRG Meeting, August 15, 1974, Australia, NSSM 204 [1]) There is no evidence that the SRG met to discuss NSSM 204.
  2. NSSM 204 directed the CIA and the Departments of State and Defense to review U.S. policy toward Australia in light of recent changes in the Labor Government.