129. National Security Study Memorandum 1891


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee


  • Azores Base Agreement Negotiations

The President has directed that the NSC Under Secretaries Committee undertake a priority review of the U.S.-Portuguese Azores base negotiations. The study should identify the U.S. interests involved in the base negotiations as well as recommendations for the U.S. position [Typeset Page 454] best suited to protect those interests, taking into account such factors as:

—the overall status of U.S.-Portuguese relations;

—the present and future strategic importance of the Azores/Lajes facilities;

—the best U.S. estimate of the Portuguese position in the negotiations; and

—Congressional considerations bearing on the recommended U.S. position.

The Chairman, Under Secretaries Committee, is requested to forward the study response no later than December 7, 1973, for consideration by the President.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Summary: The President directed a priority review of the U.S.-Portuguese Azores Base negotiations.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–201, Study Memorandums, 1969–1974, NSSM–189. Confidential. Copies were sent to the DCI and the Chairman of the JCS. Scowcroft signed the memorandum on Kissinger’s behalf. In a November 6 memorandum to Kissinger on the Azores Base agreement negotiations, Sonnenfeldt wrote that the use of the Azores Base during the Middle East crisis had changed the proposed U.S. negotiating position that “mutually beneficial cooperation between two members of the NATO Alliance should not involve compensation.” Rush now wanted an interagency review of the U.S. position; Sonnenfeldt agreed that it was necessary because “the Portuguese can be expected to ask for compensation for future use of the Lajes facilities, and accordingly it is important that a coordinated State/Defense position for the negotiations be developed within the NSC system.” (Ibid.)