199. Minutes of Acting Secretary of State Sisco’s Staff Meeting1


  • The Acting Secretary—Mr. Sisco
  • Ambassador Brown
  • Mr. Lord
  • Mr. Maw
  • Mr. Springsteen
  • Mr. Stabler
  • Mr. Atherton
  • Mr. Sneider
  • Mr. Blake
  • Ambassador Bowdler
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Mr. Sisco: Wells, do you want to say a word about the Spanish declaration.

Mr. Stabler: Just very briefly—

Mr. Sisco: Did we get it up to the Hill?

Mr. Stabler: Yes. We provided copies, and I think it was going to go directly up. So they should have it. It was released in Madrid about eight o’clock our time here. But we were not going to release it through the press office until we had it on the tickers. So that people on the Hill should have it. It was signed this afternoon, Madrid time. And it is, I suppose, of some relevance that it happens also to have been signed on the day that Franco has been admitted to the hospital suffering from phlebitis. I don’t know how serious it is. He went in under his own steam. They say that he will be there three or four days. But the relevance is really what the Secretary said at the briefing of the North Atlantic Council on the Fourth of July, when at the end of his account of the Moscow talks, he did say that “We consider Spain’s relationship to the United States and NATO to be of great political and military importance. It is also important for all allies to recognize that biology will provide political evolution in Spain.”

I think as one looks at this declaration, Franco’s illness and the future—this probably could be quite relevant.

The declaration itself is one that follows in general terms the declaration of Atlantic relations.

As you recall, when the Year of Europe exercise was started, it was agreed that somehow Spain would be associated with that exercise either through—which is of course not possible—having Spain join an overall declaration, or as we finally achieved, a joint declaration with Spain.

When the Secretary was in Madrid in December, and then again in January, he discussed with the Spanish Foreign Minister—two different Ministers—the need of somehow bringing the security question into play here, as we go into the renegotiation of the agreement on friendship and cooperation, which expires a year from this coming September, on which negotiations were presumably opened this fall.

We will try to have some security statement which will perhaps not make it necessary to go into the whole question of treaty or not a treaty, and difficulties of getting agreement on the commitment.

So I think as far as the Spaniards are concerned, the important point really is the fact there is this declaration. It parallels that of the NATO declaration and does, in the security language, give them what I think—obviously, what satisfies them, in terms of equating mutual defense effort with that of existing security arrangements in the Atlantic [Typeset Page 638] framework, and then adds equal treatment should be accorded to all countries of the region. That is important.

Then they intend that their defense cooperation be coordinated. Well, that went through a good many different changes. It might be alarming to some of the NATO members, the idea that we were going to actually coordinate our defense cooperation with NATO. But as written it is a statement of intention.

Then the Spanish wanted “promoting the appropriate agreements” which somehow meant that we were then to negotiate with Spain, I suppose, with NATO, some form of agreement which would, short of getting Spain into NATO—would relate Spain more specifically and juridically with NATO. We found that difficult, but at the end the Secretary did accept the language, “We intend the defense cooperation be coordinated—furthering the appropriate relationship with such arrangements,” whatever that means. If anybody stops to ask really what—

Mr. Brown: What language is this translated from?

Mr. Stabler: Curiously enough, it actually did start off with a translation of a Spanish document. As you go through it, there are times when the translation perhaps suffers somewhat. And “furthering the appropriate relationship” was again I think a translation from the Spanish. It doesn’t really say a great deal. But I think the Spanish would be able to point to it as something which does tie them in. And particularly they do not necessarily know this, although the Secretary may have alluded to it in Madrid today, in his briefing, he did also add and said that the allies believe it is most important for Spain to develop a political relationship with other countries. “The allies should begin to address themselves seriously to the modalities of that relationship.” We obviously hope that in connection with the forthcoming negotiations for the agreement on friendship and cooperation, that this will form a backdrop, and that we will not have to go through the whole exercise again in terms of introducing security language into that agreement.

Mr. Sisco: How much of a problem do you think there will be on the Hill, in your judgment?

Mr. Stabler: Well, Bob McCloskey touched base with a number of people on the Hill, and the ones who were perhaps the most skeptical of us—who were Fulbright and Case—Fulbright won’t be a problem, but Case will be. It was not so much with respect to the declaration itself, but he was focusing on the business of having the agreement submitted to the Senate. And of course Sparkman, when he had lunch with the Secretary and the Spanish Foreign Minister, indicated at that time that he promised Case that he would do everything he could to see to it that all of this was brought to the Senate.

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Now, as you know, we take the view that this will not be submitted formally to the Senate. It is not an agreement or a treaty or anything of the sort. But quite clearly, as we go forward with the agreement on friendship and cooperation, this does become part of it, because it is the effort to provide the security language, not in a commitment form of security language, but to enable the Spanish anyway to demonstrate they have obtained something more specific in terms of security relationship than they had before. This, I may say, does go quite a bit further than the language that we had had in the ’63 agreement, which was then taken out in the seventies, because of the very difficult time the Senate gave to us. And we have put in—well, the Spanish, of course, wanted defense “common and indivisible.” But that was much too close to NATO. That was not left in. Originally we wanted it reaffirmed as a threat to either country. But they wanted and insisted on a threat to or an attack on. Again, that is NATO language. So this goes considerably further. But it stops I think in any event way short of a commitment.

Mr. Sisco: Thank you.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the U.S.-Spanish Declaration of Principles.]

  1. Summary: Stabler discussed the U.S.-Spanish Declaration of Principles.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Entry 5177, Box 4, Acting Secretary’s Principals’ and Regionals’ Staff Meeting, July 9, 1974. Secret. Attached but not published is a meeting summary, two agendas, and a list of meeting participants. Kissinger was in Madrid on July 9 to sign the U.S.-Spanish Declaration of Principles and to meet with Cortina. (Memorandum of conversation, July 9; ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1029, Presidential/HAK Memoranda of Conversation, Memcons—HAK + Presidential, 1 June 1974–(Aug. 8, 1974) (2 of 3))