The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute, under the direction of the General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on October 28, 1991, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 4351, et seq.).

This statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the administrations of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. The volume documents U.S. relations with Western Europe from 1973 to 1976, complementing several other volumes in the Foreign Relations series.

[Typeset Page VI]

Many of the most significant issues in U.S.-Western European relations during this period are covered elsewhere in the Nixon-Ford subseries. For example, documents on the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions talks are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXIX, European Security. The effect of the 1973 October War in the Middle East on U.S.-Western European relations is covered in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXV, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1973, while U.S.-Western European energy relations are documented in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXVI, Energy Crisis, 1969–1974 and volume XXXVII, Energy Crisis, 1974–1980. The interplay between the United States and Western Europe on economic issues such as the evolution of the international monetary system and the origins of the Group of Seven summit are covered in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXI, Foreign Economic Policy, 1973–1976. Readers interested in how events in Southern Africa affected U.S. relations with Portugal and the United Kingdom should consult Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXVIII, Southern Africa. Finally, U.S. relations with Greece and Turkey, two of its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, are covered in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXX, Greece; Cyprus; Turkey, 1973–1976. For the most comprehensive picture of U.S. relations with Western Europe from 1973 to 1976, readers should read this volume in conjunction with the volumes cited above.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume E–15, Part 2, Documents on Western Europe, 1973–1976

This volume documents the relationship between the United States and Western Europe from 1973 until 1976 during the Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford administrations. It begins with a chapter that examines the relationship from a regional perspective, focusing on the Nixon administration’s Year of Europe initiative, U.S. policy towards the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Communities, and issues such as the rise of Eurocommunism. The volume then explores U.S. bilateral relations with nine countries: Canada, Portugal, Iceland and Norway (paired in a single Nordic countries chapter), Spain, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, and Italy. The focus of these chapters is on those countries and issues that commanded sustained attention at the highest policymaking levels in Washington. The chapter on Portugal, for example, includes documents on the renegotiation of U.S. base rights in the Azores and the use of Lajes Air Base during the 1973 October War, but is more heavily weighted towards documenting U.S. efforts to discern the nature of the Portuguese political situation after the April 1974 coup [Typeset Page VII] that brought General António de Spínola to power and to find means, both overt and covert, to influence it.

Moreover, issues that were multilateral in nature are documented either in this volume’s regional chapter or in other Foreign Relations volumes. For example, many of the most contentious issues in U.S.-French relations during this period—such as the Year of Europe, trade and international monetary policies, and energy—played out in multilateral fora and are thus documented either in the regional chapter or other volumes in the Nixon-Ford subseries. The chapter on France, therefore, focuses on topics not covered elsewhere, particularly defense and security issues such as U.S.-French missile cooperation and nuclear non-proliferation. The United Kingdom and Federal Republic of Germany chapters are structured along similar lines, leaving, for example, issues arising from Britain’s links to the European Communities or its former colonies and the West German approach to European security or the global economy to be documented elsewhere. For a more thorough understanding of U.S. relations with a particular Western European country, therefore, readers are encouraged to consult not only this volume, but other complementary volumes in the Nixon-Ford subseries.

Like all recent Foreign Relations volumes, the emphasis of this volume is on policy formulation, rather than the implementation of policy or day-to-day diplomacy. As in other volumes in the Nixon-Ford subseries that document the period from 1973 to 1976, the White House and the Department of State were the primary players in the policy-making process. President’s Nixon and Ford, along with Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, set the tone for U.S. relations with Western Europe. The documents chosen for this volume reflect this: National Security Council and Department of State memoranda, minutes of interagency and Department of State meetings, and high-level correspondence and memoranda of conversation recording discussions with Western European leaders form the bulk of the documents in the volume. Given the number of countries and the variety of issues covered in the volume, however, other policymakers also played key roles on certain issues and at certain times. Documents are thus included that speak to the involvement of, for example, Secretaries of Defense James Schlesinger and Donald Rumsfeld in issues such as NATO and missile cooperation with France; Secretary of the Treasury William Simon in the 1976 sterling crisis; and Ambassador Frank Carlucci in crafting policy towards Portugal after the April 1974 coup. Finally, the volume includes documents reflecting the Central Intelligence Agency’s role in providing policymakers with analysis and options for covert action.

[Typeset Page VIII]

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversations are placed according to the date and time of the conversation, rather than the date a memorandum was drafted. Documents chosen for printing are authoritative or signed copies, unless otherwise noted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division. The documents are reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents within the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the documents are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the original text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount and, where possible, the nature of the material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed with headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that appear in the original text are so identified in footnotes. All ellipses are in the original documents.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provided the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and [Typeset Page IX] other first-hand accounts has been used where appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes, as it deems necessary to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.

Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act Review

Under the terms of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has custody of the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The requirements of the PRMPA and implementing regulations govern access to the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA to review for additional restrictions in order to ensure the protection of the privacy rights of former Nixon White House officials, since these officials were not given the opportunity to separate their personal materials from public papers. Thus, the PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA formally to notify the Nixon Estate and former Nixon White House staff members that the agency is scheduling for public release Nixon White House historical materials. The Nixon Estate and former White House staff members have 30 days to contest the release of Nixon historical materials in which they were a participant or are mentioned. Further, the PRMPA and implementing regulations require NARA to segregate and return to the creator of files private and personal materials. All Foreign Relations volumes that include materials from NARA’s Nixon Presidential Materials Staff are processed and released in accordance with the PRMPA.

Nixon White House Tapes

Access to the Nixon White House tape recordings is governed by the terms of the PRMPA and an access agreement with the Office of Presidential Libraries of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Nixon Estate. In February 1971, President Nixon initiated a voice activated taping system in the Oval Office of the White House and, subsequently, in the President’s Office in the Executive Of[Typeset Page X]fice Building, Camp David, the Cabinet Room, and White House and Camp David telephones. The audiotapes include conversations of President Nixon with his Assistant for National Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger, other White House aides, Secretary of State Rogers, other Cabinet officers, members of Congress, and key foreign officials. Readers are advised that the tape recording is the official document; the transcript represents an interpretation of that document. The clarity of the voices on the tape recordings is often very poor, but the editor has made every effort to verify the accuracy of the transcripts included in this volume. Through the use of digital audio and other advances in technology, the Office of the Historian has been able to enhance the tape recordings and over time produce more accurate transcripts. The result is that some transcripts printed here may differ from transcripts of the same conversations printed in previous Foreign Relations volumes. The most accurate transcripts possible, however, cannot substitute for listening to the recordings. Readers are urged to consult the recordings themselves for a full appreciation of those aspects of the conversations that cannot be captured in a transcript, such as the speakers’ inflections and emphases that may convey nuances of meaning, as well as the larger context of the discussion.

Declassification Review

The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, conducted the declassification review for the Department of State of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958, as amended, on Classified National Security Information and other applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security, as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments. The declassification review of this volume, which began in 2007 and was completed in 2018, resulted in the decision to withhold 7 documents in full, excise a paragraph or more in 9 documents, and make minor excisions of less than a paragraph in 31 documents.

The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that the documentation and editorial notes presented here provide a thorough, accurate, and reliable—given the limitations of space—record of the policy of the Nixon and Ford administrations toward Western Europe.

[Typeset Page XI]


The editor wishes to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project at the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland. The editor also wishes to acknowledge the Richard Nixon Estate for allowing access to the Nixon Presidential recordings and the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace for facilitating that access. Thanks are due to the Historical Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency, who were helpful in arranging full access to the files of the Central Intelligence Agency. John Earl Haynes of the Library of Congress was responsible for expending access to the Kissinger Papers. The editor was able to use the Kissinger Papers, including the transcripts of telephone conversations, with the kind permission of Dr. Henry Kissinger. The editor would also like to thank Sandy Meagher for her valuable assistance in expediting the use of Department of Defense files. Finally, the editor wishes to thank the staff of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, particularly Geir Gundersen, Karen Holzhausen, Donna Lehman, and Helmi Raaska, for their valuable and tireless assistance.

Kathleen B. Rasmussen collected and selected documentation and edited the volume under the supervision of, successively, Louis J. Smith, former Chief of the Europe and General Division, and Erin R. Mahan, former Chief of the Asia, Africa, and Arms Control Division, as well as Edward C. Keefer, former General Editor of the Foreign Relations series. Chris Tudda coordinated the declassification review under the supervision of Susan C. Weetman and Carl Ashley, successive Chiefs of the Declassification and Publishing Division. Thomas I. Faith and Matthew Regan performed the copy and technical editing.

Kathleen B. Rasmussen General Editor
Adam M. Howard The Historian
Foreign Service Institute