205. Editorial Note

On May 2, 1982, Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr. met with British Foreign Secretary Francis Pym at the Department of State. According to British Ambassador to the United States Sir Nicholas Henderson, Pym had traveled to the United States for meetings with Haig and United Nations Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the purpose of which, Henderson thought, was “largely” to “assuage parliamentarians” in the House of Commons who “were calling on him to be more active diplomatically.” (Henderson, Mandarin, page 456) Although a British telegram reporting on the meeting has been published on the Thatcher Foundation website, no U.S. record of Haig’s meeting with Pym has been found. However, a Department of State situation report (as of 1800 Eastern Daylight Time, May 2) included information about the meeting: “British Foreign Secretary Pym met Sunday morning with Secretary Haig for more than two hours. Emerging from the meeting, Pym reported that the two men had explored the possibilities ‘for a negotiated settlement, however difficult they [Page 443]may seem.’ In a news conference later in the afternoon Pym reported that he had not asked for any action by the US at this time.” (Telegram 118577 to all diplomatic and consular posts, May 3; Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D820229–0521) In the complete transcript of remarks made by Pym and Haig to the press following the morning meeting, the Foreign Secretary stated that he “came here last week to negotiate with Mr. Secretary Haig, as a mediator” and had “come back this week to consult with him as an ally,” and that he and Haig had “discussed the whole area together.” (Telegram 118572 to all American Republic posts and all OECD posts, May 2; Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D820229–0472) In her memoirs, Thatcher recalled that Haig had “put to” Pym the Peruvian peace plan in their meeting (dated somewhat uncertainly on “1 and 2 May”), “though we had no sight of it until later.” (Thatcher, Downing Street Years, page 216)

Following the meeting with Haig, that afternoon Pym also met with Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger at the British Embassy. No memorandum of conversation or other official record of this meeting has been found. In his memoirs, Weinberger wrote that he discussed with Pym and Henderson “the supply of arms, ammunition and war supplies for the British seaborne counterattack convoys approaching the Falklands.” “I made clear that we would supply them with everything they needed that we could spare, and that we would do it very quickly.” (Weinberger, Fighting for Peace, page 208) Recalling that Haig’s commitment to a “diplomatic solution” was “not quite what the President had in mind, nor what I envisioned,” Weinberger continued, “I had told Mr. Pym that our arms supply effort would intensify, and that we would work as effectively as we could to support the British counterattack.” (Ibid., page 209) Weinberger also wrote in his daily diary of the meeting: “Met with Francis Pym and Nico Henderson on porch at British Embassy. They made no requests for aid now—hope for [illegible—on own?] big victory—possibly at sea & then they can discuss how to settle in permanently—They may, after 60 days, need a carrier to use as a floating airfield for their fighter planes.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Weinberger Papers, Department of Defense Appointment and Diary File, May 1982)