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61. Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of State (Stoessel) to Secretary of State Haig 1


  • Falkland Islands

During a private conversation at dinner last night, UK Ambassador Henderson made the following points to me:

—In his contacts with London, he has the sense of a real government crisis. He thought Carrington and Nott might resign. (His prediction was accurate!)2

—The British are determined to get the Argentines out. They will fight and sink the Argentine Navy if they can find it and will invade the Islands if necessary.

—It is good that there will be a period of over two weeks before a confrontation; however, the mood of the British will get tougher during this time, not weaker.

Henderson feels the U.S. is the only possible mediator. He ruled out the UN and the OAS.

—The British would be willing to discuss sovereignty, as they always have been, but cannot accept an Argentine presence of any kind.

Henderson thought he probably would be instructed to get in touch with us soon if we did not do so first. He thought the British would welcome quiet talks about what might be possible. He warned, however, that—given the present mood in Britain—it would be unwise for the U.S. to come in with any “precooked” schemes for settlement.

Walter J. Stoessel, Jr. 3
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, P880104–0667. Confidential; Nodis. Copies were sent to Bremer, Holmes, Enders, and Platt. A stamped notation on the first page indicates that Haig saw the memorandum.
  2. Carrington resigned as Foreign Secretary on April 5. In telegram 7529 from London, April 5, 1843Z, the Embassy transmitted an assessment of Carrington’s replacement, Francis Pym. (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D820179–0631) Nott tendered his resignation as Defense Secretary to Thatcher, but she did not accept it. For a description of the internal politics of these events, see Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Vol. II, pp. 17–18.
  3. Stoessel initialed “WJS” above his typed signature.