[UK Foreign Office view on US military bases in the Spain of General Franco; MI5.] Typewritten Foreign Office briefing document titled ('c) The purpose of the United States agreement with SPAIN.'

UK Office, Information Research Department; General Franco; Spain; United States overseas military bases; Special Intelligence Service
Publication details: 
[United Kingdom Foreign Office, Whitehall, London. Circa 1953.]
SKU: 21270

From a batch of Foreign Office documents, including material from the Information Research Department (for whose activities, financed from the budget of the Special Intelligence Service, otherwise MI6, see The Times, 17 August 1995; and also Michael Cullis's obituary of Sir John Peck in the Independent, 20 January 1995). Duplicated typescript headed: '(c) The purpose of the United States agreement with SPAIN.' 4pp, foolscap 8vo, paginated '(c) 1' to '(c) 4'. Complete, with catchwords to the first three pages. In good condition, lightly aged. Begins: 'Three agreements between the United States and Spain providing for the construction and use of defence bases in Spain by the U.S.A., U.S. economic assistance to Spain, and U.S. military supplies to that country, were signed in Madrid on Sept 27, 1953 by the Spain Foreign Minister, Senor Martin Artajo, and the U.S. Ambassador, Mr James Dunn. The agre[m]ents, which, it was stressed in Washington, were executive agreements and not a treaty of alliance requiring Senate approval, followed negotiations which had been going on for some 18 months after the earlier informal discussions begun by the lat[e] Admiral Sherman in July 1951.' The final section, just over a page in length, is headed 'World Comment'. Gives the text of 'the U.S. - Spanish defence agreement', published in Washington. The 'World comment' section begins: 'Whilst no details were officially given about the location of the U.S. bases, U.S. press reports stated that these were likely to include in the first instance airfields in Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, and naval bases at Coruna, Cadiz and Cartegena. Work on these bases, it may be stated, could begin at once with special funds at the disposal of the Defence [sic] Department for the construction of overseas bases. It was also authoritatively reported that under present conditions the total number of U.S. personnel was not expected to exceed 10,000 officers and men.' The whole document concludes: 'In Moscow the agreement was denounced as “an open military alliance between the U.S.A. and Franco Spain” and “an attempt on the part of the U.S.A. to bind Franco Spain de facto if not de jure, to the war bloc in Europe.”' No other copy has been traced.