A 'special relationship'?: Harold Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson by Jonathan Colman

By Jonathan Colman

Drawing upon an intensive diversity of assets from either side of the Atlantic, this ebook presents the 1st full-length research of the debatable courting among Harold Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson. whereas Wilson used to be a company supporter of the belief of a "special dating" among Britain and the us and desired to use his dealings with the White condo to reinforce his credentials as a global statesman, Johnson held the British chief in low esteem and disdained the assumption of a "special" Anglo-American dating. problems stemming from the Vietnam warfare, British monetary weak spot and the UK's abrogation of its international energy prestige exacerbated the tension among Wilson and Johnson, resulting in what was once the most of all of the relationships among British major ministers and American presidents.

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Extra info for A 'special relationship'?: Harold Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson and Anglo-American relations 'at the summit', 1964-68

Sample text

The President was ‘thought to want to make an important move about the Atlantic alliance’. 61 In a meeting at the White House on 10 April 1964, Johnson had warned against trying to ‘shove’ the MLF ‘down the throats of the potential participants’62 – a warning that seemed to have little impact upon Ball and other State Department advocates of the scheme. In a memorandum of 17 December, Johnson noted the MLF’s theoretical benefits: 1 … it will lead the UK out of the field of strategic deterrence and thus reduce by one the number of powers aiming at this kind of nuclear strength.

68 NARA, Lot Files, Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for MLF Negotiations, (68 D 301), Multilateral Force, Congress, MLF 1 Policy, Plans. 69 LBJL, NSF: Country File, Box 214, UK Wilson Visit I 12/7–8/64, ‘Wilson Visit and the MLF’, 6 December 1964. 70 NARA, Policy Planning Staff, Policy Planning Council (71 D 382), Neustadt, Misc. Records 1959–1972. 71 PRO, PREM 13/108, Mitchell to Trend (re: conversation with Neustadt), 30 November 1964. 72 Ibid. 73 Ibid. 64, Bundy to Johnson, ‘Harold Wilson’s Personal Commitment to this Visit’, 5 December 1964.

George Brown realised that Ball was overstepping the mark. He wrote to Wilson on 30 November to say that Ball had seen him, to ‘talk chiefly about the MLF’. According to Brown, Ball said that ‘on the authority of the President, he … did not foresee the possibility of any scheme going forward that did not involve UK participation in a mixed manned nuclear surface fleet’. Ball elaborated to say that Johnson ‘would not be interested in any development from your forthcoming talks if the UK did not accept such participation, and that no agreement was likely … unless this condition was met’.

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