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

By Jonathan Colman

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

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

Sample text

The following Monday, Wilson told the President, ‘the government will be telling the nation what the situation is and announcing an eight point programme to set the economy moving on the right lines’. The plan’s key measures were a surcharge on certain imports and various export rebates, despite the fact that these actions contravened the terms of Britain’s membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Wilson ‘thought it right’ to tell Johnson ‘what we propose in advance of any public statement, first, because I set great store by close and continuing co-operation with the American administration over the whole international field, economic and commercial’.

Economist Walter Heller told the President on 19 November 1964 that the Prime Minister had stated ‘somewhat wistfully’ that ‘we couldn’t devalue on the first day but it was then or never’. 45 In his role as Foreign Secretary the unexciting Gordon Walker was not likely to upset the Americans nor was he likely to steal the spotlight from Wilson’s own diplomacy. 46 While in Washington, on 27 October, the Foreign Secretary outlined the tentative British counterproposal to the MLF, the ANF. p65 26 08/06/2004, 14:38 The approach to the summit 27 element … which would play a less conspicuous role than originally planned’.

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. 2 … it will greatly reduce the danger of any separate nuclear adventure by the Germans. 63 Although he accepted that the MLF might benefit the Western alliance, the pragmatic Johnson grew less and less convinced that it was worth pursuing. His ambivalence precipitated a power struggle among his advisers to win him over on the best approach.

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