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

By Jonathan Colman

Drawing upon an intensive diversity of resources from each side of the Atlantic, this ebook presents the 1st full-length examine of the arguable courting among Harold Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson. whereas Wilson was once an organization supporter of the belief of a "special courting" among Britain and the U.S. and desired to use his dealings with the White condominium to bolster his credentials as an international statesman, Johnson held the British chief in low esteem and disdained the assumption of a "special" Anglo-American dating. problems stemming from the Vietnam battle, British monetary weak point and the UK's abrogation of its international strength prestige exacerbated the stress among Wilson and Johnson, resulting in what used to be the most of the entire relationships among British major 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

Example text

65 Bundy to Johnson, 6 December 1964, FRUS 1964–1968 , vol. XIII, pp. 134–7. , 24 November 1964. 67 LBJL, NSF: Country File, Box 214, UK Wilson Visit I 12/7–8/64, ‘Wilson Visit and the MLF’, 6 December 1964. For Bruce’s account of this meeting, see FRUS 1964–1968 , vol. XIII, pp. 133–4. 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.

Personal factors exacerbated the delicacy of the situation: ‘both he and his Cabinet are great admirers of your Administration, as exemplified at the Cabinet level by McNamara, and at the political level by your own massive achievement and victory’ in the presidential election. Yet despite the Prime Minister’s vulnerability, Bundy advised the President that Wilson was not to be disparaged, for he had a number of weapons at his disposal. Remembering the Prime Minister’s previous associations with the Labour left, but overrating the extent to which these were authentic convictions, Bundy argued that Wilson was ‘a man whose background has made him genuinely hostile to conservatives and to many of the values which Socialists normally attach to our own great industrial society’.

And from that stage on, to work out what the other arrangements would be …13 Wilson gave much thought to how he was going to speak to the President. He told Bruce on 19 November that he was interested in discussing the problems of ‘political management … and how the British parliamentary system worked’, as a means of opening up cordial discussions. 14 Defence talks at Chequers on 19–22 November15 had ‘highlighted the fact that Britain was trying … to fulfil three roles – the independent nuclear deterrent role, the conventional role in Europe, and a world role East of Suez – without the necessary economic resources’.

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