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Harold Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson and Anglo-American relations ‘at the summit’, 1964–68
Author: Jonathan Colman

This book is based mainly on government sources, namely material from the White House, State Department, Foreign Office (FO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Prime Minister's Office (PREM) and Cabinet (CAB). Private papers consulted include those of Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown and Undersecretary of State George Ball. The book explores a period of the Wilson-Johnson relationship. It considers the seven weeks from Wilson's election until he went to see Lyndon B. Johnson on 7-9 December, a formative period in which Britain cultivated American financial support and which saw pre-summit diplomacy over the NATO Multilateral Force (MLF). The book covers the summit in detail, examining the diplomatic exchanges over the Vietnam War, the British commitment East of Suez and the MLF, as well as the interplay of personality between Wilson and Johnson. By exploring the relationship of the two leaders in the years 1964-1968, it seeks to examine their respective attitudes to the Anglo-American relationship. The book then assesses the significance of an alleged Anglo-American strategic-economic 'deal', Wilson's 'Commonwealth Peace Mission' to Vietnam, and another Wilson visit to Washington. It also considers why the personal relationship between Johnson and Wilson suffered such strain when the Labour government 'dissociated' the UK from the latest American measures in Vietnam. Next, the book addresses the period from August 1966-September 1967, during which Wilson launched an intense but abortive effort to initiate peace negotiations over Vietnam, and London announced plans to withdraw from military bases East of Suez.

Jonathan Colman

crisis occasioned a great deal of concern on the part of the President, given the possibility that sterling might have to be devalued or that any rise in the Bank of England lending rate could precipitate a run on the dollar. There was also concern about the Multilateral Force (MLF), a matter due to be discussed at the planned summit meeting in Washington early in December. The MLF was a US-sponsored plan to create a mixed-manned NATO

in A ‘special relationship’?
Jonathan Colman

for the UK of trying to initiate peace negotiations, Wilson rejected Johnson’s request. Britain’s participation or otherwise in the Multilateral Force (MLF) was the final key topic of the summit. The British maintained opposition to the scheme by putting forward the diluted version of the project known as the Atlantic Nuclear Force (ANF). Johnson, in order to avoid any impression of an Anglo-American ‘fix’ to kill the scheme

in A ‘special relationship’?
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Colman

considers the seven weeks from Wilson’s election until he went to see Johnson on 7–9 December, a formative period in which Britain cultivated American financial support and which saw pre-summit diplomacy over the NATO Multilateral Force (MLF). Chapter 2 covers the summit in detail, examining the diplomatic exchanges over the Vietnam War, the British commitment East of Suez and the MLF, as well as the interplay of

in A ‘special relationship’?
Amikam Nachmani

endorsed the contract for the upgrading in Israel of Turkish F-4 aircraft. The quid pro quo: consent of the Turkish military to a limited reduction in the size and activity of the multilateral force – actually Anglo-American units (known as Operation Provide Comfort or as Operation Northern Watch), that monitor from Turkey the northern regions of Iraq, north of the thirty-sixth parallel. The sentiments portrayed here were best depicted by Ilhan Selcuk, a left-wing Turkish intellectual not renowned for his pro-Israel sympathies. A summary of his

in Turkey: facing a new millennium