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Meloy, Francis Edward, Jr. 1917- 1976

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January 3, 1963

Steering Group on Implementing the Nassau Decisions, 'Minutes of 2nd Meeting Held January 3, 1963, at 5:00 P.M.'

The Nassau Steering Group devoted its January 3, 1963, session to Jupiter removal diplomacy. Ambassadors Finletter, Hare and Reinhardt were present as well as McGeorge Bundy and Defense Department General Counsel John McNaughton. While the papers on the Jupiter that the committee prepared remain classified, the discussion summarized here covered some of the key issues. One was to avoid the word “withdrawal” when discussing the Jupiters and to use the word “replace” instead, as in replace Jupiters with Polaris SLBMs. Moreover, because of concern about leaks, there would be no reference to an April 1, 1963, deadline  in communications with the Italians and Turks. As April 1 would be six months after the Cuban crisis, State Department official Seymour Weiss wanted to “go to the mat” to keep any dates out of the official discussions because he worried that too much specificity would raise suspicions of a “deal” or would sound like an “ultimatum.”  Nevertheless, an April 1 date would be used for the timing of the stationing of Polaris submarines in the Mediterranean and some U.S. interlocuters would see it as a deadline.

The Steering Group also addressed the problems raised by the early deployment to Turkey of F-104Gs; making the fighter-bombers available by May 1963 would require the rerouting of planes that had already been assigned to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Denmark, Norway, and Greece. There would be a delay in deploying nuclear bombs for the F-104s until they were outfitted with Permissive Action Links (PALs), as required by President Kennedy, which was not likely to occur until later in the year.

January 18, 1963

Memorandum from John W. Bowling to Francis E. Meloy, 'Jupiter Negotiations - Ankara'

Compared with the negotiations with Italy, the talks with Turkish officials were complicated and slow moving.  One problem was Foreign Minister Erkin’s “mistaken impression” that Turkey would have a role in “manning” Polaris submarines. As desk officer John Bowling observed in this memo, Ambassador Hare saw that as a “grotesque” misunderstanding of the U.S. negotiating position, and the State Department’s reply rejected proposals for any Turkish role in commanding and staffing the submarines. All the same, Bowling saw the need for some Turkish involvement, including Turkish observers on the Polaris submarines “from time to time” and a “carefully phased” program of instruction in the U.S. beginning with “familiarization training” in the Polaris weapon system.

Other complications involved the provision of F-104Gs, including Turkey’s request to increase the number of fighter-bombers in the first squadron, which Bowling wrote was “literally impossible,” and the U.S. inability to provide a delivery date for the second squadron.  He suggested that the U.S. encourage more progress with Ankara by providing information on the state of the negotiations with Italy. Optimistically, Bowling thought it “possible” to reach a “satisfactory solution in ten days or so.”