Cabinet Secretaries' notebooks (CAB 195/19): PM's Visit to Washington: Ottawa
Talks in W'ton valuable and encouraging.
Visit to Key West was useful as enabling first contact to be on a specific issue.
Laos : this Admn. accepts our view tht. political settlement and neutral pad are resist aims. But his dilemma - appeasement or war mongering (Korea). I have tried to ensure tht. Eis. won't come out against Adminn. Unless R. delay reply too long, we ought to get over this. Mil. authies. & local dipl. repves. are dangerously independent - tho' President is against that : will overcome it eventually.
General discussions. Record will be circulated.
Mr. K is a remarkable man. Quiet : listens : uses experts : reserves own decisions. Has built up his public position. Brought in many of the old figures - studying & travelling : at the centre a hive of egg heads from Harvard. So far, no result, save continuance of recession and unemplt. Soon, he will have to disclose an economic policy - or misery of unemployed will be dangerous : esp. as the first to lose jobs are always negroes and recent immigrants. He wants to be expansionist : but hampered by industry's anxieties v competn. and also by large backing for currency.
They are more anxious to work with us than Rep. Govt. were : and easier to get on with them. Mr.K. (& the others) are so much more open minded. Think he will want to do big things but he is not in a hurry.
Good relations established : he has asked me to continue to let him have my thoughts.
When decisions come, they will be his. Not staff study method of Eisenhower. None of his executive assistants has any pol. authority or standing.
Believe we shall get U.S. support for what we decide to do on economic & financial policy, Europe and even defence. We must let him lead & play second fiddle. He has only small majority in Congress.
Tough, ambitious but broad minded.
When record circulated, we cd. have Cabinet Discussion - perhaps next week.
They want us in, for pol. reasons - which in their view outweights the economic inconvenience to them.
Press reports (incldg. M.I.T. speech) have caused restlessness in H/C. who think we are ahead of them.
Can overcome particular diffies. if we have a general theme which is seen to make the diffies. Worth while.
U.S. diffies. over China in U.N.
Attitude to French on military ques?
They see tht. France is the key : less cross about them, more ready to see tht. they are a problem.
Taken from C.C. 20(61) - Meeting held on 13 April 1961