Note by John Barnes on the creation of a European naval task force in the Mediterranean (London, 10 December 1968)

On 10 December 1968, John Barnes, Head of the Western Organisations Department of the Foreign Office, issues a note outlining the improvements in the United Kingdom’s contribution to NATO naval forces in the Mediterranean. He believes that a European naval task force, with a British component, as part of NATO’s naval forces in the Mediterranean would be a good idea from both the political (European) and military points of view. Given the penetration of Soviet naval forces in the Mediterranean, the Western countries are trying to improve the effectiveness of allied forces in the area. The proposal to establish a European naval task force in the Mediterranean, centred on a British carrier or amphibious ship, has been put forward in a speech by the British Conservative MP, Eldon Griffiths, to the Western European Union Assembly.

Source and copyright

Source: The National Archives of the UK (TNA). Foreign Office, Western Organisations and Co-ordination Department and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Western Organisations Department: Registered Files (W and WD Series). WESTERN EUROPEAN UNION (WEU). Defence. Attitudes to Soviet penetration in Mediterranean. 01/01/1968-31/12/1969, FCO 41/535 (Former Reference Dep: WDU 11/10).

Copyright: (c) The National Archives of the United Kingdom

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