Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: Haig telegram to Reagan (MT on Polish sanctions) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: From the Secretary of State's aircraft, en route to the US from London.
Source: Reagan Library: NSA Head of State File (Box 35)
Editorial comments: Despatched 1925 GMT 29 Jan 1982; declassified 4 Apr 2000.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 406 words
Themes: Trade, Foreign policy (Central & Eastern Europe), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU), MT contacts with Ronald Reagan
Declassified F96-107#125
By SMF, NARA, Date 4/4/00



For the President

1. I have just spent an hour and a half with Mrs. Thatcher and several of her cabinet colleagues. She raised two concerns with unusual vehemence. The extra-territorial reach of the sanctions we have already imposed and rumors she has heard of consideration by us of additional, extreme measures including possibility we might call Poland into default on its debts. She pointed out that whatever the perception in America, the cost of the sanctions imposed thus far are greater to Europe that [sic] to the US and went on to describe the impact on Western Europe’s economy of further financial and trading sanctions in the strongest of terms and [end p1] prediced dire consequences for the Western Alliance should we preceed [sic] in that direction. She is writing you a letter expressing her concerns that may reach you before we meet tomorrow. Sensing UK is ready to take more effective measures and has been in touch with Schmidt, I did not repeat did not alleviate her fears on any issue, pointing out that perception in US is that allies have not done nearly enough. I added you are also under criticism for being too soft on Russia and too solicitous of allied foot dragging.

2. Mrs. Thatcher then urged that we meet quickley [sic] with our German, French and Italian allies to devise a tough and credible set of measures against the USSR that will be bearable to the West and fairly shared among the Allies. The unstated but clear quid pro quo for such a united program in her mind is relief from the extraterritorial dimension of current US sanctions. I made clear to the Prime Minister that for you to step back, however slightly from the action you have taken will require a much stronger set of decisions on the part of our allies and even then would be politically difficult.

3. I am instructing the Department to contact the British immediately to arrange such a meeting as soon as possible. I will go into greater detail when we meet tomorrow.