Transcript of Nixon phone call reveals depth of collapse of the US/UK special relationship in 1973

August 15, 2011
This is professor Richard J. Aldrich of the department of politics and international studies at the University of Warwick. Credit: University of Warwick

The collapse of the US UK special relationship in August 1973 is the focus of the latest BBC Radio 4 programme 'Document', featuring University of Warwick Professor of International Security Richard J. Aldrich. The programme examines a fascinating transcript of a conversation between President Nixon and Henry Kissinger which reveals the depth of the US antagonism towards Edward Heath's pro-European stance.

The transcript reveals Henry Kissinger's frustration at the lack of support by the UK government for American foreign policy. In retaliation Kissinger chose to cut off the Anglo-American special intelligence relationship established during the Second World War. Kissinger urged Nixon that "we should show our teeth" in order to get the British into line.

Heath struck back two months later when the Yom Kippur War broke out in the Middle East. America needed British bases in the UK and Cyprus to fly their spy aircraft over the region. Heath imposed heavy restrictions and the over spy-flights lasted until the summer of 1974.

The 'Document' programme includes contributions from Professor Aldrich and uses material from his book, GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret .

Explore further: Intelligence and security: Role of intelligence within machinery of government

More information: Here is an extract of the transcript which shows President Nixon and Henry Kissinger discussing the relationship with Edward Heath's government. see: … r_for/nixonhkpdf.pdf

Document' is aired on Monday 15th August 2001 at 8pm UK time on BBC Radio 4 see:

Related Stories

New website to open spy agency to public: CIA

February 8, 2011

The CIA has launched a revamped website with links to YouTube and Flickr to help the public better understand the spy agency's often clandestine work, officials said.

Moynihan, as Nixon aide, warned of global warming

July 3, 2010

(AP) -- Documents released Friday by the Nixon Presidential Library show members of President Richard Nixon's inner circle discussing the possibilities of global warming more than 30 years ago.

Recommended for you

Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past

October 19, 2017

Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that ...

Six degrees of separation: Why it is a small world after all

October 19, 2017

It's a small world after all - and now science has explained why. A study conducted by the University of Leicester and KU Leuven, Belgium, examined how small worlds emerge spontaneously in all kinds of networks, including ...

Scientists see order in complex patterns of river deltas

October 19, 2017

River deltas, with their intricate networks of waterways, coastal barrier islands, wetlands and estuaries, often appear to have been formed by random processes, but scientists at the University of California, Irvine and other ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Aug 15, 2011
"Document' is aired on Monday 15th August 2001 at 8pm UK time on BBC Radio 4 see: mes/b0137tff"

I suspect they may have got the year of transmission slightly wrong....

A friend who bullies to get what they want should expect retaliation. At least things are a little more 'polite' now.

I wonder if our number one Nixon fan will be along with a post soon?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.