However, this is an entirely personal blog post, reflecting only my views.
Acknowledgements: I’ve only been able to write this post because of the work of Argentine psychological warfare specialist Alejo Miguel Díaz, who uncovered the final version of the proposal to set up Radio Atlantico del Sur that was presented to the British War Cabinet in May 1982. Many thanks also to Lee Richards of PsyWar.Org for unearthing earlier, draft, versions of the proposal and accompanying memos from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Foreign Office (FCO). Together, their work has allowed me to undertake a textual analysis of the differences between these documents.
A battle in Whitehall
In my post "The War Cabinet is invited to agree" I described the battles the MoD fought with the FCO in late April and early May 1982 to get agreement for Radio Atlantico del Sur to be launched.
The FCO was firmly opposed to the project from the start, and lobbied other government departments and the BBC in a bid to get it blocked.
As the arguments continued between the FCO and the MoD it became clear that the dispute would only be ended by taking the matter to the War Cabinet – known formally as the Overseas and Defence Committee, South Atlantic or OD(SA) – for a final decision.
The MoD therefore drafted a proposal to launch Radio Atlantico del Sur for the War Cabinet to consider.
This proposal went through several drafts, and some of these can be found in the declassified MoD and FCO files from the time. In my previous post I provided the text of what I believed to be the latest available version, which was attached to a covering letter dated 12 May from the MoD to the Cabinet Office.
The FCO's amendments
I noted that the following day (13 May) Keith MacInnes of the FCO's Information Department requested several amendments to be made to the draft before it was seen by the War Cabinet. These played on difficulties (real or imagined) with the project and were no doubt intended to persuade the War Cabinet to veto it.
I said it was not known whether any of MacInnes's amendments were incorporated in the final version of the paper presented to OD(SA).
Now we know the answer. A photocopy of a later version of the proposal, dated 13 May, is to be found in the 2016 thesis by Alejo Miguel Díaz on the South Atlantic conflict. The date of the document, and its layout, indicate that it is the final version of the proposal, as seen by members of the War Cabinet.
The final proposal to the War Cabinet
Below, I have transcribed the text of the 13 May document, providing explanations where it differs from the version of the previous day following the insertion of the FCO's amendments.
RADIO ATLANTICO DEL SUR
Note by Ministry of Defence officials
Note by Ministry of Defence officials
1. This project envisages the use of a BBC transmitter on Ascension Island to broadcast to the Argentine forces on the Falkland Islands and, to a lesser extent, on their mainland coastal bases. The aim will be military and designed to maximise the use of radio to demoralise Argentine troops (particularly conscripted troops) currently occupying the Falklands, reinforcing its [sic] sense of isolation, and so reducing the willingness of the Argentine garrison to resist any landing. Responsibility would rest with the Ministry of Defence. [The previous sentence was an addition – part of the FCO's effort to distance itself from the project and ensure that if it went wrong all the blame would fall on the MoD.]
2. Programmes would mainly consist of popular music likely to appeal to Argentine conscripts – many of whom have short-wave radios – interspersed with news items carefully selected from the world's media. No lies would be told. Presenters, experienced in radio and fluent in the Spanish spoken in Argentina, would adopt a relaxed and informal approach. Programmes would be put together in London. A note about possible approaches is at Annex A. 
3. The BBC cannot be expected to provide this sort of programme since their worldwide reputation depends on a less obviously targeted and selective approach. Their current broadcasts to Latin America are effective enough to have prompted Argentine jamming but are directed at a wider and rather higher level audience. [The previous two sentences are an expansion of a single original one which read: "The BBC are unwilling to provide this sort of programme within their current broadcasts to Latin America which are directed at a higher level audience." The aim of the FCO's revised wording was to stress the success of the BBC's existing broadcasts and to highlight the risk of damage to the BBC's international reputation.] If, therefore, programmes aimed at an audience of Argentine conscripts are to be broadcast, HMG will need to make the programmes and use the only suitable transmitter, which is one of the BBC's on Ascension Island. This would not cause the loss of any BBC programme, but it would limit the options open to the BBC in circumventing Argentine jamming of its current broadcasts and it would cause some loss in the quality of reception. To minimise the effects on the BBC's Latin American and West African services (both broadcast from Ascension Island), it would only broadcast between 0530 and 0730 and 2000 and 2300.  The evening broadcast is the more important because less of the audience is then likely to be involved in their military duties. But transmissions then would somewhat weaken reception for listeners of the BBC World Service in English broadcasts to South America and the Falklands. [The previous sentence was an addition by the FCO, intended to stress the damage to BBC listeners.] One suitable frequency, allocated to the UK but currently unused, is available. Since Argentina seems bound to try jamming [hardening the original wording: "If Argentine jamming needed to be countered"], further frequencies might need to be found from [originally: "might need to be 'poached' from"] other countries which could cause problems in future international broadcasting negotiations. [The passage "which could cause problems in future international broadcasting negotiations" was an addition – an FCO ploy to suggest future diplomatic difficulties.]
4. Costs, including staff costs, are estimated at £15K per week, assuming 5 hours broadcasting [per day].
5. The service would have to operate openly: to attempt to do otherwise would quickly be spotted (eg by electronic location of the transmitter).
6. One obvious concern is that we should not undermine the high reputation of the BBC world-wide. The [BBC] Director-General has said that they would understand if the Government decided to set up such a service. Their primary concern would be to be "sanitised" from it publicly (eg by their transmitter being requisitioned rather than volunteered, and there being no visible links to BBC External Services). This should be entirely feasible but the BBC might have to issue a public statement and the radio station itself could become news – a press line would be needed. [The previous sentence originally just said "This should be entirely feasible." The additional wording was the FCO's attempt to suggest a potential public relations problem for the BBC and/or the government. However, the FCO didn't entirely get its way on this passage, as it had wanted to have even stronger wording, including the sentence: "There could be criticism of the Government's apparent 'takeover' of a function the BBC does well."]
7. There would no doubt be allegations of "black propaganda" in some quarters but it would become apparent from the nature of the broadcasts that this was not true. A good deal of criticism would in any case be avoided by taking an open approach to the project in public from the outset.
8. The potential gains from a radio station of this kind – weakening Argentine resistance to a landing of the Falkland Islands and saving lives – are important. No other programmes being broadcast to Latin America have this aim. On balance, the criticism we might face is justified by the potential saving of lives (on both sides).
10.[sic] OD(SA) is invited to agree that Radio Atlantico del Sur should proceed as outlined above. Broadcasts can start within 2 days.
Ministry of Defence
13 May 1982
The FCO's efforts came to naught. OD(SA) gave its approval on 18 May and Radio Atlantico del Sur began broadcasting the following day.
 Annex A is the document "Programming - Interim Assessment" written by RAdS's civilian manager, Neil ffrench-Blake, and discussed in my post Setting the Record Straight. The text of the "Interim Assessment" can be read on the PsyWar.Org website.
 The times given were Falkland local times – three hours behind GMT and four hours behind British Summer Time. The proposed time and duration for the morning broadcasts were subject to considerable discussion and revision during the planning phase, and when they eventually began on 28 May they were at 0530-0630 local time.
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