117. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the OECD 1

26395. 1. White House has decided after all to release text of informal remarks at Treasury February 14.2

2. Following are President’s remarks on international monetary affairs: “There are indications that the problems affecting the international monetary system are very possibly going to be a subject of not only major discussion on the immediate trip but also they are going to be a subject of major concern in this next year and perhaps within the next two years.

Now is the time to examine our international monetary system to see where its strengths are, where its weaknesses are and then to provide the leadership, leadership which is responsible, not dictatorial, leadership which looks to the good judgment and the good advice that we can get from our friends abroad who will have a similar view about the necessity for a sound international monetary system…. Here in this department, I see you here at a time that is very exciting, very exciting because whether it is in the field of tax reform, whether it is in the field of international monetary policies, there is a need for new approaches.”

3. Missions should use above on if asked basis.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, FN 17. Unclassified. Drafted by Enders (E/IMA), cleared by Rogers (EUR/RPE) and Widman (Treasury), and approved by Enders. Repeated to Bonn, Brussels, The Hague, London, and Luxembourg.
  2. At Secretary Kennedy’s request, President Nixon visited the Department of the Treasury on February 14 and addressed employees at 3:25 p.m. Telegram 25595 to Paris (repeated to other EC capitals), February 18, informed addressees that the President’s reference to international monetary reform had come up in an informal “pep talk” to Treasury staff and the President had no specific proposal in mind. No text of the President’s remarks had been released by the White House. (Ibid.) The full text of the President’s remarks, dated for release by the White House on February 14, was distributed to the Volcker Group as VG/INFO/69-10 on February 18. According to that text, early in his remarks the President said: “I am going to speak very carefully now, because I realize that when a Secretary of the Treasury, let alone a President of the United States, says something about tax programs or international monetary matters that it can have the effect of changing the price of gold or, for that matter, changing the price of stocks and so forth and so on.” (Washington National Records Center, Department of the Treasury, Volcker Group Masters: FRC 56 86 30, VG/INFO/69-1-VG/INFO/69-22) The President’s remarks are printed in full in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard M. Nixon, 1969, pp. 101-105.