155. Editorial Note

On May 12, 1971, German Chancellor Brandt wrote President Nixon to inform him that the monetary crisis had “created great difficulties for the Federal Government” and several other European governments. He noted the importance his government attached to “the development of a European economic and monetary union” and thought the fact that President Pompidou and Prime Minister Heath had agreed to meet boded well for British entry into the Community. He looked forward to discussing these and other matters with the President during a mid-June visit to the United States. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 73 D 288, Box 836, NSC Misc. Memos)

On May 28 Secretary Connally gave a major speech at the International Banking Conference of the American Bankers Association in Munich, Germany. Connally reviewed the evolution of economic power centers in the postwar era, noted U.S. concerns on burdensharing and trade issues, and said there “is a clear and present danger to our monetary system …. Flexibility is essential …. We are not going to devalue. We are not going to change the price of gold …. No longer can considerations of friendship, or need, or capacity justify the United States carrying so heavy a share of the common burdens … no longer will the American people permit their government to engage in international actions in which the true long-run interests of the U.S. are not just as clearly recognized as those of the nations with which we deal … increased cooperation among us all must play a key role in maintaining a stable monetary system.” The full text of Connally’s speech, circulated to the Volcker Group as VG/Uncl. INFO/71-28, is in the Washington National Records Center, Department of the Treasury, Volcker Group Masters:FRC 56 86 30. The text is also printed in Department of State Bulletin, July 12, 1971, pages 42-46.

Chancellor Brandt made a private visit to the United States in mid-June to receive an honorary degree from Yale. He continued on to Washington for an unofficial visit on June 15 and 16. He met with President Nixon at the White House on June 15 from 11:02 a.m. to 12:34 p.m., and was the guest of honor at a White House dinner that evening. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) A taped recording of his meeting with President Nixon, which included discussion of monetary matters, is ibid., White House Tapes, Recording of Conversation between President Nixon and Chancellor Brandt, June 15, 1971, 11:02 a.m.-12:34 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 520-6.