159. Memorandum From Jon Huntsman of the White House Staff to Secretary of the Treasury Connally 1

SUBJECT

  • International Monetary Reform Memorandum submitted to the President June 2, 1971 by Paul W. McCracken

Memoranda from both the President2 and you3 crossed my office desk today relative to the above subject. In order to make you fully aware of the President’s views on the subject I am noting below the comments he made after reading the McCracken paper. You may, after reviewing them, want to alter your memorandum. Then again, you may not. I will hold it here in my confidential file until I hear from you regarding disposition.4

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Specifically, the President requested that you consult with Paul McCracken, Arthur Burns, George Shultz, Peter Peterson and your own experts…. then give him a “recommendation for action.” The President further suggested that we “move on the problem, “ not “just wait for it to hit us again—e.g. in the fall of ‘72.”

He noted particularly the last paragraph of page 2—the part which recommends that he convene the Council on International Economic Policy to reassert our position in favor of an updating of IMF rules. His (the President’s) comments were: “No—this is too large a group with too many people who talk a lot about subjects they know little about”.

The President went on to say, in writing, “The Connally 1-man responsibility route is the best. This is an area in which he should be the lead man. Peterson, of course, should be consulted.”

I am taking the liberty of sending Mr. Peterson a copy of this memorandum and would suggest that you contact him directly regarding the matter.

Thank you.

Jon M. Huntsman
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 218, Council on International Economic Policy. Confidential; Eyes Only. A copy was sent to Peter Peterson.
  2. Reference is to the President’s marginal comments on McCracken’s June 2 memorandum; see Document 157 and footnote 1 thereto.
  3. Document 158.
  4. In a June 9 memorandum to Huntsman, Connally expressed his appreciation for being informed of the President’s reactions to McCracken’s memorandum and requested that Huntsman forward his June 8 memorandum to the President. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 218, Council on International Economic Policy) Huntsman forwarded Connally’s memorandum to the President under cover of a June 10 memorandum, which reminded the President of his handwritten “notations and directives” on McCracken’s memorandum and informed him that Connally was “well aware of your reaction to the McCracken memorandum” and had requested that his memorandum go forward. (Ibid.)