346. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of Commerce Stans 1

The President has decided that you should grant the three pending applications by U.S. firms for participation in the construction of the Kama River truck foundry: Swindell-Dressler for $13.5 million; C.E. Cast for $37 million; and Jervis B. Webb for $125 million. Announcement of the approvals should be made in the usual routine fashion without special fanfare.

Questions may be asked on why we have not approved the Mack Truck application, or whether approval of these three foundry licenses signifies blanket government approval of U.S. participation in all aspects of the Kama River project. Government spokesmen should respond that today’s decision does not signify blanket approval of U.S. participation. The decision was made after considering the national security and commercial aspects of each detailed application. Future applications [Page 877]will be considered on the same detailed basis. We have not yet reached a decision on the Mack Truck application, which involves a broader participation in the Kama River project than the three foundry applications approved today.

Future U.S. applications for participation in the Kama River proj-ect, including the foundry plant, should be referred to the White House.2

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 213, Commerce, Volume II 1971. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Secretaries of State and Defense. A typewritten note at the bottom of the page indicates the memorandum was sent to the outside recipients on August 5 and that copies went to Davis, Kennedy, Hormats, and Sonnenfeldt at the NSC.
  2. In the July 28 draft of this memorandum by Johnston (see footnote 1, Document 343), this read “President” instead of “White House.” In his July 28 memorandum to Haig transmitting his draft, Johnston wrote: “By asking that the President approve each application, we are not just adopting a piecemeal approach but an individual company approach. As soon as our general relations with the USSR allow us to adopt some more abstract definition of our participation, i.e., the foundry, we should do so to reduce the awkwardness of having the President decide on specific firms in particular locations.”