411. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Responses to Prime Ministers Gorton and Holyoake on Meat

Attached at Tabs A and B respectively are proposed letters for you to send Prime Ministers Gorton and Holyoake,2 which would inform them that we are increasing the amount of meat they can export to us this year. Gorton wrote you directly on the subject (Tab E)3 and Holyoake raised the matter during his recent visit.4

Secretary Hardin has gotten the cattlemen to agree very reluctantly to an increase of 25 million pounds in our import level, pursuant to your recent request to him (Hardin letter at Tab D).5 He continues to feel, however, that the increase would cause significant domestic political problems. Bryce Harlow agrees that the move could cause trouble on the Hill.6

We can also reallocate 21.5 million pounds of shortfall in imports which had been expected from Canada. The foreign suppliers already expect this amount, however, so it achieves no political gain with them.

Australia will get 25 million pounds and New Zealand will get 11 million pounds of this combined increase. Most of the rest will go to Latin America, incidentally, and will give us a point with them for the forthcoming IA-ECOSOC meetings.

Your letter would be especially timely for Gorton. A recent Gallup Poll in Australia showed a surprisingly sharp swing toward his Liberal opposition for the October 25 election. It will certainly be the closest Australian election since 1961 and, if Gorton wins by only a narrow margin, could set the stage for a Liberal victory in 1972. Voter displeasure over Gorton’s Vietnam policy and uncertainty over U.S. policy in the Pacific are issues cited as hurting him. A forthcoming step by you at this point could thus certainly help.

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Holyoake faces an election in late November and has only a one-seat majority at present. Your step would also help him significantly.


That you sign the letter to Gorton at Tab A.
That you sign the letter to Holyoake at Tab B.
That you sign the letter to Secretary Hardin at Tab C, thanking him for helping you on this foreign policy issue.7
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 351, Meat Import Policy. Confidential. A handwritten note by Kissinger at the top of the page reads: “RN has disapproved.”
  2. Neither found.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 418.
  4. See Document 405.
  5. Document 409.
  6. In an October 16 memorandum to Kissinger transmitting this memorandum, Bergsten noted that Harlow’s objections were linked to the Haynsworth nomination for the Supreme Court. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 351, Meat Import Policy)
  7. Not found.