294. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Ford and the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1

S: We have another boat. There is one survivor in a raft. I don’t know whether they have picked him up or not. We have just had a report that on one of the boats which is five miles off Kompong Som there may be some Caucasians held in the front. The pilot thinks he can stop it without sinking it.

P: Right. As I understand it, one fled and got to another island and then we sank the one and the third one is the one you are discussing.

S: Yeah.

P: Well, I don’t think we have any choice.

S: If they get the Americans to the mainland they have hostages and . . .

P: We have to predicate all these actions on the possibility of losing Americans.

S: I will have them ask the pilot to do his best to stop it without sinking it.

P: I think that is right. I will be over there in about 15 minutes.

S: I will have the Defense Department Option Paper2 by then.

P: Okay, Brent.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 1, Cambodia, Mayaguez Seizure. No classification marking.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 290. Additional Department of Defense papers, “Actions to Prevent Ship from Moving Towards Port,” “Options to Seize Island,” and “Simultaneous Possibilities,” undated, are in the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 3, Cambodia, Seizing of the Mayaguez, May 1975 (1).