61. Memorandum for the President’s File by the Executive Director of the Council for International Economic Policy (Flanigan)1


  • Meeting with Minister Guzhenko


  • Minister Timofey B. Guzhenko
  • Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin
  • Secretary Peter G. Peterson
  • Peter M. Flanigan

The purpose of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for the President to briefly meet Minister Guzhenko after the successful conclusion of negotiations on the US–USSR Maritime Agreement.2 The Agreement was signed immediately prior to this meeting at the Department of Commerce.

Under the Agreement a third of all the grains purchased by the Soviet Union, as well as other US–USSR trade, will be available for carriage in American bottoms. Ships of both countries will be free to call at 40 ports in each country. Oceanographic ships will also have port privileges.

Both the President and Minister Guzhenko agreed that the negotiations had been difficult, especially with regard to rates,3 but that the current Agreement will be of great future benefit to both countries. The President stressed his appreciation to the Soviets for their understanding of our position. The President stated that although the Agreement has a narrow focus, the implications are broad for the continuing good relations between our two countries. As our two nations get closer together through this Maritime Agreement, the President indicated that it should help our two countries become closer on political [Page 217] matters. As an example of this the President referred to Julie’s warm welcome from the Soviet sailors on the Tovarishch in Baltimore.4 Both the President and Minister Guzhenko felt that this successful Agreement will set the proper atmosphere for future trade negotiations.

Minister Guzhenko extended a personal thank you to the President for allowing Julie to come to the Tovarishch. He also extended an invitation to both Julie and Tricia5 to visit the USSR in the near future.

Secretary Peterson expressed his gratitude to Minister Guzhenko for his cooperation in the difficult negotiations.

The President gave a set of cuff links to Minister Guzhenko.

Ambassador Dobrynin then gave the President a private message.6

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, President’s Office Files, Memoranda for the President, Box 90, October 8, 1972. No classification marking. The meeting took place in the Oval Office from 11:33 to 11:53 a.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)
  2. For the text of the agreement, with memoranda of understanding and an exchange of letters (23 UST (Pt.4) 3573–3687), see Department of State Bulletin, December 4, 1972, pp. 664–665. The agreement was summarized in The New York Times, October 15, 1972, p. 1.
  3. The final agreement provided for a rate of $9.40 per ton for the carriage of Soviet freight on U.S. flag vessels with the exception of Soviet grain purchases, which would be carried at a 10 percent higher rate.
  4. A reference to Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Nixon’s younger daughter. The Soviet merchant marine training ship visited Baltimore from September 4 to 12. (“Soviet Ship,” Washington Post, September 12, 1972, p. C5)
  5. Tricia Nixon Cox, Nixon’s elder daughter.
  6. The message was a letter from Brezhnev to Nixon, October 12. Referring to Kissinger’s most recent visit to Moscow, September 9–15, and Gromyko’s visit to Washington, October 2–3, Brezhnev wrote: “As a whole, for the last weeks we managed, in my view, to do something useful in a sense of further moving ahead on the way of the general improvement and deepening of the Soviet-American relations. Of course, both we and you see that the solution of certain questions is not in such fast progress as one would wish it to be; it is not infrequently that difficulties and complications arise even with regard to those questions a definite agreement on which has been earlier achieved as, for example, on the Maritime agreement. I hope that negotiations on trade and economic questions now under way in Washington will lead to the signing of the projected agreements which would constitute another important link in the relations between our countries that are being improved.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 495, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 13)