President Ford and the Jackson–Vanik Amendment, August–October 1974


1. Memorandum From the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Soviet Union, Aug–Sept 1974. Secret; Sensitive.


2. Talking Points Prepared in the Department of State

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Transition File, 1974, Box 1, President’s Talking Points for Calls by Ambassadors, 8/9/74. Secret; Sensitive. The talking points were prepared for President Ford’s meeting with Vorontsov on August 9. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. A draft, however, is in National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Presidential Transition, 1974. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ford and Kissinger met Vorontsov in the Oval Office on August 9 from 3:41 to 3:54 p.m.; Scowcroft also attended the meeting. (Ford Library, White House Office Files) No substantive record of the conversation has been found.


3. Letter From Secretary of State Kissinger to Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 16, USSR (1). No classification marking. According to a handwritten note on the first page, the letter was “handed to Min. Vorontsov 8/9/74—3:15 p.m. by HAK.” Sonnenfeldt forwarded a draft of the letter to Kissinger on August 8 with the following typed note: “Attached is the letter to Gromyko which you may want to hand to Vorontsov or let Stoessel deliver. In any case, you should look it over, because I have given it a slightly different twist at the end.” Kissinger approved the draft without revision. (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Presidential Transition, 1974)


4. Letter From President Ford to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 16, USSR (1). No classification marking. In telegram 174035 to Moscow, August 9, the Department forwarded the text of Ford’s letter to the Embassy with the instructions: “Please deliver immediately following message from the President to General Secretary Brezhnev. If he is not available, deliver to highest official available.” (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Presidential Transition, 1974)


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Subject File, 1974–1977, Box 23, Subject File, Trade (1). Eyes Only. All tabs are attached but not printed. Haig forwarded the memorandum to the President on August 11 with the following typed note: “You may wish to discuss the Jackson position on the Trade Bill in your 9:00 a.m. meeting with Secretary Kissinger tomorrow. The memorandum is lengthy primarily because of the sensitivity of the issue but well worth your detailed reading.” A note on the memorandum reads: “The President has seen.”


6. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to Belgrade, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Leningrad, London, Paris, Prague, Sofia, Warsaw, Bonn, US Mission NATO, USDel CSCE Geneva, and USDel MBFR Vienna. In an August 12 memorandum, Kissinger briefed the President on this telegram: “Ambassador Stoessel reports from Moscow that the Soviet assessment of the Watergate drama will cause them to revise upward their view of Congressional power. He does not foresee any major shifts in Soviet foreign policy as a result of the resignation. Rather, he expects the Soviets to remain on a détente course toward the US and the West in general. Furthermore, he does not expect Brezhnev’s association with Nixon to affect Brezhnev’s own leadership position.” Ford initialed the memorandum. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Transition File, 1974, Box 1, Letters to and from World Leaders—Memoranda to the President)


7. Letter From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President Ford

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, KissingerScowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1974–1977, Box 27, USSR, The “D” File, Items #1–4 (8/9/74–8/11/74). Secret. A copy of the letter in Russian, initialed by Dobrynin, is ibid. According to his Record of Schedule, Kissinger returned a telephone call from Dobrynin at 10:37 a.m. on August 12. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 439, Miscellany, 1968–76) No substantive record of the conversation has been found. During a meeting in his office at 11:30, Kissinger remarked: “Dobrynin has come back. I will see him at noon. He has a message from Brezhnev to the President.” (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 91D414, Records of Henry Kissinger, Box 5, Nodis Memcons, Aug. 1974, Folder 5) No record of the noon meeting has been found. In addition to Brezhnev’s reply to Ford, Dobrynin probably also delivered Gromyko’s letter to Kissinger ( Document 8).


8. Letter From Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Soviet Union, Aug–Sept 1974. No classification marking. A copy of the letter in Russian is ibid. Kissinger’s office forwarded both the English and Russian texts to Sonnenfeldt on August 28 with a written request for a draft reply “if you believe that one is necessary.” Sonnenfeldt wrote on the note: “No answer needed.” According to marginalia, one of Kissinger’s special assistants thought “Dobrynin handed this to HAK but doesn’t know when.” Dobrynin probably gave Kissinger the letter during their meeting on August 12; see footnote 1, Document 7.


9. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 4. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office. All brackets, except those inserted by the editor to indicate omitted passages, are in the original. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ford met Kissinger from 9:07 to 10:35 a.m. Scowcroft also attended the meeting. (Ibid.) The full memorandum is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976, Document 95.


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 16, USSR (1). Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Although no drafting information appears on the memorandum, Sonnenfeldt forwarded it to Kissinger for approval on August 13. (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Soviet Union, Aug–Sept 1974)


11. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 5. Secret; Nodis. The memorandum, which is misdated August 24, was transcribed from an attached set of Scowcroft’s notes, dated August 14. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ford met Kissinger in the Oval Office on August 14 from 9:15 to 10:20 a.m. (Ibid., White House Office Files)


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1973–1977, Box 16, USSR (1). Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. In an August 12 memorandum requesting the appointment on August 14, Kissinger commented: “Ambassador Dobrynin has asked to see you to present a message from General Secretary Brezhnev. Dobrynin has just returned from the USSR, where he has been since mid-June. Since that time, he probably mixed business (including a Central Committee plenum on July 24) and pleasure (his annual home leave). The message from Brezhnev is probably a personal reply to your message to him upon taking office last Friday.” (Ibid., White House Central Files, Subject File, 1974–1977, Box 50, CO 158, USSR Executive) In a memorandum to Scowcroft on August 12, David Parker, Special Assistant to the President, requested “an appropriate briefing paper for the President’s use at this meeting.” (Ibid.)


13. Memorandum From the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Soviet Union, Aug–Sept 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. No record of the conversation between Kissinger and Dobrynin on August 15 has been found.


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 16, USSR (1). Eyes Only. All tabs are attached but not printed. In a covering memorandum to Ford on August 15, Haig suggested: “You may wish to scan this before this morning’s breakfast.” A note on both memoranda reads: “The President has seen.” Although no drafting information appears on the memorandum from Kissinger, Sonnenfeldt forwarded it to him on August 12 with a recommendation that he review the package and “indicate any changes you wish to have made and any other material you may wish to have prepared for your next meeting with the Senators.” Kissinger approved the memorandum without revision. (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 9, Trade Bill, August 1974) See, however, footnote 3 below.


15. Note from the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 9, Trade Bill, August 1974. Eyes Only. Printed from a copy that bears neither Sonnenfeldt’s initials nor his written signature.


16. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 5. Secret; Nodis. Transcribed by Peter Rodman from Scowcroft’s attached handwritten notes. Brackets are in the original. The meeting was held in the first-floor private dining room at the White House. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the meeting lasted until 9:18 a.m. (Ibid., White House Office Files)


17. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 5. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the meeting lasted from 9:18 to 10:30 a.m. (Ibid., White House Office Files)


18. Note From the Soviet Leadership to President Ford

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 91D414, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 5, Nodis Memcons, 1974, Folder 5. No classification marking. According to typed marginalia, the note was delivered to Scowcroft at 5:30 p.m. on August 15.


19. Memorandum From Secretary of State Kissinger to President Ford

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 6, SALT, June–September 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The memorandum is an uninitialed copy. Although no drafting information appears on the memorandum, Sonnenfeldt and Lodal forwarded it to Kissinger on August 15 “for use in your series of foreign policy briefings.” No evidence has been found to indicate whether or not Kissinger gave it to the President.


20. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 5. Secret; Nodis. The memorandum was transcribed from an attached set of Scowcroft’s handwritten notes. The meeting was held in the Oval Office. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ford met with Kissinger there from 9:10 to 10:14 a.m.; Scowcroft joined the meeting at 9:34. (Ibid., White House Office Files)


21. Memorandum From the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 9, Trade Bill, August 1974. Eyes Only.


22. Memorandum From the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 9, Trade Bill, August 1974. Eyes Only. Sent for Urgent Attention.


23. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 91D414, Records of Henry Kissinger, Box 9, Nodis Memcons, Aug. 1974, Folder 4. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Rodman. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s office at the Department of State.


24. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)

Source: Department of State, Electronic Reading Room, Kissinger Transcripts of Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. All brackets, except those inserted by the editor to indicate omitted passages, are in the original. Blank underscores indicate omissions in the text. According to his Record of Schedule, Kissinger placed the call; the conversation lasted until 10:50 a.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 439, Miscellany, 1968–76)


25. Note From President Ford to the Soviet Leadership

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Soviet Union, Aug–Sept 1974. No classification marking. According to marginalia, the note was delivered to the Soviet Embassy at 11:30 a.m. on August 17. Sonnenfeldt forwarded a draft of the note to Kissinger on August 16. (Ibid.)


26. Memorandum From the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 9, Trade Bill, August 1974. Eyes Only.


27. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Transition File, 1974, Box 1, Subject File, Letters to and from World Leaders—USUSSR Exchanges, 8/9/74–11/5/74. Secret; Eyes Only. The President wrote at the bottom of the page: “Thanks/keep me posted/I am most interested. GRF.”


28. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 3, HS Chron—Official—Aug–Oct 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Drafted by Blackwill. The meeting was held in Kissinger’s office at the Department of State.


29. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 5. Secret; Sensitive. According to his Record of Schedule, Kissinger met with Ford, Rockefeller, and Scowcroft from 9:27 to 10:30 a.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 439, Miscellany, 1968–76)


30. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 5. Secret; Sensitive. The meeting was held in the Oval Office. The memorandum indicates the meeting began at 9:30 a.m., which is an error. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ford met with Kissinger and Scowcroft in the Oval Office from 3:17 to 4:20 p.m. (Ibid., White House Office Files) See also footnote 4 below.