Soviet Rejection of the Agreement on Jewish Emigration, December 1974–January 1975


96. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (Laise) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 77D112, Policy Planning Staff (S/P), Box 347, Director’s Files (Winston Lord), 1969–77, Dec. 1974. Unclassified. Drafted by H. Schuyler Foster and Frank G. Wisner II in PA/M. The original is an uninitialed copy that Laise forwarded to Lord on December 11. In a handwritten note on the covering memorandum, Lord instructed his special assistant, Peter Swiers: “Peter—Make sure deputies, [Thomas W.] Simons, & speechwriters see this. WL”


97. Aide-Mémoire

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East Discussions, 1974–1976, Box 1, USSR Memcons and Reports, November 23–24, 1974—Vladivostok Summit (2). Secret. Also scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXIII, SALT II, 1972–1979. Kissinger initialed at the bottom of each page. According to marginalia, the aide-mémoire was “Handed to Amb. D by Sec. Kissinger at 10:00 a.m., 12–10–74.” Kissinger met Dobrynin on December 10 from 9:21 to 10:02 a.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 439, Miscellany, 1968–76, Record of Schedule) No substantive record of the meeting has been found.


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 17, USSR (6). Confidential. Sent for information. The memorandum is based on reporting from the Embassy in Paris, in particular telegram 29492, December 9. Clift forwarded a copy of the telegram and a draft of the memorandum on December 10 to Scowcroft, who made minor revisions to the text of the latter. (Ibid.) Ford initialed the memorandum. According to an attached correspondence profile, the President saw it on December 14.


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Name File, 1974–1977, Box 2, Kennan, George. Administratively Confidential. Sent for information. Although no drafting information appears on the memorandum, Clift forwarded it to Scowcroft on December 13. A note on the memorandum reads: “The President has seen.” According to an attached correspondence profile, Ford saw it on February 4, 1975. In an attached handwritten note to Scowcroft, Ford commented: “Very interesting. Will you send copy of speech to Bob Hartmann & Paul Theis of his staff for their info.” According to marginalia on the note, Scowcroft followed these instructions on February 4.


100. 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, Trade Bill, Sept–Dec 1974. Eyes Only.


101. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 8. Secret; Nodis. All brackets, except those inserted by the editor to indicate omitted passages, are in the original. The meeting was held in the Oval Office. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ford met with Kissinger there from 9:40 to 10:15 a.m.; Scowcroft joined the meeting at 9:50. (Ibid., White House Office Files)


102. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 6, SALT, Nov–Dec 1974. Secret. Drafted by Norman Terrell in C. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s Conference Room. In a briefing memorandum to Kissinger on December 19, Sonnenfeldt suggested: “Apart from reviewing the elements of the Vladivostok agreement, I think you should hit these people hard about the character of the public debate—its distortions, polemical nature and frequent air of unreality.” (Ibid.)


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 17, USSR (6). Confidential. Ford initialed the memorandum. According to an attached correspondence profile, Scowcroft forwarded the memorandum to Ford on December 24. The memorandum is largely based on an intelligence report, also entitled “Western Credits to the USSR,” prepared by the CIA on December 20. (Ibid.)


104. Letter From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President Ford

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Trade Bill, 1975. No classification marking. According to marginalia, the letter was delivered to the White House on the afternoon of December 25. In his memoirs, Kissinger recalled: “On December 25, Brezhnev addressed a personal letter to Ford, the first time he had done so since Vladivostok. At once blustering and melancholy, Brezhnev once more rejected congressional legislation linking East-West trade to Jewish emigration. The Soviet Union would not accept the waiver or any form of conditionality other than the settlement of the Lend-Lease debt.” (Kissinger, Years of Renewal, p. 305)


105. Memorandum From Secretary of State Kissinger to President Ford

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, KissingerScowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1974–1977, Box 27, USSR, The “D” File. Secret; Sensitive. Ford initialed the memorandum. Although no drafting information appears on the memorandum, Hyland forwarded it to Kissinger on December 26. In his covering memorandum, Hyland commented: “Brezhnev is putting the ball back in our court: (1) by stopping short of a clear-cut denunciation of the trade/lend lease agreements (similar to the TASS statement of December 18); (2) by soliciting the President’s views on how to improve the ‘existing situation’; (3) by reaffirming his commitment not to retreat from the cause of relaxation of international tensions, and specifically, offering to build relations on the ‘degree of mutual understanding’ revealed in Vladivostok; and (4) by expressing the hope that the President shares Brezhnev’s approach. He would seem to be inviting a conciliatory reply, which he may need in his own internal debates; indeed, this overture of Brezhnev’s, despite some of its polemical points, is rather mild considering the circumstances.” (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Soviet Union, Nov–Dec 1974)


106. Minutes of the Secretary of State’s Staff Meeting

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 78D443, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Box 5. Secret. According to an attached list, the following officials attended the meeting: Kissinger, Ingersoll, Robinson, Brown, Sonnenfeldt, Mulcahy, Rogers, Habib, Hartman, Sober, Hyland, Lord, Enders, Anderson, McCloskey, Vest, Blake, Holton, Feldman, Gammon, and Borg.


107. Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Hartman) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Trade Bill, 1975. Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by Garrison on January 2 and cleared by Armitage, Wright, Trimble, Carl W. Schmidt (EB/ITP), and Kenneth A. Kerst (INR). The memorandum was forwarded through Sonnenfeldt; according to a handwritten note, it was intended to “By pass” normal channels in S/S.


108. 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, Trade Bill, 1975. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. None of the tabs is attached. An uninitialed copy of the memorandum, including attachments, is ibid., Box 5, Soviet Union, January–March 1975.


109. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt)

Source: Department of State, Electronic Reading Room, Kissinger Transcripts of Telephone Conversations. No classification marking.


110. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 8. Secret; Nodis. All brackets, except those inserted by the editor to indicate omitted passages, are in the original. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.


111. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 8. Secret; Nodis. All brackets, except those inserted by the editor to indicate omitted passages, are in the original. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.


112. Memorandum From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hyland) to Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 91D414, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 10, Nodis Memcons, January 1975. Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. No drafting information appears on the memorandum.


113. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 8. Secret; Nodis. All brackets, except those inserted by the editor to indicate omitted passages, are in the original. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, KissingerScowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1974–1977, Box 31, Dobrynin/Kissinger Telcons (1). No classification marking. Brackets are in the original.


115. Letter From President Ford to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Trade Bill, 1975. No classification marking. Sonnenfeldt prepared several drafts of this letter for Kissinger to submit to Ford. See Document 108 and footnote 3, Document 113. Scowcroft sent the signed copy of the letter to Dobrynin on January 10. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, KissingerScowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1974–1977, Box 28, USSR, The “D” File)


116. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 8. Secret; Nodis. All brackets, except those inserted by the editor to indicate omitted passages, are in the original. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.


117. Note From the Soviet Leadership to President Ford

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Soviet Union, January–March 1975. No classification marking. Dobrynin called Kissinger at 12:10 p.m. to report the arrival and gist of the Soviet note; Kissinger asked him to send the text to the White House. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, KissingerScowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1974–1977, Box 31, Dobrynin/Kissinger Telcons (1)) Dobrynin then forwarded the note under a brief covering letter to Scowcroft; according to marginalia on the letter, it was delivered at 1 p.m.


118. 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, Trade Bill, 1975. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.


119. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 8. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.


120. Statement by Secretary of State Kissinger

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 17, USSR (7). Kissinger read the statement during a news conference at the Department of State at 6:30 p.m. on January 14. For the text of the conference, see Department of State Bulletin, February 3, 1975, pp. 139–143. Kissinger’s statement was published in full in The New York Times, January 15, 1975, p. 4. During a telephone conversation at 1:06 p.m. on January 11, Kissinger told Sonnenfeldt that an initial draft of the statement was “much too defensive.” “I want it to imply that it’s none of their business.” (Department of State, Electronic Reading Room, Kissinger Transcripts of Telephone Conversations) Sonnenfeldt forwarded a redraft to Kissinger on January 13. (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Trade Bill, 1975) During a telephone conversation with Dobrynin at 10:25 a.m. on January 13, Kissinger agreed to forward that draft to the Soviet Embassy for review. (Department of State, Electronic Reading Room, Kissinger Transcripts of Telephone Conversations)


121. 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, Trade Bill, 1975. Eyes Only. The original is incorrectly dated January 15, 1974.


122. Memorandum by President Ford

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 17, USSR (8). Confidential. Copies were sent to Schlesinger, Lynn, and Eberle. According to another copy, Ford, Kissinger, and Scowcroft drafted the memorandum on January 16. (Ibid., “Outside the System” Chronological Files, 1974–1977, Box 1) In a memorandum to Ford on January 18, Kissinger forwarded the final version and explained that following his “low key” announcement on January 14 ( Document 120), “our approach has been successful in muting press speculation as to the impact of this action on our broader relations with the Soviets. I believe it is important, however, that we carefully control both public comment by the Administration and any follow-on steps with the Soviet Union. To insure that the Administration speaks with one voice and that agencies do not begin piecemeal to pick up the threads of trade negotiations with the Soviets, I believe it would be helpful for you to issue a directive to that effect.” (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, 1974–1977, Box 17, USSR (8)) According to an attached correspondence profile, the memorandum was dispatched on January 20.


123. Letter From President Ford to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Soviet Union, January–March 1975. No classification marking. According to a typed note, the letter was “delivered to Soviet Embassy by NSC messenger 1/21/75, 6:45 p.m.”


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

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, KissingerScowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1974–1977, Box 28, USSR, The “D” File. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only; Outside System. Sent for information. Ford initialed the memorandum.


125. Letter From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President Ford

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Soviet Union, January–March 1975. No classification marking. According to a handwritten note, this English translation of the letter was “hand carried by Yuri Babenko 1/27/75 9:45 p.m.—received.” The signed letter in Russian is in Ford Library, National Security Adviser, KissingerScowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1974–1977, Box 28, USSR, The “D” File.