15. Note from the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger1
Attached is a counterdraft from Jackson, et al. plus additional memorandum on interpretations, numbers and other issues.2 These were delivered by Perle late this evening.
I have done comments on this material in the form of a memo from you to the President, should you wish to hand it to him.
As noted in that memo, the drafting changes in the basic letter are not too serious, though they naturally tend to raise the demands upon the Soviet Union some more.
The interpretations, which would be incorporated in a letter of response to which you, in turn, would respond with an acceptance, pose the familiar problems of excessive detail and specificity.
The additional issues involve complex arrangements with other Communist countries, the dubious waiver procedure and the absurd point about not counting emigrants leaving the USSR under agreements with countries other than the U.S.
I think the President should use his current political clout to tell the Senators we have run out the string. The letter is barely tolerable and the interpretations go beyond what can be asked explicitly of the Russians. If we are going to have a compromise, our letter should do it and adequate review language in the legislation will protect everybody’s interests.
- 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.↩
- The draft letter from Kissinger to Jackson and the memorandum, both dated August 14, are attached to Sonnenfeldt’s draft, printed below, but not printed. A typed note on each indicates that both were from Senators Jackson, Javits, and Ribicoff.↩
- Eyes Only. The note is unsigned; no evidence has been found to indicate whether or not Kissinger gave it to the President.↩
- Attached but not printed.↩