198. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Kissinger: On the wheat deal, it is being nitpicked again.2 We have an escape clause, so they want one. Another issue is reserves. Enders is hipped on them, but I am overruling him. We can get an agreement over the weekend. We will get a simultaneous oil deal.3 About 250,000 barrels per day.

The President: At what kind of price?

Kissinger: We will get a discount. It won’t be listed as such, but it will amount to about 15%.

The President: How much this year?

Kissinger: About the same as in the agreement.

The President: Can it be announced?

Kissinger: Yes.

Scowcroft: Before the October crop report?

The President: Let’s get the estimates for October and find out from Robinson how much they want and when.

[Omitted here is discussion of Congress, the Middle East, and Spain.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 15. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.
  2. In an October 2 memorandum, Sonnenfeldt, Lord, and Enders briefed Kissinger on the grain negotiations and sought his approval on a series of recommendations regarding the details of the proposed agreement. Kissinger approved the recommendations but expressed some concern about allowing such details of the agreement to delay its conclusion. He agreed, for instance, to seek approval from the Department of Commerce for a proposed letter on maritime issues with the handwritten caveat: “But let’s not get so super cute that the whole agreement falls through.” (National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Grain Negotiations)
  3. In an October 3 memorandum, Sonnenfeldt briefed Kissinger on the oil talks and sought his authorization for Robinson to initial a letter of intent committing the two sides to an agreement. (Ibid.)