206. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Edward H. Levi, Attorney General
  • John O. Marsh, Jr., Counsellor to the President
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

[Omitted here is discussion of Congressional investigations of the U.S. intelligence community.]

Kissinger: I talked to Dobrynin about the grain deal.2 He said we have no idea how outraged they are on the grain deal. First we hold up sales; then we ram a long-term deal down their throats; then we hold them up on freight rates; then when they are trying to cooperate on the oil deal, we leak about a discount in a way which sets OPEC against them. I think we have gone to the limit. Hal [Sonnenfeldt]3 thinks so and so does Brent.

President: Grain prices went down the limit. The farmers are going to be screaming. Can we have them start buying?

Kissinger: I had agreed they could buy six—we can go to 8.

President: Let’s stick with 6 for now. When would this happen—Thursday?4

Kissinger: Let’s make it Friday. They would have to determine when to buy. We would sign the oil letter, but I think we won’t get anything.

President: That’s O. K.

[Omitted here is a brief exchange on Lebanon.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 16. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.
  2. See Document 205.
  3. Brackets in the original.
  4. October 16.