248. Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to Secretary of State Kissinger in Moscow1

Tohak 11/WH60078. 1. I spoke to the President briefly this evening just before he went to the Residence. He asked whether you had been satisfied with the SOTU.2 I told him you thought it came out on the soft side but was satisfactory and that his delivery was superb. (I had already told him I thought the speech had been softened too much.)

2. The President seemed in a relaxed and good mood. He asked when you arrived in Moscow and when I thought we would be hearing from you. I asked what he thought now about all the SALT positions and he said he had been so wrapped up in the SOTU and the budget ac[Page 916]tivities that he had not mentally reviewed the positions since the NSC meeting.3 He suggested we talk about it first thing in the morning.

3. He then said that if there were some way you could get across to the Russians that we would be pleased to have them buy more grain, it would be a big help back here. Prices are now low and the President thinks that news of additional sales to the Soviets would give détente a boost.

4. The President raised the idea of Mansfield as Ambassador to the PRC, just to ask that I think about it overnight. I did not tell him I had raised it with you because I thought it best to hold that in reserve in case of need. I will tell him in the morning I do not think it is a particularly good idea. If you have any additional specific arguments I should use, please let me know.

5. I spoke to Nancy4 this evening. We had a good chat and she seems to be in good spirits.

6. Warm regards.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books and Cables of Henry Kissinger, 1974–1977, Box 19, Kissinger Trip File, 1/20–25/76, Moscow, Brussels, Madrid, TOHAK (1). Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 245.
  3. The NSC met on January 19 to discuss the SALT II negotiations. The record of the meeting is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXIII, SALT II, 1972–1979.
  4. Nancy Kissinger.