210. Message From President Ford to British Prime Minister Callaghan1

WH 61359. Deliver at opening of business.

Presidential message to Prime Minister Callaghan.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I have just received the news of Ian Smith’s announcement in Salisbury and want to let you know how pleased I am with the progress we have made. The plan which you designed and your advice throughout the negotiations made it possible for us to do our part.

If the process we have launched is to lead to the conclusion we seek, it is essential that the negotiations which will produce an interim government for Rhodesia take place without delay. You may be assured of our support during the negotiations and you have my resolve that the United States will make its contribution to a final setlement, and, consistent with our constitutional process, participate in the economic program which our governments are discussing.

The settlement which has been advanced and the accomplishments of the past six months are a tribute to the vitality of our long standing and close friendship and alliance. I am glad that we have been able to work together, profit from your wisdom and experience and contribute to the settlement of an issue of such importance to Britain and the world at large. You have my best wishes in the decisive weeks ahead.2

With warmest regards,

Gerald R. Ford

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 93, Geopolitical File, Africa, Chronological File, September 24–25, 1976. Secret.
  2. In Callaghan’s reply, September 25, he thanked Ford for his remarks and congratulated Kissinger for “having brought matters to this point.” He agreed with Ford on the need for continued cooperation and to move forward with negotiations for an interim government. (Ibid.)