223. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Gerald Ford
  • Senator Mile Mansfield
  • Senator John J. Sparkman
  • Senator Clifford P. Case
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Ambassador Donald Rumsfeld, Assistant to the President
  • John Marsh, Counsellor to the President
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

All: Congratulations [on the Mayaguez incident]!2

The President: I think it created a good climate and provides protection against miscalculation. I thought we should meet to see what we can do about the Cyprus situation.

Secretary Kissinger is meeting in Ankara next week. I am meeting both the Greek and the Turkish Prime Ministers at NATO. I asked you to come here to see if some progress is possible in the Senate; then the Turks might move, and then we could move in the House shortly thereafter.

The choices, as I understand, are the Mansfield–Scott Bill,3 a waiver, and to lift the ban on sales.

Kissinger: A lift on sales makes more sense than a waiver.

Mansfield: We did a head count. Scott has twenty-seven yeas. We will get some of the doubtfuls. It is coming up next Monday.4 We think we can finish in one day.

Sparkman: Eagleton told me he had the votes—he would fight, but not viciously.

Mansfield: We have a time limit on the debate.

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Kissinger: If we could get your bill passed, maybe by June there would be progress that the House could see.

Sparkman: When will you be in Brussels?

President: May 28–30 I will be in Brussels. Then I will be in Spain a day, then two days in Salzburg with Sadat, then a day in Rome.

Kissinger: We should have Macomber telephone some key people.

[General Scowcroft briefed on the map.]

Sparkman: Send your people up and ask if there are any questions.

Marsh: If we could have a list of the Committees we should hit.

President: The time is right.

Rumsfield: I think the margin of the vote is important.

Case: I agree. If it is by one vote, it would be better not to have the vote.

President: Can we include in the fact sheet that Henry and I will be meeting with them?

Mansfield: I think last night’s results will carry over.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 11, 5/16/75. Confidential. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.
  2. All brackets are in the original.
  3. As reported in a May 13 memorandum from Springsteen to Scowcroft: “The Scott/Mansfield Bill (S–846) would restore grant assistance and credit and commercial sales to Turkey as long as the Turks observe the Cyprus ceasefire, and provided the President reported monthly to Congress on progress in the Cyprus negotiations.” (National Archives, RG 59, Records of Joseph Sisco, 1951–1976, Entry 5405, Box 21, Cyprus Negotiations)
  4. May 19.