101. Editorial Note

On August 31, 1975, resolution of the gold and IMF quota issues was achieved in the Interim Committee, which held its fourth meeting in Washington that day. President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs Brent Scowcroft wrote President Gerald Ford in an October 13 memorandum: “In the Interim Committee, agreement was reached on new IMF quotas, on reducing the vote required for a veto from 20% to 15%, abolition of an official price for gold, elimination of the obligation to use gold in transactions with the IMF, sale of one-sixth [Page 328] of the Fund’s gold (25 million ounces)for benefit of the developing countries, and restitution of the same amount to its original owners.” (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Subject File, Box 8, Gold)

The impasse over exchange rates, however, remained. On August 30, the Group of Five Finance Ministers agreed to try to resolve it by the time of the January 1976 Interim Committee meeting. According to the official history of the International Monetary Fund, the Ministers “regarded the solution as a matter of language. The reality was that floating rates were likely to continue indefinitely and that a new system of par values would not be introduced for some years to come. Any language that expressed this reality would be satisfactory.” As a result, “the authorities of the other three assured the monetary authorities of France and the United States that they would accept any solution to the exchange rate issue that was mutually acceptable to the United States and France.” (de Vries, The International Monetary Fund, 1972–1978, Volume II, page 743)