102. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Gerald R. Ford
  • George Shultz
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs


  • Shultz’s visit to Europe: Economic Summit

Shultz: I met with Schmidt for about 10 hours, and Giscard. Wilson thinks the burden should be on those who say there shouldn’t be a meeting, not vice versa. They are interested in a personal and deep discussion rather than a very broad one.

[Page 329]

President: What participants will there be? What about Italy and Canada?

Shultz: They are thinking just of the five. They asked about Canada and I said it is our biggest trading partner. I would leave Italy to the Europeans. If they want it out, I would support that. Italy would just clutter the landscape. With three people per country, that is about the maximum for the useful meeting. I said we needed the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Treasury. They agreed on three, but just who, they want to think about. On timing, I said it had to be this year. It looks like mid-November is about the latest possible.

Kissinger: It almost would have to be before Thanksgiving.

Shultz: On the location …

President: From a political point of view, it would be better to have it here. I am getting criticism from being out of Washington, but it is not serious.

Kissinger: I doubt if Giscard would be willing to come here.

Shultz: If it happens, it would mark the reentry of France into the councils.

Kissinger: I don’t say it has to be in France, but with Giscard coming here next year, it would be tough.

Shultz: I tried the U.S. on them. Wilson will come of course; Schmidt is a bit reluctant and Giscard is negative.

President: We could have a joint announcement so there isn’t one invitor. Let’s get the schedule cleared.

Shultz: I need someone within the government to work with. Henry suggested Sonnenfeldt.

Kissinger: It is interesting how much time they spent with George. It shows how seriously they take it.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, Box 15. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.