120. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State1

17459. For Sonnenfeldt only from Dobbins. Subject: Economic Summit: Comments on November 11–12 Carleton Group Meeting.

Most notable feature in meeting was overnight reversal of Barre’s position and attitude. Last night he was proposing to have Giscard handle the briefing and interpretation of the summit. Today he strongly supported American suggestion in favor of a draft joint statement, sought agreement to use the U.S. draft as the basis for such statement, and when proposing alternative language, was generally constructive. Without Barre’s support, group would never have adopted agreed text, nor in fact would it have even focused on communiqué language for any length of time. Barre said he had spent an hour with Giscard before coming to London. Whether or not Barre received new instructions overnight, Shultz feels that his performance reflects Giscard’s determination to make summit a success and his willingness to make certain concessions to ensure that it is.
Poehl was consistently unhelpful, which Shultz notes is unlike him. He opposed concept of a joint statement. He opposed using U.S. statement as its basis. While some of his interventions were constructive, others were carping and diversionary.2 Shultz notes, however, that Poehl had been out of touch with Schmidt for a couple of weeks, and [Page 377] suggests that someone take Schmidt’s current temperature on the summit in the next day or two.
Hunt and Derek Mitchell were both adamant in opposition to any mention of followup in the communiqué reflecting perhaps HMG’s reluctance to undertake still further obligations which might inhibit any unilateral actions it may at some time feel compelled to take. They both strongly opposed not only the concept of new meetings among the Six or Seven in any forum, but even resisted language stating simply that the summit participants would cooperate or consult in the future. While no one else felt as strongly on the issue as they, neither did anyone evince much enthusiasm for follow-on mechanisms.
Japanese feel they absolutely must have a communiqué or joint statement resulting from this summit. They clearly have little confidence in their Prime Minister and wish to pin him down with communiqué negotiated by lower officials. They will strongly support us in any efforts to get a joint statement.3
Shultz believes that Carleton Group’s draft statement is pretty good first effort, in some respects even an improvement over our own draft. He recognizes that energy section is grossly inadequate, but notes that effort to improve it will largely depend on our ability to convince summit participants that strong U.S. energy conservation and development measures are in train or on the way. He does not believe that too much attention need be given the current wording of the monetary paragraph, feeling that its eventual wording will depend almost entirely on the state of Yeo’s current discussions.4
It was generally felt that the officials designated to draft statement at summit should get together Sunday night5 at which time summit discussion should be far enough along to determine whether such an exercise is desirable. Shultz feels that it may be useful, however, to convene the drafting group earlier during the summit, at least in order to identify participants, and go over arrangements.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Flash; Nodis.
  2. In a November 10 meeting with Ambassador Hillenbrand, Pöhl “was in a fairly pessimistic mood” about the upcoming economic summit. (Telegram 18410 from Bonn, November 11; ibid.)
  3. Japanese language for the communiqué was transmitted in telegram 17371 from London, November 12. (Ibid.)
  4. Yeo was scheduled to meet with French officials on exchange rates from November 10 (see Document 114); no memorandum of conversation of these talks was found.
  5. November 16.