138. Memorandum of Conversation1
- President Ford
- President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, President of the French Republic
- Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
- Brent Scowcroft, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
- Jean Sauvagnargues, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Amb. Kenneth Rush, U.S. Ambassador to France
- Amb. Jacques Kosciusko-Morizet, French Ambassador to the United States
- Rambouillet II; Lebanon; Djibouti; Nuclear Non-proliferation
Ford: I thought we might discuss further the idea of a second Rambouillet. I have asked my people to say just what might lend itself to a substantive outcome.2 North-South relations would certainly be one, to include your African initiative, and other topics. [He reads the topics from the draft talking points at Tab A]. The way we did it the last time was for the private group—George Shultz for our side—laying out the details. For us, the results of Rambouillet I were very good and I have that impression from the others. I think the same thing could ensue from a follow-on meeting.
Giscard: I think there are two general items which could be discussed. (1) What will be the general attitude in a period of renewed economic activity and toward inflation. It would be interesting. I don’t know whether we could find practical solutions but it would be a useful discussion. Also, it is useful to have a discussion of the North-South dialogue. We can’t accept the demands of the developing countries, but there is still a large gap between your position and ours and the developing countries. I don’t know whether you are ready to advance in this field.[Page 490]
Kissinger: All the advances we have made have been through the President’s intervention with the economic agencies. Otherwise the movement is marginal. Therefore a conference would help us internally to get motion.
Ford: We do have internal differences and the pressure of having to have a position facilitates movement.
Giscard: We shouldn’t get too technical, but we are thinking of things like a research institute to look into commodities arrangements, and perhaps a fund which would finance stocks. The developing countries want to go farther—to a single fund managed by themselves. But a mixture of your ideas and ours might work. I would center it on Nairobi3 rather than the North-South dialogue, because of the participants. I think George Shultz should look at the substance of a possible communiqué as he makes his travels.
Next is the question of the time and place. Both Helmut [Schmidt] and I are coming to the United States and it would look awkward for us to come back here again so soon. Helmut suggested meeting in Germany, but I am against that. It would get into their election campaign.4 Perhaps an island in the Atlantic or in Scotland or Ireland. It would be difficult to come to the United States again so soon.
Ford: We have been thinking of the last part of June. It would be difficult for me as we get into July. We have been thinking of here, but not in Washington or Camp David. Someone mentioned Bermuda.
Giscard: Or the Virgin Islands or some place in the Caribbean.
[Discussion of some spots.]
I think somewhere in the Caribbean would be fine. The end of June is a lousy time for all of us. I am going to Great Britain and I have to leave on Friday morning, the 25th. I should really go back to France on the 1st. How about July 1 and 2? That would give you one day before your festivities.
Ford: I probably can do that.
Scowcroft: I will look into it.
Giscard: Then the question of participants. Japan I assume would be there. Then the issue of Italy and Canada. We would not stand in the way on Canada.
Ford: If we held it in this hemisphere, we feel it is best to have Canada.
Giscard: Let us start with Italy.
[Discussion of why Italy was invited to Rambouillet I and where they will be with their elections.5][Page 491]
If Italy does not come, I think it would be hard to have Canada.
Ford: I see that problem, but since Italy will be a big topic of conversation, it might be best to have them present.
Sauvagnargues: It depends on the outcome of the election.
Ford: Yes. There may be discussions that they should not attend. Arthur Burns called me this morning. He had met with Schmidt, who proposed a meeting among France, Germany, and the US to propose consortium loans to Italy if they didn’t go Communist and we would state they’d get no loan if they did. I thought I should mention it because it relates to this discussion.
Sauvagnargues: It is impossible without the British.
Giscard: We can make hints about such a thing. It must be known by the Italian voters, but in a very discreet way.
Ford: It might backfire otherwise.
Giscard: But it would be difficult to have the Italians present if the Communists increase their strength or stay the same. I suggest we have only the normal five. If there is some reason to have Italy to explain its case, we can ask them at the last minute.
Ford: If we don’t have Italy, it is easier to leave out Canada.
Kissinger: If Canada comes in, the British will press for the EC President. That would, by happy coincidence, be Den Uyl.6
Ford: Puerto Rico might be very good. There is a new hotel.
Giscard: It is a question of facilities. Send George Shultz around. Pierre-Brossolette is our man.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the economic summit.]
- Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, Box 19. Secret; Nodis. The conversation took place in the Oval Office. All brackets, except those that indicate omitted material, are in the original.↩
- On the previous day, President Ford and President Giscard briefly discussed the possibility of another economic summit. President Giscard had “no objections in principle” to a second Rambouillet, but added, “I think it is important to have results if we have a meeting. It is not apparent to me what results we could announce. We can’t have Italy the only subject. We could discuss the recovery which is underway, and measures against inflation. But I am not sure if those are dramatic enough for a meeting.” (Memorandum of conversation, May 17; ibid.)↩
- The fourth UNCTAD session was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from May 5 to 31.↩
- Bundestag elections took place in the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3.↩
- General elections took place in Italy on June 20 and 21.↩
- Dutch Prime Minister Joop den Uyl assumed the EC Presidency on July 1.↩
- Top Secret. A handwritten note at the top of the paper reads: “Used by President as Talking Paper with Giscard 5/18/76.” A draft of this paper, attached to an unsigned May 18 memorandum from Scowcroft to President Ford, indicates that it was prepared in response to President Giscard’s remarks in his May 17 meeting with Ford. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser Files, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, Box 13, 5/15–23/76)↩