152. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford1


  • Letter from French President Giscard d’Estaing on New Economic Summit

President Valery Giscard d’Estaing has written (Tab A)2 on the subject of his proposal for another economic summit of the industrialized democracies. He writes that the meeting, which he called for publicly on the occasion of his talks with Prime Minister Andreotti in December,3 would be of value, taking into account:

  • —the fact that economic recovery and the more favorable growth for 1977 anticipated at the time of the Puerto Rican summit has not been as sustained as earlier hoped for;
  • —the new meeting would permit consideration of joint actions that might be taken in light of current, less favorable developments; and
  • —it would permit an exchange of views on the prospects for the Conference on International Economic Cooperation (CIEC).

President Giscard d’Estaing informs you that he has also proposed the meeting to President-elect Carter.4 In closing, the French President expresses his personal appreciation for the contribution you have made to improve US-French relations.

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In his proposal to the President-elect, Giscard d’Estaing suggested “the first part of the second quarter of 1977” as a good time for such a meeting, to be held in Europe. President-elect Carter has publicly endorsed the idea of a new economic summit. In his response, through State channels, to Giscard d’Estaing,5 he suggested that perhaps “the end of the second quarter of 1977” to be a better time for the meeting, stressing his desire to have adequate preparations, noting that he would be giving his early attention to the U.S. and international economic situation upon taking office and suggesting that arrangements should be made for experts of the countries involved to consider preparatory meetings for the summit.

This memorandum is for your information. I will staff separately messages to selected Heads of State including Giscard, which will present an opportunity to acknowledge his words of support as you leave office. No action is required at this time.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 141, Geopolitical File, France, Chronological File, Oct. 1976–Jan. 1977, n.d. Confidential. Sent for information. A stamped notation indicates Ford saw the memorandum, which he initialed.
  2. Tab A, President Giscard’s December 20, 1976, letter to President Ford, is attached but not printed.
  3. President Giscard publicly proposed the convening of a third economic summit on December 2, 1976.
  4. On November 2, 1976, James Earl Carter, Jr., was elected the 39th President of the United States.
  5. President-elect Carter’s response to President Giscard was transmitted in telegram 581 to Paris, January 4, 1977. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)