157. Memorandum for the President’s File by Secretary of the Treasury Shultz1


  • Meeting of Wednesday, February 7, 1973, 3:30 p.m. with the President, Congressman Wilbur D. Mills and Secretary Shultz
The President explored Mills’ interest in having the President appear some time at Hendrix College (Mills’ alma mater) and Mills assured him he would be welcome at any time. Mills noted the interest at the college in training people for careers involving work abroad.
The President outlined to Mills his hope for a personal relationship that would be characterized by candid discussion between the two of them. The President expressed his desire to explore problems in advance (tax proposals for example) so that the President’s proposals would be in the ballpark.
The following points on the trade bill were made:
Mills notes MFN problem with Russia and suggests that the President use Congressional attitudes as a bargaining lever.
Mills expressed view that protectionist pressures are strong and therefore we must be wary in introducing a trade bill.
Mills suggests the President impose a surcharge to stop the flood of imports, with a declining percentage over three years: 15 percent–10 percent–5 percent.
Mills commented on pension legislation allied to the trade bill and suggested provision for a pooling arrangement among contractors in an area.
The President expressed the view that Generalized Preferences should be drawn in a manner that favors Latin America and Mills agreed.
Mills welcomed the consultation but said the President must do what he thinks is right than seek endlessly for a consensus.
The following points were made on taxes:
The President stated his commitment to relief of the property tax on the elderly and of the burden of tuition to private education. Mills agreed.
Mills expressed his desire to get the Government out of the position where it takes more than 50 percent of any person’s income and allied this to his desire to block conversion of income into capital gains. He would also apply his 50 percent rule to estate and gift taxes. His proposed method of achieving these goals seemed obscure to me.
The meeting was most cordial in tone.
George P.Shultz
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, Staff Member & Office Files, President’s Office Files, Box 91, President’s Meeting File, Memoranda for the President’s File, Beginning Feb 4 (1973). No classification marking. The meeting took place in the Oval Office. The President met with Shultz and Ehrlichman from 3:15 to 3:44 p.m., at which time Mills entered the room and Ehrlichman left. The President then met with Shultz and Mills from 3:44 to 5:11 p.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)