263. Minutes of the Secretary of State’s Meeting on the World Food Conference1


Secretary Kissinger: I have read the various papers that keep wandering in and out of this folder. Whenever I have read a batch, a new batch appears.

Mr. Enders: It’s the zealous secretariat. They keep asking for new ones.

Secretary Kissinger: Would you like to lead off for a few minutes?

Ambassador Martin: Yes, Mr. Secretary.

First, I would just like to say a couple of words about what I call atmospherics, what our chances are of making this a cooperative meeting to solve problems rather than a typical UN confrontation session. And so far, there are four things on the horizon that we worry about in this respect.

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One is will we get thrown at us again the Declaration of Principles from the UN Special Session.2 And it is in the Secretariat document for the conference. We are working with IO.

Secretary Kissinger: For the food conference?

Ambassador Martin: For the food conference, that is right.

Secretary Kissinger: What is the relevance to the food conference? Ambassador Martin: Well, it calls for certain new international economic order actions, and the creation of funds, a special fund, and it calls for everybody to take the steps that would help food production and the food situation in developing countries that are called for by the International Declaration of Principles, allegedly agreed. So we have got to find a way to bypass that one and sidetrack it. The Secretariat is sympathetic. But whether we can get the LDCs to stick to substance and stay away from politics remains to be seen.

Secretary Kissinger: Well, if they want any help, they better stick to substance. They are the ones that need the help, not we.

Ambassador Martin: That is right. That is the basis of our approach.

Secretary Kissinger: And I think they better understand that. Ambassador Martin: The second one is what we do about food aid this year, whether there are going to be people that think we have done poorly. This gets right around to the health question.

Secretary Kissinger: When I saw Feldman, I wondered whatever happened to Carl Maw. Is he still in the building?

Mr. Feldman: He is on leave this week.


Ambassador Martin: Well, there is the question of whether with troubles in Bangladesh or India we are doing what we think we ought to do about food aid. And related to this is the question of the MSAs, the most seriously affected. We talked about making a special session, concentrating on emergency problems and the MSAs. And unless we have food aid, we have not much to offer them. The decision on this has been put off, as the document mentions. But how the U.S. decides on this will certainly affect the atmosphere towards our leadership at the food conference.

Secretary Kissinger: Now, which way can we decide on that? Isn’t the program you have on PL 480 going to take a big—what are you talking about?

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Ambassador Martin: If we decide the way this program comes up, I think we have a chance of coming through very nicely. But there is a lot of opposition.

Secretary Kissinger: Who is opposing it?

Ambassador Martin: OMB and Treasury.

Secretary Kissinger: On what grounds—budgetary?

Mr. Enders: Budget grounds. And not really on inflation grounds, because I think there is a fair consensus—not complete—that concessional exports of this magnitude would not really change U.S. domestic prices. But it is half-a-billion dollars of additional budget money at a time when we are trying to reduce the budget. The time to take this on, Mr. Secretary, is probably just after the next crop report, which most expectations are will be somewhat better, and create a somewhat better atmosphere for the discussion and decision than this last one. This is the next crop report—September 11. In the course of that week, we will suggest that you structure some meeting with Simon and Ash and ultimately presumably with the President for that purpose.

Ambassador Martin: The fourth one is export controls, which are being actively debated in the government at the moment. If we introduce export controls on corn, after the Department of Agriculture has assured everybody, as they have over the weekend, that the U.S. will have more meat to eat next year than we had this year, it won’t give us a very good posture politically.

So that these are the atmospherics which will affect the ability of the U.S. to make this a constructive conference. I just wanted to mention them. They are not directly our responsibility. But they do affect how things come out.

On the issues, the reserve issue is in many respects a major one, if not the major one. We got agreement Friday from CIEP to go ahead with a proposal to try to line up the eight or ten or maybe twelve most important grain-exporting, exporting, producing countries, to announce at the conference that they are going ahead and establish an international network of national reserves, and indicate the general principles on which they expect to operate.3 We start discussing this with Lardinois,4 of the Common Market, who will be in tomorrow. The Canadians are coming down on Wednesday.5 We have made arrangements for bilateral talks with the Soviets in Rome, starting September 16. They are in many ways the critical group. The others have agreed in principle to something like this. And in connection with the USSR [Page 920] attitude, the question has arisen that CIEP has asked be studied by an interdepartmental group as to whether the U.S. would be willing to and could effectively organize some system of sanctions or carrot-and-stick to persuade people to participate that ought to, with the Soviets particularly in mind. This is partly a political question—whether we would want to bind ourselves to limit sales to the Soviets at some point of grains. It is partly a practical question, given the possibility of diversion of grains through various channels, like oil. You could really operate a sanctions system to make it meaningful. But this is being studied at the moment. Our guidance on the political question will be quite important.

With respect to how the U.S. would carry out its obligations under such a system, at CIEP, on Friday, they agreed that I could tell anyone who asked that the U.S. would carry out whatever responsibilities the burden-sharing exercise gave to the U.S.—putting off for the future coming to grips with the question of public stockpiling.

Secretary Kissinger: When you say that CIEP agrees, who the hell is that, operationally?

Ambassador Martin: Eberle was in the chair. Tom was there. It is an interagency group. It had been checked out with Butz. And the interagency people were there. I think that in the back of some people’s minds, in postponing this issue, contrary to what we had thought a couple of months ago when we were discussing it, is a good bit of talk around that after the food conference the probabilities are that Secretary Butz will no longer be around, and it will be much easier to solve. He has told people that he wanted to retire shortly after he was 65, which he was July 4. And the expectation is by the end of the year he will decide he has had it.

Secretary Kissinger: Is Butz an obstacle to these things? I found him to be rather enlightened.

Ambassador Martin: It is a little hard to say. I found him on some occasions saying reasonable things and on other occasions, mostly in public speeches, he is very adamant against any public stockpiling.

Secretary Kissinger: It is in the public—

Ambassador Martin: It is the public aspect. And I think most people would feel, in the other agencies, as well as in State, and in other governments, that unless the U.S. is willing as a last resort to hold publicly there is no assurance that we would have the stocks that they would like to be able to depend upon—that we would like to have, whether for exports or food aid or other emergency purposes.

Mr. Enders: This is a major element in the politics of one of the farm groups, the American Farm Bureau. And they are adamantly against government-held stocks, and return to the former system. This [Page 921] is what Butz is responding to. I think he is, however, putting himself in a position where he can be end-played on this, in which after agreeing to the level of stocks that should be held, then you go to the subsidiary question of how do you hold them. And when you see they cannot be held really any other way, he agrees to it.

Secretary Kissinger: My approach to these problems is not to register bureaucratic consensus. What I want from this group is to tell me what the right answer is. And then I am perfectly willing to take it to the President. I don’t care what CIEP or anyone else is willing to agree to. I would like to know what is right. I would like to make up my own mind as to what the correct answer is. And if it is at all in the ball park—of course, we cannot push something that is totally impossible. But if I can understand what is needed, then I am perfectly willing to take it up with the President.

Ambassador Martin: Well, I think the State team felt what we got from CIEP on Friday was satisfactory and did provide us a negotiating basis to proceed.

Mr. Enders: I think we can be quite precise, can’t we, Ed—that what we need at this stage, and through the World Food Conference, is agreement to a target level of stocks, and that afterwards, if Butz or others are still resisting, then we will need a presidential decision to overrule him on government-held stocks. But he probably is willing to go along later on on that.

Ambassador Martin: And we have agreement with Agriculture on a range of target levels to talk to other countries about, which we think is adequate—30 million to 60 million tons of reserves on top of working stocks.

Secretary Kissinger: I counted the number of endorsements on this paper, and I find seven. Now, what I want to know is, does that represent the obtainable consensus in the Department, or does this represent—

Mr. Enders: The lowest common denominator.

Mr. Murphy: Or the best advice.

Secretary Kissinger: I don’t know enough about this subject to have an opinion of my own. But contrary to accepted bureaucratic practice, I tend to believe what seven people can agree to is not the best that can be produced. (Laughter) So I would like to know—

Ambassador Martin: A very wise position.

Secretary Kissinger: I would like to know what ideas were suppressed in order to get this on paper, and what ideas were rejected.

Ambassador Martin: Well, I did the first draft, and I cannot think of any that were—I did the first draft of the reserve paper, and I didn’t have any problems.

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Secretary Kissinger: Are there any ideas around this table that ought to be considered that are not part of this program?

Mr. Enders: We have put off, I think it is fair to say, in this paper, one of the key issues, because we have not got intellectually far enough along on it. It is mentioned there, but the answer is not given. And that is what is the balance of this negotiation. Basically we can put it this way. If you are going towards a World Food Conference in which the United States and some other countries will be saying we should hold more reserves internationally—basically what we would also be saying is that other countries should hold the larger part of the increased reserves. Now, the question is—where does the leverage come from? There is some leverage in the plight of the underfed peoples of the world. But that is not going to swing it. And you will need in addition to that the kind of thing that Ed has talked about—a clear-cut commitment by the United States to hold more reserves—we have got to do something ourselves.

Secretary Kissinger: How much more are we prepared to hold under this concept than we are now holding?

Ambassador Martin: We are now down to minimum working stocks, actually. And what we are talking about here is a range of between 12 million and 20 million tons of real reserves. Working stocks now are about in the order of 30 million tons. We are talking about twelve or twenty more. This is far less than we held during the surplus period of the last twenty years—up to ’72.

Mr. Enders: So that the idea would be to get everybody to go up, but to get other countries, including importers, Europeans and Japanese, to go up more, and to get the Soviet Union, which has held inadequate stocks, to go up really the most.

Now, what this means is that some additional leverage has got to be found to carry this out.

Secretary Kissinger: Why is it in our interest to get the Soviet Union to go up most?

Mr. Enders: So we don’t have the economic burden of carrying stocks that equalize supply for the Soviet Union, which is the most variable of the major grain consumers.

Ambassador Martin: About 80 percent of the fluctuation in production of grains in the last fifteen years has been in the Soviet Union. They are the big fluctuating factor.

Mr. Enders: We have been holding the stocks that make it come out right for them.

Mr. Feldman: May I add one legal dimension. Although we have technical language that is broad enough to acquire stocks, the whole purpose of the program over the years has been for price support domestically. So to go to a new program which is to provide an international [Page 923] reserve, there probably would need to be a new mandate from Congress. But in any event, the issue will be seen in terms of price supports and in terms of pushing domestic prices up even higher. So you see the political implication of getting our prices up higher to provide a reserve for the Soviet Union.

Mr. Enders: What happened when the Soviet Union came in here heavily two years ago was that it solved its problem in a new way—its problem of fluctuations in grain supply. Before it had reduced the livestock herds. This time it held it on, supported it, but did so at the expense of massive pre-emptive buying in the United States that has the consequences that you know about in the United States—inflation, unavailability of PL 480.

Secretary Kissinger: How much did they buy?

Mr. Enders: I think about two million tons.

Ambassador Martin: Something in the order of 15 to 16.

Mr. Morris: They took up almost our entire reserve stock.

Mr. Enders: And that solved their problem.

Now, the structure of this—

Secretary Kissinger: You say our reserve stock now is about 30 million tons?

Ambassador Martin: That is working reserves. This is what the food system, the processors, need, just to keep going.

Secretary Kissinger: In effect, when we say we want to get stocks of 20 million, we want to get back to what we were in ’72.

Mr. Enders: Yes.

Ambassador Martin: It would not take us back to that level.

Mr. Morris: Not quite that far. We had in the past, the late sixties, much higher levels than that.

Secretary Kissinger: Higher than 20 million?

Mr. Morris: Yes.

Secretary Kissinger: How much?

Mr. Birnberg: In the sixties we were over 100 million tons.

Secretary Kissinger: What happened to the 100 million?

Mr. Birnberg: It was successively worked down.

Mr. Morris: At the end of the sixties, you had retirement of production.

Ambassador Martin: We took land out of production.

Mr. Enders: This was unintended and undesired.

Secretary Kissinger: What was unintended?

Mr. Enders: Having the 100 million.

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Ambassador Martin: It was a by-product of poor agricultural legislation. It didn’t work.

Mr. Enders: So the key element here will be convincing the Soviet Union first, Japan and the Europeans second, to hold substantially more stocks, and to take therefore more of the economic burden of equalizing these demand and supply fluctuations.

Secretary Kissinger: But it would push prices up in Western Europe, too.

Mr. Enders: They will have to pay for it somehow—budgetarily or through increased prices. So we need some leverage to make good—this doesn’t have to be worked out at the World Food Conference itself—but we need some leverage to make good the targets which must be spread around. And that is the key problem, the sort of underlying heart of the problem, I think, in the negotiation.

Mr. Birnberg: You could argue if you do have such a reserve program in the future with minimum working and reserve levels, you will give greater stability to prices and to market situations, so the Europeans and others will not be—

Mr. Enders: The others want us to pay for it, and we want them to pay for it.

Secretary Kissinger: The sanction you have in mind is that we would not sell grain to countries that do not establish the stocks that are needed beyond a certain point.

Ambassador Martin: Or give them a lower priority, or put on an export tax so they pay a little more. There are various alternate ways one might do it.

Mr. Enders: That’s right. There also must be, however, at the same time, Ed, I think, a system by which countries that do participate in the arrangement draw down the stocks that they have agreed to establish.

Ambassador Martin: Oh, yes.

Mr. Enders: So what we need here, Mr. Secretary, is going to be something that is very much like the IEP. We are going to need a closed group that has a certain set of rules on how it behaves. Now, this would have the side benefit that the kind of problem we face now on export controls would no longer arise, because we would have a set of rules to govern this. And we have a very severe program in export controls.

Ambassador Buffum: Would these sanctions be consistent with the MFN?

Mr. Enders: No, they would be non-MFN sanctions. They would be conditional MFN sanctions. They would have to cut through the existing structure of the GATT—would have to be an entirely new notion.

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Secretary Kissinger: How would you do that legally?

Mr. Enders: You mean under our own legislation?

Secretary Kissinger: Internationally. You would have to get a new international agreement.

Mr. Enders: A new international agreement.

Secretary Kissinger: As I understand it, the big issues are the level of reserve stocks, a domestic issue, how we hold our reserve stocks, sanctions—

Ambassador Martin: The distribution of reserve—how you decide how much each should hold.

Secretary Kissinger: Do we have any ideas how to do that?

Ambassador Martin: Yes.

Mr. Enders: Burden-sharing.

Secretary Kissinger: That’s a slogan.

Ambassador Martin: There have been three measures used by Agriculture and our group where they have spelled out what they mean.

One is the matter of how much each country can afford to hold—to finance.

A second is production fluctuations, what degree of responsibility each country has as a producer, and the difficulties that come up in grain.

And the third is the proportion of exports and imports, how much it is logical for a commercial operator to hold, either as a seller or buyer.

And some combination of these three would come up probably with a pretty reasonable answer to someone sitting aside.

The Soviets and the Canadians are hit by the production fluctuations. The Japanese have no production fluctuation, but are very important importers and have a relatively high GDP. This would give us, as the U.S., something between 20 and 30 percent of the total, depending on how you combine these three.

Mr. Enders: Which compares, Ed, with what, four or five years ago?

Ambassador Martin: With 80 percent.

Mr. Enders: This is a dramatic measure of the problem of this negotiation.

Secretary Kissinger: Yes. But our absolute level will nevertheless rise substantially.

Ambassador Martin: From the present.

Secretary Kissinger: That is what we are working from.

Ambassador Martin: 12 to 20 million tons. One of the problems which we will have to work out is in terms of a supply, the production [Page 926] record—when you can purchase for stocks rather than use for consumption, for exports or for food aid.

There is an interdepartmental group going to be studying this question as well.

Mr. Murphy: Food aid itself might be used for building up—

Ambassador Martin: This would be in the developing countries, one use for food aid, to help them, when they cannot afford it, to build stocks.

Secretary Kissinger: Well, what is our view on the World Food Authority?

Ambassador Martin: We have been discussing that at some length. Marei was in with John Hannah, spent an hour with me, he spent an hour with Secretary Butz.6

Secretary Kissinger: I hope he doesn’t think I am going to spend an hour with him.

Ambassador Martin: We have told him it cannot be anything like that.

Secretary Kissinger: Ten minutes.

Ambassador Martin: Yes. He will talk mostly about his World Food Authority. That is what he wants to sell.

Secretary Kissinger: What is our view?

Ambassador Martin: In agreement with the other agencies, our view is to be at this time neutral. We want to learn more about how he thinks it might operate.

Secretary Kissinger: What do we really think? We are entitled to have a view, no matter what the other agencies say.

Ambassador Martin: I know we are. I think that Tom and I were rather favorably disposed. I think IO is somewhat more reserved in terms of overlap with the Food and Agriculture Organization. This is also of concern to Butz. But we think that if we can get a food reserve system, if we can get an agreement on food aid coordination, which are two of the functions of this body, and if he can give some reasonable prospect that he can get some of the Arab oil-export money to be collected by his proposed Agricultural Development Fund, and substitute this for half-a-dozen other fund proposals that are before the conference, this may be something worth setting up and going into. It has some attractions.

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Mr. Lewis: Isn’t the issue also, Ed, somewhat similar to the one we have with the oil negotiation, that if we can get an agreement, we are going to need some kind of organization really to enforce it over time?

Ambassador Martin: You have to have a body someplace or other.

Secretary Kissinger: Why can’t the FAO do it?

Ambassador Martin: The general feeling of Marei, John Hannah and many of the rest of us is that it is a fairly incompetent organization, that it has too many members, that would all have to have their fingers in the pie.

Secretary Kissinger: Do you think we should say that at the FAO headquarters?

Ambassador Martin: Well, we are not meeting at the FAO headquarters, but at the Italian Government Building. But Marei is very frank on this subject.

Mr. Enders: Ed, isn’t the issue that Marei—the World Food Authority strikes me as rather ambitious. We need a follow-through mechanism. The only mechanism that will do a better job than the FAO, which has technical competence but no will and decision-making authority, would be a limited membership group with some coherence, and probably based on constituencies of some kind, probably on the IBRD model.

Ambassador Buffum: FAO is not by any means the most competent international organization. I suspect that you could put into it, however, a new mechanism that would be given specific authority for this kind of coordinating job that we hope will emerge—particularly if reserves are provided for.

But I would join both Ed and Tom in saying we ought to stay neutral until we see exactly what Marei has in mind by way of structuring this new organization.

Mr. Enders: I don’t think we should stay neutral. I think we should think about putting forward our own notion, which should be quite definitely that we want a limited-size body.

Ambassador Martin: As far as the reserve scheme, there is no question about that. We are agreed—we want a limited size body. We would like a food aid coordinating body limited to the donors. On the fund, the Marei proposal is that voting in the fund is based on contributions. It is a strictly—

Secretary Kissinger: Could I see a paper of what a good world food authority would look like, what our idea of a world food authority would be.

Ambassador Martin: Certainly.

Secretary Kissinger: What I am also trying to get clear is the following. What is it we have to have decided by the time of the General [Page 928] Assembly?7 And what is it that we would say in addition at the World Food Conference? Because I have to decide whether I am going to go to the World Food Conference. What is it that I could say there that I would not already have said at the General Assembly?

Ambassador Martin: I think offhand of two things. One—we might have the AID appropriation for food and nutrition, which would be a major increase. This is what you mentioned in your speech at the General Assembly.

Secretary Kissinger: That would be in the newspapers.

Ambassador Martin: Yes, probably. Though lots of the people there will not have read the newspapers. The other thing is to be able to announce our preparedness to go ahead with an international reserve program.

Secretary Kissinger: You don’t think we will have that by the time of the General Assembly?

Ambassador Martin: No.

Secretary Kissinger: What is going to happen—

Ambassador Martin: We will be working on that all through September and October.

Mr. Enders: I think that would be the wrong time to announce it. It would be too early and lose the leverage on the others.

Ambassador Buffum: The main thing, Mr. Secretary, is the new dollar target for food aid—$1.5 billion. If we can announce that then, that will be the big splash.

Ambassador Martin: That is the key thing for us, too—to have that done then.

Ambassador Buffum: There is one other philosophical point I wonder if we are clear on. Would we join in establishing food reserves if the Soviet Union refuses. Obviously we should try and include them. But are we determined now that we don’t play ball unless they do. Because that will affect our whole political stance at the conference.

Secretary Kissinger: We can do it in one of two ways. We can either refuse to join unless they do. Or we can go ahead and then put penalties on them if they don’t.

Ambassador Martin: This is really the sanction question. I would like to operate on the theory that they are a must, and if they don’t join, we are going to use sanctions.

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Secretary Kissinger: Sanctions simply mean as I understand it that we give higher priority to the more needy countries, that we won’t let the Soviet Union preempt our stocks if they didn’t make an effort to—

Ambassador Martin: It would mean some form of export controls in order to limit sales to the Soviet Union through commercial channels.

Mr. Murphy: It would also mean, I take it, higher prices for the Soviet Union.

Ambassador Martin: It might or might not. That is an alternate way of doing it.

Mr. Murphy: That is another possibility.

Ambassador Martin: The export tax idea.

Mr. Feldman: Their participation would require—

Secretary Kissinger: Then do we have to apply the same thing to the PRC?

Mr. Enders: Yes. We would have to have this on the outsiders, and the LDCs would undoubtedly have to have special treatment. But it seems to me any outsider—because there will be others—maybe Japan will want to be an outsider.

Ambassador Martin: What we have now is a list of countries that we think are must countries to make it work, which would certainly have sanctions if you agree to sanctions. There is another list of desirables on which the PRC is, on whom there would be a question, whether they are important enough to invoke sanctions. Others we would say it is up to them, we don’t care. Most of the developing countries are not participating so they won’t clutter up the operation.

Secretary Kissinger: Could I see a paper on that subject, so I understand it.

Ambassador Martin: Yes, sir. This is the declaration with the list of countries. Would you like a paper describing it?

Secretary Kissinger: I want a paper on sanctions, and on the operation of the reserve scheme.

Ambassador Martin: Fine.

Secretary Kissinger: Let me ask this again. Has the Policy Planning Staff worked on this?

Mr. Lewis: Yes, sir. Bob Morris in particular, and Win and I and others have been involved.

You asked about other ideas not on the table. I must say that personally I am very anxious about the thought that this $1.5 billion is a sufficient target for our food aid proposal. I realize that there are constraints, budgetary and otherwise. But given the impending disasters in Bangladesh, and likely disasters in lands elsewhere, and our continued [Page 930] desire to use PL 480 for political purposes as well as humanitarian purposes, I just don’t think the commodity increase that that $1.5 billion represents is going to come close to the real needs for the next twelve months.

Secretary Kissinger: How much of a percentage increase is it?

Mr. Lewis: About 33 percent increase in commodities, and 50 percent increase in money, because the price has gone up. So it is not all that much.

Secretary Kissinger: Except my guess is if we can hold this, we will be doing very well.

Mr. Lewis: I’m afraid you are right. When the Indians start talking about a million tons, and the Bangladesh thing looks worse and worse—and the political commitments we already have in Egypt and elsewhere, which we cannot meet completely by any means—I don’t think frankly that our $1.5 billion is going to make the splash that Bill suggests it would in New York, or really meet the real needs, which is more important.

Mr. Enders: Well, it is, certainly, relative to what other countries are doing. It is going to make a tremendous splash. Because that is a very large increase in the total AID requirement, which is now estimated from one to two billion as a result of this crisis, with the hardest hit countries. That increase would cover a substantial portion of it in itself. In absolute terms, it may not be what you regard as a sufficient program. But in view of the fact that nobody else is doing anything—

Ambassador Martin: That estimate was prior to the monsoon in India and the floods in Bangladesh.

Mr. Murphy: On the other hand, Tom, you have to recognize also the extent to which you are not going to use that increase for the MSAs cannot very well contribute to the deficiency. If you get the increase and you use it in Korea and Indonesia instead of Ouagadougou or Timbuctu, or those places that are really hurting, you are not going to make a splash that the figure would seem to sound like.

Mr. Enders: We have to use it both ways—we use the figure overall for one constituency and we use the deliveries for the other.

Mr. Birnberg: There will be a substantial increase over last year.

Secretary Kissinger: Spoken like a Yale man.


Mr. Lewis: But in one of those earlier papers, Mr. Secretary, that you have been taxed with over the last few weeks, this philosophical—

Secretary Kissinger: Why did they all disappear from my folder. Can I have them back.

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Mr. Lewis: One of the issues posed pretty starkly was one we have not discussed here today, and that is how we can square the circle of continuing to use PL 480 at large or medium sized levels, for major policy political objectives, as we want to do, and at the same time meet these MSA issues, because the countries are rather different countries. They are not very synonymous. There are a few overlaps, but not many. And I don’t think we have any kind of real agreement, philosophically, in the government on this issue at present. And the smaller the pie, the tougher the issue.

Ambassador Martin: The most restricted proposal came from Chet Cooper.8

Secretary Kissinger: Which is that?

Ambassador Martin: Stick to the present money figure, even though that will be lower than the President’s program quantity figure.

Mr. Enders: It was an irresponsible proposal—seriously.

Secretary Kissinger: That is absolutely out of the question.

Ambassador Martin: I think so—completely.

Mr. Enders: It would have involved cutting PL 480 for Cambodia in half, which means the country goes down the drain.

Mr. Murphy: But it is indicative of the attitude that you eventually are going to confront, Mr. Secretary.

Secretary Kissinger: I am not worried about that, if I have a good program. And if you gentlemen can come up with a good program, I think we stand a fair chance of getting the President’s agreement.

Now, would you do these additional papers—because it will be helpful to me.

Ambassador Martin: May I ask one administrative question. Secretary Butz asked me to be deputy chief of the delegation. Is that agreeable to you?

Secretary Kissinger: Certainly.

Ambassador Martin: Okay.

Secretary Kissinger: Now, when does the conference open?

Mr. Martin: November 5. The U.S. is now scheduled to make an opening statement, going through the delegations, probably on the morning or afternoon of the 6th—rather early. We are the fifth or sixth speaker, I think.

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Secretary Kissinger: If I wanted to do it, I would have to be there on the sixth.

Ambassador Martin: Yes, sir. The first day is mostly ceremonial. It also happens to be election day.

Secretary Kissinger: Is anybody else going to be represented by their Foreign Minister?

Ambassador Martin: Not that we have heard thus far. But we haven’t got very much of a rundown as yet on who is coming. Most of the countries I have visited, it will be the Minister of Agriculture.

Mr. Enders: I would think that the political effect of your being there, Mr. Secretary—obviously it is a major expenditure of your time—would be very great in two senses. One, to show the other countries the United States really is serious about this. And two, in terms of our ability to drive the follow-through across.

Secretary Kissinger: I have got to go to India and the Soviet Union. The only way I could possibly go is if at the end of that trip I wound up in Rome. And if I had the speech written before I went on the trip—because I certainly would not be able to do much on the trip.

Mr. Enders: Does about the sixth fit in with your plans?

Mr. Jenkins: Arriving back from depressed areas, it would be particularly timely.

Secretary Kissinger: I could just leave later for the other trip.

Can it be set on the morning of the sixth?

Ambassador Martin: I think that could be arranged.

Secretary Kissinger: So I could be home in the evening—the evening of the sixth?

Ambassador Martin: Yes, sir.

Secretary Kissinger: Okay.

(Whereupon at four p.m. the meeting was adjourned.)

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Entry 5177, Box 4, Secretary’s Meeting on the World Food Conference, August 26, 1974. Secret. According to an attached list, the following people attended the meeting: Deputy Legal Adviser Mark Feldman, Policy Planning Staff Deputy Director Samuel Lewis, Policy Planning Staff member Robert Morris, Buffum, Enders, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations Kempton Jenkins, Martin, Murphy (not further identified) and Agency for International Development staff member Richard Birnberg.
  2. See Document 257.
  3. The decision was made on Friday, August 23; see Document 262.
  4. Pierre Lardinois was the EC Commissioner for Agriculture and Fisheries.
  5. August 28.
  6. Sayed Ahmed Marei, Secretary-General of the World Food Conference, proposed the creation of a new international organization, to be called the World Food Authority, to address the problem of hunger in less developed countries. (The New York Times, August 28, 1974, p. 33)
  7. The 29th Session of the United Nations General Assembly began on September 17.
  8. See, for example, Document 258 for Cooper’s views on P.L. 480.