269. Message From the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs (Enders) to Secretary of State Kissinger1

Tohak. Subject: World Food Conference Speech.

Prior to the 11:00 a.m. meeting of the Economic Policy Board with the President, Simon and Seidman agreed that we don’t really have disagreements on the speech that need to be brought to the President’s attention. They agreed that I should meet with their representatives to refine their comments on the draft for submission to you this afternoon.

However, the question was raised at the meeting with the President.2 I am not sure by whom or how. Seidman says that Eberle [Page 950] described the speech to the President and indicated the “two or three major issues.” Seidman said the President made these remarks:

The food aid statement should be kept within the parameters of his meeting in September;3
The speech should have a “two-way” construction: we should make clear what we expect others to do; we should take a position of tough bargaining;
Since the speech will be broadcast on election day, the political people in the White House should look at it to make sure “there are no bombshells.”

The President further indicated that he wished to have a copy of the speech (which Simon gave him), and he would like to be kept advised of interagency discussions.

I have now the details of Treasury, OMB, CEA, and CIEP comments. I will be putting them together with all other comments on the text in a consolidated message to be sent to you in the next few hours.4
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, Box 8, 10/25–31/74. Secret; Sensitive; Flash. The original is the text as approved for transmission before a Tohak number was assigned. It was sent via the White House channel.
  2. On October 31, President Ford met with EPB Executive Committee members in the Cabinet Room from 11:28 a.m. until 12:22 p.m. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary) No memorandum of conversation from this meeting was found.
  3. See Document 266.
  4. On October 31, Scowcroft sent a message to Kissinger, Tohak 97, that concluded, after more than 14 pages of specific suggestions and arguments, with a paragraph summarizing overall agency observations: “Butz stated his view that the speech was overly long and contained too much detail. As you know he argues against numbers and targets. The economic officials (Simon, Ash, Eberle, Greenspan) also argue for taking out numbers wherever possible. Seidman asks whether the tone emphasizes too much of what we will do for others, and not really enough of what they must do for us. He wonders how it jibes with the President’s recent emphasis on tough bargaining abroad. Several agencies ask why more isn’t made of population, one of the main determinants of the problem.” (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, Box 8, 10/25–31/74)