293. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • IEA and OECD Ministerial Meetings


  • State
    • Secretary Kissinger
    • Deputy Secretary Ingersoll
    • Under Secretary Robinson
    • Assistant Secretary Enders
    • Mr. Ernest H. Preeg (Notetaker), Director, EUR/RPE
  • Treasury
    • Secretary Simon
    • Under Secretary Bennett
    • Assistant Secretary Parsky
    • Assistant Secretary Cooper
  • White House
    • L. William Seidman, Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs
  • NSC
    • Mr. Robert D. Hormats, Deputy for International Economic Affairs, NSC

Secretary Kissinger: We must find a better method for dealing with speeches. There is no way to get a speech written with such a large group of people involved. Is every passage marked in red to be negotiated?

Mr. Seidman: We tried to pick out the major issues. We have substantial agreement that there are three basic issues we need to consider.

Secretary Kissinger: I understand these to be the new economic era, commodity policy, and buffer stocks. The rest can be negotiated by the various parties. I don’t pretend to run the State Department. Enders runs State while Bill lets Parsky run Treasury. On this basis, we will be at war in three weeks.

With regard to the new economic era let me explain my view. I believe we have to avoid an international dispute where Americans say the existing system is great and the LDCs call for a new economic order. This is a losing wicket. The Europeans won’t support us. Nobody will support us, particularly since there are so many socialist governments [Page 1007] in industrialized countries. And given the fact of Marxist domination in the thinking of LDCs, it is suicide to defend the existing system. We would be like the Austrians in the 19th century.

We can take concrete issues—like energy—on technical grounds and make progress. In fact, we cannot resist the new economic order if we don’t act on concrete issues. My view is to stake out our positions so as to prevent people like Uyl2 running around poor-mouthing us. We should be more forthcoming on the rhetoric, and have substance that supports a more positive response. As for the specifics of the substance, I won’t fall on my sword on particular technical points.

As for the text of the speech, on page 14 you are against me saying we want a system that we “perceive to be just.”

Secretary Simon: That is not a problem for us, but we do oppose reference to new economic era, new attitudes, new approaches etc.

Secretary Kissinger: Okay, I am willing to change from new to “willing to deal with imagination and compassion.” On pages 23–24, for example, all I want to achieve is to sound forthcoming without linking to specific programs.

Under Secretary Bennett: More forthcoming, yes, but not new.

Secretary Kissinger: I am willing to fix the speech so as to convey a forthcoming attitude and fight where necessary on substance.

Assistant Secretary Parsky: We have said commodity by commodity approach. But when we say new programs, it means something else. You should be forthcoming, but in a way …

Secretary Kissinger: Parsky is moving ahead in his thinking—from 1860 to 1865.

Under Secretary Bennett: The other industrialized countries want to coddle the OPEC.

Secretary Kissinger: No, they haven’t been bad on energy. On the broader North/South question I want to split them. The biggest challenge in the UN is the non-committed countries. That is why we have Moynihan going up there to take them on.3 On Portugal, we are isolated even though we are right. I would like to split the LDCs at the UN Special Session and keep some of the industrialized countries with us. And I am willing to give them something on rhetoric to accomplish this.

Can we rework this draft this afternoon? Enders and Parsky should be able to work this out together.

[Page 1008]

Mr. Seidman: The President would like to see the draft. Alan Greenspan also has an interest.

Secretary Kissinger: Yes, but not for the President to arbitrate. We should have an agreed State/Treasury draft to put forward.

Now regarding buffer stocks …

Secretary Simon: The problem on buffer stocks is not only us, but

Burns also …

Secretary Kissinger: Okay, this is not an essential point. We will put it to the EPB or somewhere else later, for decision.

Assistant Secretary Parsky: There is also the question of earnings stabilization.

Secretary Kissinger: I would like to keep something in on this one. The new language seems fine. It merely conveys the thought we are willing to discuss this subject.

Assistant Secretary Parsky: I agree. Now with regard to the introduction to the commodities section, if we say “new”, there are many in the government who have an interest in such a change in policy.

Secretary Kissinger: I want a more forthcoming posture now. The substance will be needed before the UN Special Session. Let’s get together on this. We need a small State/Treasury/White House group to do this. We should not kick this issue into big forums.4

Secretary Simon: I agree.

Assistant Secretary Parsky: With respect to the Agricultural Development Fund, the President is committed to it5 but the impression in this speech is that there is new money.

Assistant Secretary Enders: It is not a new budget item, but it is an increase above the 1974 level.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Kissinger’s OECD speech.]

Meeting ended 4:15 p.m.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820125–0304. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Preeg on June 2 and approved in S on June 5. The meeting took place in the Secretary of State’s office.
  2. Joop den Uyl was Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1973 to 1977.
  3. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was appointed U.S. Representative to the United Nations on June 10 and entered on duty on June 30.
  4. For the texts of Kissinger’s statements and informal remarks at the IEA and OECD Ministerial meetings, as well as the IEA communiqué and the OECD communiqué and declaration, see Department of State Bulletin, June 23, 1975, pp. 837–858. Excerpts from his two speeches were printed in The New York Times, May 29, 1975, p. 19.
  5. On April 21, President Ford discussed the International Agricultural Development Fund with Director General of the World Food Council John Hannah. The President told Hannah: “Basically, this idea makes sense. I think that it is feasible in the Congress and that it can be sold in this country.” (Ford Library, L. William Seidman Papers, Box 113, Seidman Subject File, Agriculture 1/75–7/75)