296. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Kissinger’s speech to the UN Special Session.]

[Kissinger:] On my UN speech to the Special Session, I would like to present a number of technical proposals. Here are some of them. You agreed on a $200 million fund for an agricultural development fund. We thought it could come from existing allocations. It turns out that isn’t so. This is the only item with budget implications, and it could go into next year’s budget.

We are looking at a new commodity arrangement to stabilize not the prices of commodities but overall earnings. We are looking into using IMF funds. We don’t yet have full agreement within the government on these. The issues are highly technical. We are now coordinating.

We are looking at a tin agreement. Everyone’s okay on that. And one on copper. All are agreed that we can enter negotiations. We have a list of conditions here but we won’t push these to the point of interagency [Page 1018] splits. There are a lot of other noncontroversial items. [He reads them off.]2 The major issues which might come to you are: Earnings stabilization—that’s a new concept. Simon is okay, but Greenspan might object.

President: As I understand, this session is for this specific purpose.

Kissinger: The danger is the underdeveloped will try to railroad their rhetoric in. What I would like to do is to submit a big list, so we would get through the Special Session—since there is no way to discuss all these during the Session. There is almost no way it can impact on this year’s budget.

What I would like to avoid while I’m gone3Cheney said there was uneasiness. I would like to work through Seidman and keep Cheney and Rumsfeld out of it.

President: He is the Secretary of the EPB so he is the right one. Who will he work with?

Kissinger: Enders and Robinson. But I don’t want them to edit the speech itself. I will let them clear every idea, but to give these guys a crack at every sentence is no good.

Brent, will you work with Seidman and Enders?

President: Have your people work with Seidman. And, Brent, you keep me posted on how the discussions are going.

Kissinger: I will give Brent a copy of the book with each issue.

I don’t want to say, though, that the present economic system is the best. That would just turn 30 countries against us.

President: I am interested in practical results. You proceed along these lines.

Kissinger: This session is only an invitation to having technical discussions. I will clear the whole book, but not the drafts.

President: I would like to look at the drafts.

Kissinger: As soon as I have one.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Kissinger’s speech to the

UN Special Session.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, Box 14. Secret; Nodis. The memorandum of conversation indicates the meeting was an “Evening Session.” President Ford and Kissinger met from 6:20 until 7:25 p.m. in the Presidential vacation residence. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary)
  2. Brackets are in the original.
  3. Kissinger was travelling in the Middle East from August 21 to September 3.