35. Editorial Note
On March 16, 1973, Group of Ten financial representatives, along with representatives from Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Bank for International Settlements, and the European Commission met at the Ministerial level in Paris, where they gave their blessing to the March 11 establishment of the European Economic Community snake (see footnote 6, Document 32) The text of the final communiqué was printed in The New York Times, March 17, 1973, page 41.
The previous evening, President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury William Simon discussed the resolution of the crisis over the telephone. When Kissinger asked him whether the agreement would “drive the Europeans together,” Simon replied, “Well, basically—You’ve only got half of them together and while they sit there and they say by golly, six of them are now floating jointly. The UK, Italy, and several others, Canada, et cetera, are all floating by themselves and enjoying it very much. Now if over a long period of time this float worked properly, then perhaps they would be together.” Simon continued, “But I don’t know how they [Page 126] can work that out, I truly don’t.” Kissinger asserted that “we’ve put ourselves in a good strategic position. We couldn’t bust the Common float without getting into a hell of a political fight.” Simon agreed and Kissinger continued: “But we should create conditions in which the Common float is as hard to work as possible.” Simon and Kissinger agreed that a policy of non-intervention would be appropriate to that goal. Simon added, “Or intervening at some times to help some people but not others.” Kissinger responded, “Okay. Now will you police that for me?” When Simon agreed, Kissinger replied, “I mean, quite seriously, I don’t want this handled as a technical-economic matter.” Kissinger continued: “I think from now on we have to throw our weight around to help ourselves,” adding, “And then they’ll start paying attention to us again.” Kissinger told Simon that he had “come to that view with reluctance but once you move, I think you have always to move strongly.” Simon agreed with all of Kissinger’s remarks and they also agreed to discuss the appropriate strategy with Secretary of the Treasury George Shultz when he returned. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Box 19)