89. Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs (McCloskey) to Secretary of State Kissinger1

Security Assistance

You may wish to draw on the following slightly expanded version of our earlier summary wrap-up2 on security assistance when you brief the President tomorrow morning.3 A completely detailed report must still await final language from the conference staffers, who are still at work tonight. On balance, we achieved major concessions on three of four items which we signaled as veto bait, and significant concessions on other controversial elements in the bill,4 including the Symington amendment on nuclear proliferation5 and the special package for Southern Africa. Final floor action on both houses is expected on Tuesday.6

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The outcome of the major issues follows:

Human Rights

The Senate language was adopted, thus eliminating the concurrent resolution veto procedure with regard to human rights. The office of Coordinator of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs within the Department of State was legislatively established and appointment to that office will now require Senate confirmation.

Review of Export Licenses

Reports to Congress will be required for each commercial license for export of major defense equipment of $7 million or more as well as for other defense articles or services sold for $25 million or more. However, the concurrent resolution veto provision affecting licensing of major defense equipment of $7 million or more, as contained in the Senate bill, was eliminated.


The Senate language with regard to discrimination was modified to make the enforcement procedures compatible with the Senate human rights provisions. Thus, instead of a Presidential determination evaluating a situation, only a Presidential report of the facts of a matter would have to be submitted.

$9 Billion Annual Ceiling on Arms Sales

The ceiling was changed from a mandatory limit to a non-binding expression that the Administration should attempt to keep arms sales below a $9 billion level.

Symington Amendment on Nuclear Transfers

This was a major area of disagreement which the conferees had great difficulty resolving. The mandatory assistance cut-off language was retained. If the President, by Executive Order, determines that the termination of assistance would have a serious adverse effect on U.S. vital interests, he may waive the restriction. Each such determination must be reported to Congress, which may then pass legislation on the issue.

Chile—Economic Assistance

With regard to Chile, the absolute prohibition on arms transfers to Chile was modified to allow delivery of the pipeline. Effective on the date of enactment, no new FMS, cash or commercial sales, including spare parts, will be permitted. The two-tier system preferred by the Senate was adopted which limited economic assistance for FY–77 to $27.5 million with an additional $40.5 million if the President certifies to Congress that the government in Chile does not engage in a con[Page 380]sistent pattern of gross violation of international human rights, has permitted investigations, and adequately communicated with prisoners’ families. In addition, the definition of economic assistance was narrowed to exclude disaster assistance, Ex–Im non-concessionary assistance, IAF, Peace Corps, and Title II, PL–480, thereby easing the effect of the ceiling.


Money was included in the bill for Greece and Turkey as provided by the House, although the Cyprus-related limitation on assistance to Turkey was retained.

Security Supporting Assistance

The House version had authorized $1,886.5 million in Security Supporting Assistance for FY–77, which included the additional African money. The Senate authorization was $1,826.5 million. The conferees agreed to a total of $1,860 million with $785 million earmarked for Israel, $750 million earmarked for Egypt, $27.5 million earmarked for Zaire and $27.5 million earmarked for Zambia. All reference with regard to Mozambique was deleted from the bill but language prohibiting funds from being used for military, guerrilla, or para-military activities was retained.


MAP authorization for FY–77 includes $177.3 million for country programs; $70 million for administration; and $30.2 million for IMET (training). Total NOA is $277.5 million, with earmarkings as follows:

Greece $ 33 million
Indonesia 15 million
Jordan 55 million
Korea 8.3 million
Philippines 17 million
Thailand 15 million
Turkey 50 million
Ethiopia 5 million

FMS Authorization and Ceiling on Credits

The conference bill authorizes $740 million and imposes a ceiling of $2,022.1 million (with $1 billion reserved for Israel).

Overall Funding

The bill authorizes the appropriation of slightly over $6 billion for international security assistance programs for fiscal years 1976 and 1977. While not all of our requests were met, very substantial concessions were made by both House and Senate conferees, and, based on in[Page 381]formation currently available, it appears that we have obtained a reasonably good bill which is probably the best we can get. Clearly all the conferees believe that the bill is signable.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Policy File, P760096–0930. Confidential; Limdis. Drafted by Kempton B. Jenkins and Edward Black (both H) on June 16.
  2. McCloskey sent Kissinger a briefer summary memorandum earlier on June 16. (Ibid., P760092–1381)
  3. No record of Kissinger’s June 17 meeting with President Ford has been found.
  4. After Ford’s veto of S 2662 (see footnote 5, Document 81), Congress revised the bill to meet many of the President’s objections. The result, the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (HR 13680—PL 94–329), was signed by Ford on June 30. The act omitted lifting the U.S. trade embargo with North and South Vietnam, the proposed $9 billion ceiling on U.S. arms sales abroad, and Congress’ proposed ability to reject, by concurrent resolution, commercial weapons sales in excess of $7 million. The act authorized Congress to review commercial arms sales; required that sales in excess of $25 be made through government, rather than commercial, channels; and mandated reports to Congress on arms sales and security assistance. The act also terminated most grant military assistance programs and MAAGs effective September 30, 1977 and gave Congress the authority to curtail arms sales to nations that discriminated against U.S. citizens on the basis of race, religion, or sex. Finally, the act asserted that the promotion of human rights was a principal goal of U.S. foreign policy, that no security assistance go to countries that violated human rights, and that Congress had the authority to terminate military aid to countries declared in violation of international human rights standards by a joint resolution requiring presidential signature. The act created the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs as a presidential appointment subject to Senate confirmation. (Congress and the Nation, Vol. IV, 1973–1976, pp. 874–877)
  5. The International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976 also prohibited economic assistance to countries that bought or transferred nuclear re-processing equipment and materials without establishing international safeguards. Assistance was permitted, under the terms of the act, if the President determined that cutting it off would have an adverse effect on U.S. interests. Congress could reverse the President’s decision by approving a joint resolution. (Ibid., p. 876)
  6. June 22.