222. Editorial Note

On December 3, 1976, President-elect Jimmy Carter announced the appointment of Cyrus R. Vance as his nominee for Secretary of State. Vance, who had earlier served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 1961 to 1962, Secretary of the Army from 1962 to 1963, and Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1964 to 1967, had served as a foreign policy adviser to the Carter campaign. Following Vance’s appointment, Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger named Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Philip C. Habib as liaison between the Secretary-designate and himself. Kissinger directed Habib to “make certain that Vance received any and all documentation available on current problems (including all backchannel negotiations) and all outgoing cables that went beyond housekeeping functions.” In his memoirs, Kissinger noted that he met regularly with Secretary of State-designate Vance, “at least twice a week to review where we stood and see to it that, in the performance of day-to-day functions prior to January 20, I did not unintentionally cut across the designs of the new administration.” (Kissinger, Years of Renewal, page 1064)

On January 4, 1977, Kissinger held a lunch meeting with Vance and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. Although no record of this meeting has been found, briefing material for the meeting prepared for Kissinger by Department of State Counselor Helmut Sonnenfeldt is in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 329, Department of State, Carter, Jimmy, Transition Papers, Vance, Cyrus, Chronological File, 1976–77. Four days later, on January 8, Kissinger and Vance met with the Chief of the Liaison Office of the People’s Republic of China, Ambassador Huang Chen, in the Secretary’s Dining Room at the Department of State. (Memorandum of conversation, January 8; National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry A. Kissinger, Entry 5403, Box 24, Classified C Material) In addition, Kissinger and Vance met on January 19 to discuss the political situation in Southern Africa. The memorandum of conversation of that meeting is Document 239, Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXVIII, Southern Africa.

Additional material related to Kissinger’s interactions with Vance during the transition period as well as documentation created for [Page 749] Vance by the Department of State is in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 329, Department of State, Carter, Jimmy Transition Papers, Vance, Cyrus, Chronological File, 1976–77, n.d., and the National Archives, RG 59, Transition Records of the Executive Secretariat, 1959–1977, Entry 5338, Box 1, Transition Material to S/CL—Mr. Vance—1976–77.