241. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Farewell Call; CSCE; Cyprus


  • Netherlands
    • Ambassador Rijnhard van Lynden
    • Maxime de Jonge, Counselor, Netherlands Embassy
  • US
    • The Secretary
    • Arthur A. Hartman, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs
    • Katherine Shirley, EUR/WE

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]

Van Lynden: [Omitted here are unrelated comments.] Foreign Minister van der Stoel did ask me to bring up one point. He asked me to stress the importance he attaches to CSCE and especially to the question of Basket III. He has the feeling we ought to be more difficult, not to be giving in.

[Page 711]

The Secretary: Are we giving in? I have some difficulty understanding European thinking. On the one hand, they want to take a strong position. On the other they don’t want to write it down. We don’t care about CSCE. We were against the conference in the first place. Our only concern now is that it not do any damage. We want to discuss the substance of a Basket III. I count myself among the large group of foreign ministers who has not read the papers on Basket III. I don’t think any of them have. I don’t think Hartman even has.

Mr. Hartman: Yes, I have. I even changed some of the language of the text.

Van Lynden: I have not read them either.

The Secretary: Let’s stop theoretical debate then and start drafting. When we have a draft, then you can object and we’ll talk about it.

Van Lynden: I believe there is an EC-Nine draft, but yours is more elastic.

Mr. Hartman: When you read the texts, you will find the operative paragraphs of our texts don’t differ much. we’ve taken out some of the abrasive language but the operative paragraphs are much the same.

The Secretary: (to Mr. Hartman) Will you do a wrap-up on CSCE for me?

Mr. Hartman: We just did one.

The Secretary: Where is it?

Mr. Hartman: You must still have it.

The Secretary: This building is one big conspiracy to keep me from exercising control over foreign policy. First they don’t show me the papers. Then they send them to me too late. And then they schedule me so that I don’t have time to read them. It’s a three part effort.

Van Lynden: The details of the CSCE escape me.

The Secretary: I don’t have the impression there is a big debate going on.

Mr. Hartman: What we want is a discussion of the texts before September. But this didn’t work out in Geneva because it conflicted with the European vacation.

The Secretary: Can’t it be done in NATO?

Mr. Hartman: Yes and with the participation of the representatives to Geneva. (to Ambassador van Lynden) we’d like to hear your Government’s comments.

The Secretary: There’s not going to be a quarrel over CSCE.

Mr. Hartman: I just wish the Dutch would do one thing. Please find the reference in the documents to the cabaret in Moscow. The Soviets are always getting excited about it, and we can’t find the reference.

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1029, MemCons—HAK & Presidential, June 1–August 8, 1974, 1 of 3. Confidential. Drafted by Shirley and approved by Hartman.