278. Letter From President Ford to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev 1

Dear Mr. General Secretary:

Since receiving your letter of 8 March, in which you suggested that the final stage of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe begin on June 30, I have been in consultation with our Allies, some of whom I learned received a similar proposal from you.2 As I mentioned in my letter of March 1, on the basis of my previous discussions with our Allies, we had concluded that some time in July would be a realistic target date for planning the final stage of the Conference. This still seems to be the consensus among our Allies, and in any case I would find the proposed date of June 30 personally inconvenient.

Thus, we could proceed on the basis that the second half of July would prove an acceptable date to the majority of participants, assuming, of course, that the work in Geneva proceeds at the present pace and that the final results are acceptable to all the governments concerned.

As I have written previously, I believe there is now a general agreement that the Conference can be brought to a successful conclusion at the highest level and, for my part, I will continue to do whatever is necessary to achieve such an outcome.


Gerald R. Ford
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 8, Soviet Union. Secret; Nodis. A note at the top of the letter by Scowcroft reads: “Delivered Vorontsov, 8:35 p.m., 3–18–75.” The letter was based on a draft prepared by Sonnenfeldt on March 17. (Ibid.)
  2. Document 277. Scowcroft wrote in a transmittal memorandum to Ford on March 18: “Brezhnev also sent similar letters to Prime Minister Wilson, Chancellor Schmidt and President Giscard d’Estaing. Although not all issues have been resolved, we remain confident that agreement can be reached on the terms of an agreement that would justify a concluding session of the CSCE at the Summit level. Because the remaining negotiations will be difficult, and in view of other commitments on your schedule, we believe it would be wise to remain firm on your original proposal for a mid-July conclusion to the Conference. We have consulted with the European allies at a restricted meeting of the North Atlantic Council yesterday. They have agreed with our position and will respond to Moscow accordingly.” (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger and Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 28, USSR, “D” File)