305. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Walter Scheel, President of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the FRG
  • Ambassador Berndt von Staden, FRG Ambassador to the U.S.
  • Paul Frank, State Secretary, Director of President’s Office
  • Dr. Heinz Weber, Foreign Ministry (interpreter)
  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Ambassador Martin Hillenbrand, U.S. Ambasador to the FRG
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

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

President: What do you foresee about CSCE? Are the compromises going to permit progress, Mr. Foreign Minister?

Genscher: I hear from Kissinger there is a good prospect of agreement on the 300-kilometer line in CBM’s.

Kissinger: No, I said we would support it. I don’t know about the Soviet Union.

Genscher: That is the most important thing for us. Then there is the question of reserved rights2 and how the French will stand. That is important to me for Berlin.

President: Will the Russians hold fast for follow-on machinery?

Kissinger: Ceausescu argued here for it.3 We are not interested and neither are the Soviets.

Genscher: I don’t think the Russians will make much of it. They will probably agree to consultations in 1977.

Kissinger: The Soviets are now going in the other direction—Gromyko even suggested four years.

Scheel: If not July, then will it meet in September?

Kissinger: Probably October if not July—the elections are in September.

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Genscher: The Finns require four weeks to prepare.

Kissinger: We are trying to stay a half step behind Europe. We are not pushing for July.

Scheel: I didn’t see any real push from the Soviet Union.

Kissinger: I have the impression they want it in July. Their planning seems geared to that. Since 300 kilometers are the only issue, they could resolve it tomorrow if they wanted.

Genscher: I think they have one fixed date—the Party Conference in early ‘76. Three months after CSCE they want a summit meeting of Communist leaders to prepare for the Party Congress.

Scheel: Isn’t it in our interest to facilitate their Congress, because this is a basic policy determination for them—whether or not to continue détente?

Kissinger: Yes. I think that is why a successful CSCE and SALT have symbolic importance.

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

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 5, Germany, 1975. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.
  2. A reference to quadripartite rights and responsibilities; see Document 304.
  3. See Document 299.