321. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Ford1

Meeting With Americans of Eastern European Background To Discuss European Security Conference

Friday, July 25, 1975

11:00 a.m. (30 minutes)

The Cabinet Room

I. Purpose

You are having this meeting to review the results to be expected from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe summit you will be attending in Helsinki on July 30–August 1, 1975.

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Your purpose will be to:

  • —explain CSCE as part of the East-West process of reducing tensions and increasing cooperation and stability, noting that this process, and in particular USUSSR efforts to build a more constructive relationship are central to efforts for peace in this nuclear era;
  • —state that CSCE does not represent the culmination of détente, that all participants will have to implement the provisions of the CSCE declarations if there is to be real progress; and
  • —emphasize that CSCE is not a peace treaty, it does not adversely affect the interests of Baltic-Americans; that, in fact, the language of the CSCE declarations supports peaceful change of frontiers and promises greater contacts between East and West.

II. Background, Participants & Press Arrangements


Background: American citizens of ethnic Eastern European background, particularly those of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian extraction, have expressed serious concern about implications of CSCE results for territorial questions in Eastern Europe.

In recent months, groups of Baltic-Americans have launched a major campaign to elicit reassurances that our policy of non-recognition of the Soviet incorporation of the Baltic states is not affected by CSCE. The Department of State has repeatedly noted in answer to Congressional inquiries that U.S. policy toward the Baltic states is unchanged, but the Baltic-American campaign continues.

Congressman Derwinski2 has advised that if you will make an unequivocal statement that CSCE has no effect on United States non-recognition of the Soviets’ incorporation of the Baltic states, this issue could be defused.

This meeting will provide you with the useful opportunity to place the CSCE results in proper perspective and to assure the Baltic-American and other Eastern European-American representatives that your going to Helsinki is in the best interests of the United States and does not adversely affect their interests.

Participants: List at Tab B.3
Press Arrangements: Meeting to be announced. White House photographer.
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III. Talking Points

Suggested remarks for the meeting, cleared with Paul Theis, are at Tab A.4

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Box 13, Presidential Trip Files, July 26–August 4, 1975, Europe, General (13). Administratively Confidential. A stamped notation on the first page reads: “The President has seen.”
  2. Edward J. Derwinski (R–IL).
  3. Attached but not printed. See Document 322.
  4. Attached but not printed. For the final text of President Ford’s remarks at the meeting, see Public Papers: Ford, 1975, pp. 1030–1033.