328. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • UK
    • Harold Wilson, Prime Minister
    • James Callaghan, Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
  • US
    • Gerald R. Ford, President
    • Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
    • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Counselor

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

Callaghan: What do you think of Gierek?

Ford: He was very impressive. We received a great reception, crowds were good and I liked the look in their faces.

Callaghan: I like Gierek too. Also Kadar. The Polish Foreign Minister2 is a fat fellow but pleasant.

Kissinger: Like me.

Ford: We have to watch Henry’s weight.

Kissinger: What is the reaction to CSCE in the UK?

[Page 957]

Wilson: Not much in the press. If there were a Conservative Prime Minister it would be a great success. There has been some serious comment.

Ford: We have had some criticism.

Kissinger: Time has a very good cover story.

Wilson: Thatcher3 suddenly burst forth.

Ford: We started concerted efforts to explain it.

Callaghan: I read it and I liked it.

Kissinger: Gierek made a good comment. He said implementation was critical now.

Wilson: He said that publicly?

Kissinger: In a toast.

Callaghan: Kadar told us yesterday that they regarded it as a moral and political commitment.

Kissinger: Even inviolability of frontiers has proved more helpful to others than to the Soviet Union.

Callaghan: No Soviet government can ever justify invasion again.

Kissinger: CSCE will not prevent it, but it can never be explained again.

Callaghan: Now we must turn to MBFR.

Ford: We should make a major effort on it.

Wilson: We’ll say so today.

Kissinger: You and the Pope are in control. San Marino, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg are the last speakers.

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

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, Entry 5403, Box 13, Misc. Docs, Tels, Etc., 1975, Folder 2. Secret; Nodis. A note at the top of the memorandum reads: “Draft prepared from notes taken by Mr. Sonnenfeldt but not yet reviewed by him.”
  2. Olszowski.
  3. Margaret Thatcher, Leader of the Conservative Party.