330. Editorial Note

The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe opened its third stage on July 30, 1975. From July 30 to August 1, the leaders of the 35 assembled nations addressed the assembly. Jan Lodal of the National Security Council staff described the first day of the gathering in his daily log:

  • “I met Hyland, Bremer, and Stoessel at 8:45 to go to the President’s Residence. We arrived while Wilson was still there. Wilson left about 9:15. We stood around in the Ambassador’s Library while Kissinger huddled with Ford and bustled about. Brezhnev arrived at 9:30. After picture taking, the meeting started. It went on for the appointed two hours until 11:30. Brezhnev was accompanied by the usual crew—except that Vavilov wasn’t along. Nothing at all happened on SALT. Brezhnev said that he simply had not had time to study our note, and perhaps we would discuss it on Saturday.
  • “I went in the President’s motorcade to the opening session of the CSCE Conference. It was really quite a surreal experience—all of these heads of state milling about in this huge hall, attending a function which was run something like a Shriner’s Convention. All of the great men seemed to blend in with the crowd and, except for a few well known faces such as Brezhnev, Wilson, and Ford, many of the others were simply anonymous.
  • “After lunch with Scowcroft, Hyland, and Sonnenfeldt, I returned to hear the afternoon speeches. Wilson gave the first speech—a brilliant performance. It was excellent substantively, as well as rhetorically. It was fascinating to read the distributed texts as he gave the speech. He would make minor changes as he went along—always to the improvement of the text. He simply never misspoke a word. I guess this is one of the skills you learn by speaking in the House of Commons daily for many years.
  • Trudeau’s speech was well delivered—half in French and half in English. Schmidt finished up with a somewhat lackluster performance.
  • “The seats Bill Hyland and I occupied were near the Soviet Delegation. We had a good view of Brezhnev. At one point, he took what appeared to be a piece of paper out of his pocket wrapped around a pill which he took with some water. He put the piece of paper in his ashtray in front of him. It would be interesting to know what kind of medicine he is taking.
  • “During the break, I was chatting with Crispin Tickell when Prime Minister Wilson returned. Tickell introduced me to the Prime Minister as the man in the National Security Council who handles MBFR. We chatted briefly. He said that perhaps this would push things along somewhat in MBFR now. I asked him how he felt Brezhnev looked. He [Page 967] said he wasn’t a doctor, but he thought Brezhnev should be pretty happy—he got what he wanted here. I mentioned that he didn’t have a SALT agreement yet. Wilson seemed surprised. I told him there had not been much discussion that morning. He then said it was all business, was it—not just pleasantries? I said it was supposed to have been business, but it ended up being more pleasantries. We really didn’t do much on SALT. Wilson was quite surprising in his personal appearance—a rumpled suit with dandruff all over it.
  • “The whole experience really was quite unbelievable—all of these great men wandering around this conference hall. Brezhnev and Gromyko sat through it all—it was their idea so apparently felt compelled to avoid bilaterals and other interferences.
  • “I went to dinner at a sister Russian Restaurant with Peter Rodman and some of the SS people. I had tried to go to the Prime Minister’s dinner, but got my invitations mixed up. As usual, the State Department functionaries who arrange these things totally mess up the NSC people on the trip.” (Ford Library, NSC Program Analysis Staff, Jan Lodal Convenience Files, Box 70)

On August 1, President Ford addressed the Conference. For the text of his speech, see Department of State Bulletin, September 1, 1975, pp. 304–308.