333. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Prime Minister Thorn
- Ambassador Georges Heisbourg (to Finland)
- Paul Helminger, Chef du Cabinet of the Prime Minister
- The Secretary
- The Counselor
- The Assistant Secretary for European Affairs
- John J. Maresca
- The Secretary’s Bilateral Meeting with Thorn
The Secretary: The President seems to want to stop to have lunch in Luxembourg on his next trip to Europe.
Thorn: We certainly hope he will be able to. I hope to see you in New York in September. Do you have any advice for me?
The Secretary: The best thing is to conduct the whole thing in the fairest and most impartial way. If every group tried to rig it for their own purposes it would be very unfortunate. What do you think of the Conference?
Thorn: It is going very well. It was a good thing Wilson was the first speaker. The tone of the communist speeches has been quite moderate. President Ford gave a very good speech.2
The Secretary: It was a good speech. The West has really dominated the Conference. Even some of the Eastern European speeches seemed to be aimed at the Soviets. Kadar talked about having lost some territory.
Thorn: Some journalists are now asking themselves if this is not really a Western conference.
The Secretary: There is no question that intellectually the Conference has been dominated by the West. If a man from the moon were to walk into the Hall, he would think it was a Western conference. Brezhnev has played a very minor role.[Page 974]
Thorn: It is up to us now to see that the results of the Conference are not forgotten, and to do something with them.
The Secretary: I don’t think there is much danger that they will be forgotten.
Thorn: Do you expect progress in Vienna now?
The Secretary: Speaking personally, and not as Secretary of State, I think we may live to regret starting MBFR. If we can get them to withdraw 300 miles, we will have to withdraw 3000 miles. But I say this as a professor. There are many who would have liked us to link CSCE and MBFR, but I am just as happy that we did not.
[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 3, HS Official, Chronological. Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by Maresca and approved by Hartman. The meeting took place in Finlandia Hall.↩
- For the President’s speech before the CSCE on August 1, see Department of State Bulletin, September 1, 1975, pp. 304–308.↩