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119. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1

SUBJECT

  • Response to de Gaulle’s Message to You Regarding the Dutch-UK-German Gas Centrifuge Project

When French National Assembly President Chaban-Delmas spoke to you on March 202 he conveyed a message from General de Gaulle in which the latter expressed concern about the gas centrifuge project for producing enriched uranium which the British, Dutch and Germans are in process of negotiating.

I have conveyed a response through the French Minister3 here, making the points you approved after the California trip.4 In essense, these were that you considered the General’s concern with great care; that you have looked into the project and understand that it would be placed under the safeguards required by the NPT; and that as long as this was the case and the European countries concerned themselves want to undertake such a project, we are not in a position to oppose it.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 674, Country Files—Europe, France, Vol. I. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. The first page bears the notation: “Pres has seen. H[aig]”.
  2. A memorandum of their conversation is ibid.
  3. A memorandum for the record, drafted by Sonnenfeldt who carried out the démarche, is attached.
  4. March 21–23. A memorandum containing the talking points, which bears the President’s annotation, “I agree. Follow up,” is attached.