163. National Security Study Memorandum 1661


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of Commerce
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Transportation
  • The Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • The Special Representative for Trade Negotiations


  • Review of US-French Bilateral Issues

The President wishes to review all bilateral issues that are currently or may soon be the subject of discussions or negotiations with agencies of the French government. As appropriate, this review should include multinational negotiations in which France’s role could be major (e.g. negotiations on international trade or on combatting terrorism).

Each addressee agency should prepare a succinct (three or four paragraphs) report of those issues within its jurisdiction which are currently under discussion with France or likely to be within the next six months. All issues should be covered except those that are the subject of NSDM’s 103 and 104.2 The status reports should include a very brief description of the issue, the US and French agencies primarily involved, the current status, prospects for agreement and obstacles thereto, and the possible interrelationship with other issues under discussion with France. Elements of present or potential controversy with the French should be brought out.

The agencies’ reports should be submitted through the Chairman of the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Europe to be ready for Presi[Page 590]dential consideration not later than January 10, 1973.3 The Chairman, NSC–IG Europe will assure a uniform format and should submit, together with the agencies’ reports, a short summary of the interrelationships among the issues discussed as well as any appropriate comment. Agencies other than the addressees who consider that there are matters concerning French-US relations that deserve Presidential consideration should arrange to contribute reports on them through the NSC–IG Europe.

The President has further directed that no agreements with France be initialed or otherwise concluded until he has completed his review pursuant to this memorandum.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–195, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 166. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Information Agency and the Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs.
  2. Documents 153 and 154.
  3. The IG completed its 60-page study on January 17, 1973. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–195, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 166) The Senior Review Group met on April 24 to discuss the report and called for supplemental papers (ibid., Box H–113, Senior Review Group, SRG Minutes (Originals) 1972–1973) which were received on May 14. (Ibid., Box H–195, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 166) No further action was contemplated.