168. Memorandum From Helmet Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2


  • Heroin Task Force Meeting, Wednesday, May 6 at 12 noon

Dr. Moynihan has requested a meeting of the Heroin Task Force, since he felt the “steam was running out” of our efforts. He indicated he wished to see a decision taken to replace Ambassador Handley if the Turks plant a crop of poppies this fall. He feels this action would underscore to the Turks (and impliedly to the Ambassador) our seriousness in wanting the elimination of opium production. A meeting has been set, on General Haig’s agreement, for Wednesday, May 6, at noon. A list of invitees is at Tab A. (Note: Under Secretary Richardson will represent State, and either the Attorney General or Mr. Kleindienst will represent Justice.)

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Talking Points

1. Review of the Turkish Situation.

Background: Secretary Rogers called in the Turkish Ambassador on April 1 and stressed our serious interest in eliminating poppy production. On April 2, Ambassador Handley met with Prime Minister Demirel. Demirel said it was impossible to plow under the poppy crop presently in the ground. Handley said the US would be prepared to purchase the entire poppy crop late this spring, but Demirel said his government had already decided to buy up the entire crop with its own resources. Finally, Demirel reported that his government had not yet decided whether to institute a complete ban on production this fall. (A full report is at Tab B.)

  • --ask Under Secretary Richardson to comment on his April 22 meeting in Ankara with Demirel (you may wish to compliment him on the excellent speech he delivered on narcotics in Philadelphia in early April).

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    The Under Secretary will probably note that, prior to visiting Ankara, he encouraged the Shah of Iran to use his influence with the Turks during the Shah’s May visit in Ankara to persuade them to take constructive action on opium production. Reporting on his visit with Demirel, the Under Secretary will probably indicate that he is convinced that further bilateral pressure on the Turks will not be productive. Demirel admitted that, despite tight controls, smuggling could not be controlled effectively without the elimination of production. The Under Secretary agrees with the Turks that their ability to move to elimination of opium production will best be achieved by broadening the efforts into some international forum. (A full report on the conversation is at Tab C.)

  • --ask if there is general agreement that the US does not have to proceed with its plan of pre-emptive purchase of the late spring harvest;
  • --ask whether we can provide technical assistance to the Turks in their collection of the entire crop at harvest (BNDD Director Ingersoll will be prepared to respond to your question);
  • --note that normally after the May/June harvest there is a planting (20% of the production) which is harvested in the fall; there is also a planting in the fall for harvest in the spring of 1971. Ask if we can firmly insist that there be no fall planting;
  • --seek Under Secretary Richardson’s views on the nature of the internationalized effort which could be used to make it possible for the Turks to eliminate production (at Richardson’s direction, Schwartz has been preparing such a plan).

II. Germany’s Interest in Narcotics.

Background: In mid-April, the FRG Ambassador in Ankara indicated interest in supporting our efforts in Turkey. Ambassador Handley encouraged this, but cautioned against anything resembling joint international pressure since this would only generate Turkish resentment and resistance. On April 16, Dr. Moynihan met in Bonn with FRG Minister Ehmke, who proposed a bilateral exchange of drug information to be followed by a joint US-FRG meeting to discuss how to deal with drug addiction. Dr. Moynihan requested the German assistance in associating itself with US efforts in Turkey. (A report of Dr. Moynihan’s conversation is at Tab D.) Dr. Moynihan would like to report on his impressions of this visit.

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  • --ask Dr. Moynihan to convey his impressions of the new and strong German interest in drug addiction;
  • --he may indicate an impression that the Germans feel the US forces in Germany are in part responsible for the spread of drugs in the FRG. (Note: Secretary Laird has just reported that a special DOD Task Force is being convened to make improvements in the forces’ drug program; this “eyes only” report was prepared at the President’s request as conveyed by you (a companion memo deals with this)-and it is not generally known. You may wish to leave it to Deputy Secretary Packard to mention this report.)

III. Cooperation with France.

--ask BNDD Director Ingersoll to report on the program of cooperation with the French; he leaves on Wednesday for the third meeting in Paris of the joint task force.

Note: avoid discussion of the details for next meeting with the French, since this might provoke a jurisdictional dispute between Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Rossides and Justice.

--there is general interest in whether the President discussed heroin with President Pompidou; you may wish to comment.

IV. World-wide Ban on Opium.

Background: Elliot Richardson has been working with Dr. Egeberg in considering whether it would be possible to declare that natural opium is no longer needed for medical purposes. If this is possible, a plan can be developed to call for an international conference to ban the production of opium world-wide in light of its medical irrelevance and social harmfulness.

-you may wish to raise this issue if time permits and seek the comments of Dr. Egeberg or the Under Secretary.

May 6, 1970

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List of Invitees to Heroin Task Force Meeting

White House Dr. Moynihan
Mr. Ehrlichman
Mr. Krogh
State Under Secretary Richardson
Special Assistant Harry Schwartz
Justice Attorney General Mitchell or Deputy Attorney G. Kleindienst
BNDD Director Ingersoll
Defense Admiral William P. Mack
Mr. Frank Bortino
Treasury Assistant Secretary Rossides
HEW Assistant Secretary Dr. Egeberg
CIA Lt. Gen. Robert E. Cushman, Jr.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Narcotics II. Confidential. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates that Kissinger saw it. Tab B is Document 167. Tabs C and D were attached but not published.
  2. Sonnenfeldt provided Kissinger with talking points for a meeting of the Heroin Task Force and included a recommendation by President’s Assistant for Urban Affairs Moynihan to replace Ambassador Handley if Turkey planted an opium crop in the fall.