197. Minutes of the Working Group of the Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control1 2

The Working Group met to consider the agenda contained in the August 18, 1976 announcement of the meeting (attachment A) and was attended by the officials listed on attachment B.

Ambassador Vance referred first to agenda item 2 and reviewed briefly for the Working Group the issues being considered by its Task Force on the Intelligence Program for the International Narcotics Control Program. That Task Force had just completed its most recent meeting immediately prior to the Working Group meeting, and the minutes of that meeting are on file.

Turning to agenda item 1, consideration of the CCINC Report to the President, Ambassador Vance noted the time restraints that existed and suggested that an acceptable procedure might be for the Working Group members to approve on behalf of their Cabinet level principals and that the Report would be forwarded to the President by the CCINC Chairman on that basis. (After later checking back with their principals, the Working Group members agreed and this procedure was followed.)

The discussion ranged over various aspects of the Report and a number of wording changes and additions were submitted for inclusion in the draft. There were no disagreements on basic substance.

Mr. Bensinger gave it as his view that the CCINC itself should meet. He saw a value in this in causing the Cabinet level members themselves to become more committed to the program. Mr. de Angelis, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Featherstone indicated agreement.

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Mr. Johnson saw advantages in such a meeting as an advance step to a prospective mid-October meeting the President might have with the Chairman of the three Cabinet level Committees in the drug field.

Ambassador Vance was not confident that at this time of the year, and in advance of the election, it would be possible to get the Cabinet level members themselves together owing to their very busy schedules. Mr. Johnson proposed he might discuss the matter with Mr. Parsons with the thought of a suggestion being forwarded to the CCINC Chairman from the White House favoring such a meeting.

Agenda item 3 concerning papaver bracteatum was deferred to the next Working Group meeting in view of the time taken on exchanging of views with respect to the draft CCINC Report. It was noted in this connection, however, that the current Turkish poppy straw crop is not all being bid for and also that the bids are substantially lower than last year. Ambassador Vance suggested this possibly pointed to a transition from a tight supply to a surplus situation with respect to licit narcotics raw materials, a circumstance which would have obvious implications for the question of possible bracteatum production in the United States.

In regard to agenda item 4, the status of enabling legislation for the Psychotropic Convention, Ambassador Vance reported on a visit which he and Mr. Miller had made to Congressman Scheuer. The visit had not been successful in bringing Scheuer to support the enabling legislation and thus it was necessary to find someone having Scheuer’s confidence who would be prepared and willing to approach him in support of the desired legislation. Richard Blum, a sociologist connected with Stanford University, had been present, apparently as an advisor to the Congressman. Blum is opposed to any UN administered controls.

The question of a possible U.S. reservation to the Convention was discussed. It was agreed that there would be no point to “ratifying a gutted Convention”, as Mr. Miller put it. The consensus was that efforts should be continued as actively as possible to bring the desired legislative result, even if it could only be achieved next year rather than before the close of the present session of Congress. Mr. Cusack felt strongly that Congressmen Scheuer and Rogers can be effectively reached on this matter, but that it may take up to a [Page 3] year to do so. Messrs. Smith, Johnson and Cusack all felt that major efforts should be reserved for the new Congress.

There was also discussion under this agenda item of the newly formed Select Committee of the House chaired by Congressman Wolff. It was indicated that Mr. Bensinger would be the lead witness for the Department of Justice, that Treasury itself had not been invited to testify, although Customs would testify in the person of Commissioner Acree. Dr. DuPont is expected to testify for HEW; Agriculture had not been invited; OMB had decided not to testify, and the CIA representative was uncertain as to who would represent his agency. Ambassador Vance noted that Deputy Secretary Robinson, assisted by himself, would testify for the Department of State. It was agreed that all Executive Branch representatives would, in the course of their testimonies, mention the desirability of Congressional action on the Psychotropic Convention and on the Administration’s mandatory minimum sentence legislation.

Before closing the meeting, Ambassador Vance referred back to the CCINC Report, urging that drafting suggestions and revisions be phoned in by the end of the day in order that a final copy might be prepared as soon as possible.

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Attachment B

Working Group members present at 9/10/76 meeting

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Mort Bach Treasury
Walter M. Bastian USIA
Peter Bensinger DEA
Richard Bucher NIDA
David O. Cooke DOD
Jack Cusack DEA
Robert Davis Justice
Alfred R. DeAngelus Customs
David H. Ernst State, S/NM
James J. Featherstone Treasury
Maj. Robert E. Foster DIA
Maureen Geulin Justice
Edward Johnson OMB
Dr. Quentin Jones USDA
John Kennedy CIA
Joseph Linnemann OMB
Charles A. Mann AID
Brooks McClure USIA
Donald E. Miller DEA
Louis Bachrach DEA
Fletcher I. Potter, Jr. Customs
Dr. Jean Paul Smith NIDA
Robert S. Smith NSC
Sheldon B. Vance State, S/NM
Mary Wampler AID
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/NM Files, Lot 77 D 120, Narcotics Control, 2 of 3. Limited Official Use. The meeting took place in room 7516 in the Department of State. Drafted by Ernst. Attachment A, an August 18 memorandum circulating the agenda to Working Group members is not published.
  2. The working group discussed a report to be forwarded to President Ford, enabling legislation for ratification of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and testimony before congressional committees.