299. Minutes of the Secretary of State’s Staff Meeting1 2

In Attendance—Thursday, June 17, 1976

  • Secretary of State Kissinger— Chairman
  • D Mr. Robinson
  • P Mr. Habib
  • M Mr. Eagleburger
  • C Mr. Sonnenfeldt
  • AF Mr. Schaufele
  • ARA Mr. Rogers
  • Mr. Shlaudeman (Asst. Secy.-designate, ARA)
  • EA Mr. Miller
  • EUR Mr. Hartman
  • NEA Mr. Atherton
  • INR Mr. Saunders
  • S/P Mr. Lord
  • EB Mr. Greenwald
  • S/PRS Mr. Funseth
  • PM Mr. Vest
  • I0 Mr. Lewis
  • H Ambassador McCloskey
  • L Mr. Leigh
  • S/S Mr. Borg (Acting)
  • S Mr. Aherne
  • Ambassador L. Dean Brown
[Page 2]

[Omitted here are portions of the discussion unrelated to Zaire.]

[Page 3]

AMBASSADOR McCLOSKEY: But I think they feel the same way. Given what could have happened on this, the Administration comes off rather well.

MR. SCHAUFELE: There is one advantage to it and that is: As far as I read it, part of the 20 million can be used now for Zambia and Zaire.


SECRETARY KISSINGER: Well, hell, if it can’t be used for Mozambique, what can it be used for—Zambia and Zaire?

MR. SCHAUFELE: It can be used for Botswana.

MR. ROBINSON: Zaire is facing an economic crisis that goes far beyond anything that we’re talking about here. Unless we’re looking at it in much more basic terms, Zaire is going to go down the tube.

AMBASSADOR McCLOSKEY: No. We’re not confusing the two things. They’re quite different.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I thought AID had a basic package on Zaire.

MR. SCHAUFELE: This is part of it. We had asked for 44 million. The legislation has 30 million in it, and we were hoping to be able to use some of the 20 million to make up the difference; and I think we can.

[Page 4]

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Except by everyone’s account, 44 million isn’t enough.

MR. ROBINSON: Their copper operation is going down every day, and I see that very likely to collapse by the end of the year. And that’s their primary source of revenue. They’re not maintaining their pit; they’re not maintaining their equipment. The whole thing is winding down very rapidly.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I thought when I was there we agreed that we were going to put forward a package of what they really need. You see if you ask for a hundred-and they give you sixty, that’s one thing. If you start with forty- and you get twenty-five-, you can never prove that 15 million is decisive.

MR. SCHAUFELE: The first operation they’re going through now is the debt rescheduling to take care of the immediate problem. I haven’t heard anything more about the status—

MR. ROBINSON: It’s going forward. They’re deep now in their interest payments.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Do you (addressing Mr. Robinson) want to see what’s needed in Zaire and then let’s work back from that?

[Page 5]

MR. ROBINSON: Yes. We’re going to have to get to some coordinated effort along the lines of—

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Yes, but I thought that’s what we were doing. Are we doing that—assessment of what’s needed in Congress?


SECRETARY KISSINGER: Not an assessment of what’s needed by the Congress. Who is doing that?

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Have we got any vehicle to do it, now that the bill is passed?

MR. ROBINSON: Were working with the IBRD. I’ll be meeting with McNamara. We’ve got debt renegotiation; we’ve got aid. Beyond that I think you’ve got to get the UK, France and Belgium together in an effort to—

SECRETARY KISSINGER: But can I, by the time I get back, get a package of what is needed so that we know what we’re doing?

MR. ROBINSON: Well, I’ll talk with Bill on it.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I can’t worry about whether it’s bureaucratically proper. Then you do it. When I was there I told Mobutu that we would do this.

[Page 6]

MR. ROBINSON: And we’re working on these various parts, but the one element that I think still has to be dealt with is a cooperative effort on the part of the nations.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I think we can get Belgian support. I think we can get British support. It takes somebody to take the initiative to put it together.

MR. SCHAUFELE: As soon as the debt is rescheduled, they’re going to reconstitute a Coordinating Group for Europe, which includes the West Europeans.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: But can we get a program? You’ll never get it by just calling a meeting of a group. Somebody has to push a program and ask them for specific contributions.

MR. ROBINSON: We’ll get something for you.

[Omitted here are portions of the discussion unrelated to Zaire.]

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Entry 5177, Box 10, June 17, 1976. Secret.
  2. Secretary Kissinger, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Robinson, Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations Robert McCloskey, and Assistant Secretary Schaufele discussed an economic aid package for Zaire.