86. Letter From Secretary of State Rogers to Secretary of the Treasury Shultz1

Dear George:

I know that Bill Simon has told you about the discussion he and Bill Casey had at luncheon over here with the Saudi Oil Minister, Yamani, and his associate Prince Saud. The Saudis had told me before lunch that to justify their increasing their production in oil, they would have to find ways to usefully invest the proceeds in their own industrial diversification, and other investments that contributed something to their national future. I understand that at luncheon there was a broad ranging discussion of their industrial development objectives, possibilities of attracting petrochemical and high energy content industries like aluminum, their need for technology and the ability to introduce industrial products to world markets, what they should consider doing in development aid beyond their neighboring Arab States, what the future held for them in downstream investments in the petroleum industry and in portfolio investments. The Saudis reiterated their desire for guidance and assistance from the United States in these matters. I think we should show enough interest in these aspirations of theirs to send a very small qualified group over there to hold discussions with them with a view to preliminary assessment of the possibilities and exploring an approach to working with them. This would be a combination of the export promotion and development assistance we more or less regularly give to other countries.

I would like to see Bill Simon and Bill Casey, together with no more than two or three people from Commerce who have special knowledge in industrial location, high energy content industrial processes, petrochemicals and the like, go over and spend a few days [Page 321] talking this over with Saudi officials. If you agree, I would have our Middle East bureau start working out arrangements for such a visit sometime after June 15.


William P. Rogers
  1. Summary: Rogers proposed to Shultz a visit of high-level State and Treasury officials to Saudi Arabia, in particular Deputy Secretary of the Treasury William Simon and Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs William Casey, aimed at creating a broad economic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, 1970–73, FN 9 Saudi Arabia. Confidential. The specific group proposed in this letter did not travel to Saudi Arabia. Kissinger, Rogers, and Shultz discussed the topic with Minister for Petroleum Ahmad Zaki Yamani in April. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXXVI, Energy Crisis, 1969–1974, Document 176. Further discussions took place between U.S. officials and the Saudi Minister of State and President of the CPO Hisham Nazir in September, according to telegram 157890 to Jidda, August 9. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number]) Eliot sent further planning details to Kissinger under a June 19 covering memorandum. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 630, Country Files, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Volume IV, May–December 1973)