374. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Secretary of State Rogers and the Secretary of Defense Laird, Washington, March 17, 1971.1 2

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March 17, 1971


SUBJECT: Guyanese Nationalization Policies on Bauxite and Their Implications for U.S. Interests

The President has requested that the NSC Under Secretaries Committee assess the implications for U.S. interests of the nationalization policies on bauxite recently adopted by the Government of Guyana. The study should set forth the options open to the United States for protecting and advancing U.S. interests affected by Guyana’s nationalization policy and also consider the impact of adoption of similar bauxite policies elsewhere in the Caribbean area.

Although this subject will be fully covered in NSSM 117 on U.S. Caribbean policy, the matter is of sufficient urgency that a preliminary consideration prior to completion of the NSSM is necessary. The study should be submitted no later than April 1, 1971.

Henry A. Kissinger

cc: The Secretary of Treasury
The Secretary of Commerce
The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files, (H-Files), Box H–181, NSSM Files, NSSM 117. Secret. A copy was sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, the Chairman of the JCS, and the Chairman of the NSC Under Secretaries Committee. A covering memorandum from Kennedy to Kissinger noted that typically such memoranda are sent only to the Chairman of the Undersecretaries Committee, and sending the memorandum to the Secretaries of State and Defense was a new practice. Kissinger wrote on the bottom, “What I want is the directive to go to all agencies on that committee, as a directive [illegible] from me.” Although the study was not found, the portion of the response to NSSM 117 that dealt with bauxite is published as Document 46.
  2. President Nixon requested that the NSC Undersecretaries Committee assess how Guyana’s nationalization of part of its bauxite industry would affect the United States.