310. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, March 19, 1975, 4:15 p.m.1 2




  • President Ford
  • Edward Pangelinan, Chairman of Northern Marianas Political Status Commission
  • Senator P. A. Tenorio, Northern Marianas Senator
  • James M. Wilson, Jr., Deputy Representative for Micronesian Status Negotiations
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, March 19, 1975 4:15 p.m.
PLACE: The Oval Office

Pangelinan: We are very pleased to have the opportunity to exercise our rights under the UN Trusteeship Council and have a plebiscite.

President: We a pleased at this development and we trust that the plebiscite will be available. Where are you two from?

Tenorio: We both are from Saipan.

President: What are the Islands in the Northern Marianas?

Tenorio: Saipan forms Tinian and Rota.

President: What is the population?

Tenorio: About 14,000. Most of the people live on Saipan.

Wilson: They live in a very beautiful place. I was in Tinian and saw the plaques during World War II.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, Box 10, 3/19/75. Top Secret. The conversation took place in the Oval Office. According to Ford’s talking points from Kissinger, the purpose of this meeting was “To demonstrate the importance we attach to the recently concluded Commonwealth Covenant with the Northern Marianas, and to Micronesia generally.” (Ibid.) A majority of the voters of the Northern Mariana Islands approved the Commonwealth Covenant in a plebiscite held on June 17, 1975.
  2. Ford met with leaders from the Northern Marianas.