284. Letter From West German Chancellor Schmidt to President Ford1

Dear Mr. President,

I would like to address myself to you in a matter which gives me concern. It has been reported to me that Mr. Woerner, Member of Parliament, has had conversations in the Department of Defense in Washington on January 30th, 1975 in the course of which topics of the highest political delicacy have been discussed with great frankness. The question of the use of American installations and material in the Federal Republic of Germany for the supply of Israel in case of necessity allegedly played a particularly important role. If these reports are correct, and I have no reason to doubt it, then the circle of those, who should be informed on these highly difficult issues, would in my opinion have been regrettably widened.

I should like to avail myself of this opportunity to confirm the agreement with you that in this matter only those in our two countries, who bear highest political responsibility should remain in contact. I do not think that representatives of our opposition notwithstanding their personal standing in the political spectrum should be included in the official considerations of the two governments.

With kindest regards

  1. Summary: Schmidt discussed U.S.–FRG defense relations in the event of another war in the Middle East.

    Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 35, West Germany (3) (1/3/75–5/23/75). No classification marking. A handwritten notation at the top of the letter reads, “Hand delivered by Amb Von Staden 4:30 pm 3/4/75 to Gen Scowcroft.” Attached but not published is the signed letter in German. Attached to the letter is a handwritten note by Ford that reads, “General Scowcroft—You better keep this.” A record of the January 30 conversation to which Schmidt refers was not found.