361. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Summary of the President’s Meeting with French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing


  • President Jimmy Carter
  • Secretary of State Cyrus Vance
  • Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Ambassador Arthur A. Hartman, U.S. Ambassador to France (Notetaker)
  • President Valery Giscard d’Estaing
  • Foreign Minister Louis de Guiringaud
  • Secretary General Jean Francois-Poncet
  • Ambassador Francois de Laboulaye, French Ambassador to the United States

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to non-proliferation.]


President Giscard said that he was making progress in the development of his views on this subject and he hoped that we could exchange views from time to time on the problem. He welcomed the INFCE study and hoped that there would be no modification of supply policies by the United States and Canada during the period of the study.

The President commented that, in his discussions with the Indians, Desai had said that he could not accept full scope safeguards.2 The President explained to him that Congress might soon pass a law which would prevent us from shipping any nuclear material to any country which does not accept such safeguards. The President said he asked Desai that, if we and the Soviets should sign a CTB agreement, could India then accept the same kind of safeguards as non-nuclear powers such as Germany, Canada and Japan have accepted? Desai thought that this would be reasonable. The President went on to say that, while he understood there were some technical problems, he was anxious for France to accede to the Protocol to the Treaty of Tlatelolco which provides for a nuclear free zone in Latin America. He said that Argentina now agrees to accede. He said that we understand that France has a problem because certain of the French Departments are in the area and [Page 922] we had in effect to face the same problem with Puerto Rico. He said that transitting nuclear material was still permitted according to our interpretation but de Guiringaud said that under certain circumstances he understood that that interpretation could be changed and this would present a problem for France.

President Giscard said that he would not authorize the shipment of sensitive material to Pakistan but that this matter presented great difficulties for him internally. The Pakistanis are pressing for deliveries under the contract and he wished to avoid any explanation of this problem at the present time. He recalled that an offer had been made to the Pakistanis to build a different kind of plant which would involve only coprocessing and that these discussions were in effect continuing. He said that if he was asked if this problem had been discussed with us he would say no.

The President said that it appeared Desai had been informed of this French position and President Giscard confirmed that this was the case.

The President also reported that Brazil was now having second thoughts about its reprocessing plant which they now saw as too expensive and perhaps not very effective. He said that this was a real turning point and we should take advantage of it.

The meeting ended at 4:30 p.m.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 35, Presidential MemCons, 1/78. Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place entrained between Bayeux and Paris. The memorandum is scheduled to be printed in full in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XXVII, Western Europe.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XIX, South Asia.