145. Minutes of a Cabinet Meeting1


Monday, February 13, 1978

The forty-second meeting of the Cabinet was called to order by the President at 9:02 a.m., Monday, February 13, 1978. The Vice President was absent. All Cabinet members were present except Attorney General Bell, who was represented by Associate Attorney General Michael Egan; Mr. Blumenthal, represented by Treasury Deputy Secretary Robert Carswell; Mr. Vance, represented by Under Secretary of State Philip Habib; and Ambassador Young, represented by his Executive Assistant Anne Forrester Holloway. Other persons present were:

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Zbigniew Brzezinski Dick Moe
Landon Butler Frank Moore
Hugh Carter Dick Pettigrew
Doug Costle Frank Press
Stu Eizenstat Charles Schultze
Jane Frank Jay Solomon
Rex Granum Stansfield Turner
Richard Harden Charles Warren
Robert Lipshutz John White
Bunny Mitchell Jack Watson

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

18. The President asked the Cabinet to continue its efforts on the Panama Canal treaties. He said that it will be difficult to get the last 10 to 12 votes needed to assure Senate ratification. In the President’s discussions with Republicans, he stresses the need for bipartisanship; the support of former President Ford, Vice President Rockefeller, and Secretary of State Kissinger; the support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who were appointed by a Republican Administration; and the advantage of taking a worldwide perspective as against pursuing parochial interests. With Democrats, he underscores the importance of party unity and the devastating effect that defeat of the treaties would have for the Administration. He said that the public opinion polls are slowly turning in our direction, although he added that those who are opposed to the treaties are more vocal than those who support them. He commended and expressed his appreciation for the excellent help being given by former President Ford, Vice President Rockefeller and Secretary of State Kissinger. There is widespread business community support for the treaties, and Senators Byrd and Baker have committed their support to ratification of the treaties.

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC: 330–81–0202, 337 Cabinet (Jan-June) 1978. No classification marking. The meeting ended at 10:47 a.m.