37. Memorandum of a Meeting1



  • Shultz
  • Clark
  • Baker
  • Meese
  • Dam

The meeting dealt with both long-term and immediate short term relations with the Soviet Union.2 The President confirmed that he is prepared for a step-by-step effort toward a more constructive relationship with the Soviet Union if those steps are substantive and that the [Page 121] present game plan was to proceed in a manner consistent with a summit in early 1984, if circumstances warrant and substantive and significant results could be confidently expected. Working back from that date, it would be necessary to have a number of matters well in train in 1983, so that the summit could have some substance. The President agreed that one should be in a position so that if conditions warranted it, Secretary Shultz would be able to go to Moscow in mid-summer to meet with Gromyko and possibly Andropov. A Gromyko meeting with the President could then be held at the time of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in late September.

It was therefore agreed that Secretary Shultz should call in Dobrynin this week to express our satisfaction with the Pentecostalists events and to lay on the table four proposed courses of action:

1. Negotiation of a long-term grain agreement.

2. Conversations on arms control between Shultz and Dobrynin with Rowny present for START talks, Nitze for INF talks, and Abramowitz for MBFR talks. These would be probing discussions to see if any progress can be made at respective negotiation tables.

3. Probing discussions on regional issues (Afghanistan, Poland, Kampuchea, etc.) by Ambassador Hartman in Moscow.

4. Progress on our human rights agenda, particularly emigration of the remainder of the embassy Pentecostalists, Soviet Jewry emigration and Poland.

It was agreed that options papers would be prepared for the President on two other possible Dobrynin agenda items:

(1) A cultural agreement in order to control Soviet access to U.S. audiences and to permit penetration of the closed Soviet society; and

(2) Opening of consulates in Kiev and in New York.

In addition, it was agreed that State should immediately propose an options paper on current issues in Poland.

  1. Source: Reagan Library, William Clark Files, US-Soviet Relations Papers Working File: Contains Originals (5). Secret. Not for the System. Shultz initialed the memorandum. A notation in an unknown hand indicates that the original was carried to the White House by the Secretary on April 7. In an April 7 covering memorandum to Shultz, McManaway noted that the memorandum had been dictated by Dam and explained: “As you know at your breakfast meeting this morning Judge Clark asked for a memorandum that would codify the decisions made with the President yesterday on the subjects you would discuss with Ambassador Dobrynin; and that such a memo be provided to him for review prior to your meeting with Dobrynin.

    Ken Dam has dictated the attached memorandum in response to Judge Clark’s request. Charlie and I would like to suggest that there is some risk in actually providing the paper which could find its way down to the NSC staff and invite reopening of decisions made. We also question the establishment of such a precedent. If you agree with these concerns you might want to use the attached paper for a phone call to the Judge in lieu of sending him a memorandum.” (Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S, Special Handling Restrictions Memos, 1979–1983, Lot 96D262, Super Sensitive April 1–17)

  2. In his diary entry for April 6, Reagan wrote: “Learned in office George S. is upset—thinks NSC is undercutting him on plans he & I discussed for ‘quiet diplomacy’ approach to the Soviets. They have let Lydia—the young hunger striker member of the family that’s been living in the embassy basement in Moscow for 4 yrs. go. She is in Vienna as of today. [See Document 34.] We had a meeting later in the day with George & cleared things up I think. Some of the N.S.C. staff are too hard line & dont think any approach should be made to the Soviets. I think I’m hard line & will never appease but I do want to try & let them see there is a better world if they’ll show by deed they want to get along with the free world.” (Brinkley, ed., The Reagan Diaries, vol. I, January 1981–October 1985, p. 212)