President Ford–Henry Kissinger–Jerrold Schecter memcon (September 5, 1974)

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President Ford–Henry Kissinger–Jerrold Schecter memcon  (1974) 
with Gerald Ford, Henry Alfred Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft

September 5, 1974 conversation covering several topics. Attached are two additional memos related to this conversation and the Lithuanian defector Simas Kudirka. Italic, greyed-out text represents hand-written additions to the typed document. ARC #1552773





President Ford
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Lt. General Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant. to the President for National Security Affairs
Jerrold Schecter, Time Magazine (For part of meeting)
Thursday - September 5, 1974
11:00 a. m.
The Oval Office
The White House

Kissinger: I had a meeting on Soviet strategic developments we have to watch. They are not violations, but they are something we have to watch closely.

On your schedule: You are speaking to the UN General Assembly on the 18th. I have to testify also. The detente hearings. I can do it either before or after.

President: I think after is better. We also have these foreign ministers coming down for visits.

Kissinger: Yes. I could testify on the 19th. While you are at the UN, we might arrange a meeting with the Chinese.

Right now my UN speech is scheduled on the 23rd. Is that too close to yours?

President: No.

Kissinger: There is one thing you might want to put in your speech.

President: I notice the Soviets are making efforts to let some specific cases go.

Kissinger: Yes, and releasing Kudirka is a special favor for you.

On your Japan trip -- you must decide on Kyoto and Nara. They propose two days. You might want only one day.

President: Yes. I want a minimum of sightseeing. One day is plenty.

Kissinger: When we went to China there wasn't much sightseeing you could do looking through 200 press people.

President: The press response to George [Bush] was very positive.

Kissinger: The rapid response from the Chinese indicates pleasure. It's obvious the Chinese consider it a sign of the special significance we attach to the relationship.

So in Japan you'll have one day for sightseeing.

President: Yes. Let them decide where.

Kissinger: There is a suggestion you go to Hiroshima. I oppose that.

President: I agree completely.

Kissinger: On SALT, we could announce the delegation. The only change is May. He is good.

President: OK. I read the two SALT papers. They were very helpful.

Kissinger: You want to turn off the Boggs thing.

President: Hartmann already did. I like the other idea. [The meeting with Mexican President Echeverria]. Where is that?

Kissinger: You'd start at Mexicali. You'd get a very positive response in connection with the desalinization agreement.

President: What is the date?

Kissinger: It's not set.

President: Late October would be good.

Kissinger: That is what we tentatively thought about.

[The President explains to Schecter that Brezhnev had sent a note disclosing that Simas Kudirka, the Lithuanian defector, was being allowed to emigrate to the U. S. as a favor to Ford. Secretary Kissinger reads to Schecter the note which Brezhnev sent. [Tab A]

Kissinger: I will ask Dobrynin how it should be handled.

On the Congress: We are having a paper prepared on Foreign Assistance in three parts: Military aid for Vietnam; Economic aid for Vietnam; and all other amendments which restrict your authority.

Without massive effort on your part, we are in trouble on Vietnam. If we don't do enough, it doesn't matter how much too little. North Vietnam seems undecided. You might want to consider meeting with the Congressional leaders next week. We are in trouble both with the restrictions and the dollar amounts. There are restrictions which would hurt Greece and Turkey also.

That gets me to Cyprus. My view is we should keep the British in the game but not let them run away like the last time. Bhutto fell through [as an intermediary]. The French visited Ankara, but...

[Mr. Schecter leaves.]

Kissinger: It is working out well - every other attempt at mediation is failing. Karamanlis is moving to us. The main problem is Mavros. I sent Tyler out there and he is going to see Karamanlis on Monday or Tuesday. He should layout on what terms we can be helpful.

The Turks must permit some refugees to return. That is clear. And there has to be some force reduction, and some pullback.

President: Will the Turks give that much?

Kissinger: It will take a massive effort. That is why I don't want to needle the Turks now.

We should sell our involvement for Greek moderation -- because we will have to really squeeze Turkey.

The more the Europeans act like scavengers the better off we will be because they can't deliver. The Congress is now trying to force an aid cut-off to Turkey. That would be very bad.

President: When will the aid bill get to the floor?

Scowcroft: In a week or two.

Kissinger: Tyler will be back next Monday.

We could stay in the background; get Cypriot communal talks going and Geneva at the same time, but with a more assertive U.S. role to provide a framework. I could meet separately with the Greeks and Turks to lay out the terms for Geneva, but I won't know until Tyler returns.

Sadat wants me to come out. I don't see how I can do that.

President: Could you combine Greece and Turkey with the Mideast?

Kissinger: Yes, but I promised Indira also. That would take 10 days at the end of October.

Just after I leave Moscow, you could announce the Vladivostok meeting.

President: That would be politically and substantively helpful.

Kissinger: We could tell the Soviets we would do it if progress warranted it.

After you leave Vladivostok, maybe I should break off and go to Peking. That would stick it to the Soviet Union and make the Chinese feel good.

President: I would like to go.

Kissinger: You can't go until we settle Taiwan. On this trip I would say what we plan. Then you could settle it. We have to have an iron-clad agreement against military action. Because we have to drop the defense treaty.

President: Can we do it? There will be a storm.

Kissinger: The other thing would be to let you go and try to settle it. It would be a hell of a meeting to get you stuck with.

President: Does that involve economic deals and everything?

Kissinger: It's no problem economically. We could do it like Japan. But we would recognize Peking as the sole government and give Taiwan some fuzzy status. We could do it for a trip by you in the spring of 1976 or fall of 1975.

President: I think politically 1975 would be better.

Kissinger: The sooner the better for the PRC.

President: I am concerned about Vietnam and the other amendments on Turkey. I am willing to meet with the leaders and also Brademas. I think if I sat down with them and laid out the problem and said, "You can screw it up and end up with a mess."

Kissinger: Karamanlis knows we didn't do anything [to harm him]. But he can't have Papandreou push him to the right. He says he's getting out of NATO which means little. He's got to show that the Papandreou policy would get nothing. I think the time is ripe to meet with the Greeks, maybe by the end of next week.

President: Let's do it with the Greek Congressmen first. Let's keep in mind for the 12th, 13th, or 14th.

Kissinger: On the NSC meeting, I propose five minutes telling you what the proposals are, then a 15-minute CIA briefing, then I go through 15 minutes of political framework, then a general discussion. I suggest you make no decision at the meeting.

The Rabin visit will be the toughest you have had. I want to go over it tomorrow at our meeting.

At the meeting we should not go into too much detail because of the risk of leaks to Israel.

Do you want Rockefeller there? It is risky, but has merit in showing him his responsibilities.

President: I think he should be there. He is perceptive and we show confidence that he will be confirmed.

At the NSC the basic discussion will be the Israeli "Urgent List" and their 10-year plan. It's $40 billion for 10 years. Just the O&M is $4 billion a year for the whole thing, and that is over half their GNP. It will not be a contentious meeting; there is no bureaucratic defense or study. The issue will be to give Rabin something without taking away their incentive to cooperate in the negotiation.


Tab A



September 4, 1974



Ambassador Dobrynin has given us the following message with respect to Simas Kudirka:

"Your President has already been informed that because of the interest of the President, Kudirka was given pardon and he is now at his home in the Lithuanian Republic. The situation at present is as follows: As a result of disagreement which occurred in his family, Kudirka up until now has not applied to the local authorities about his wish to immigrate permanently to the United States. When he does so it will take several days to consider his application and to process the proper documents. After that has been done, Kudirka and those members of his family who so desire will be able to leave the Soviet Union and go if they like to the United States."




August 31, 1974


Ambassador Dobrynin has just given me the following message relating to Simas Kudirka.

"Kudirka has been released from detention as a result of a Pardon. He is given the possibility now to return to his home in the Lithuanian Republic and to get employment. The question of further possible steps concerning Kudirka in connection with President Ford's request is under continuous consideration. For the personal knowledge of the President, Mr. Brezhnev would like him. to know that he is keeping this question within the scope of his personal attention."

Thanks / keep me posted / I am most interested


E.O. 12958, SEC 3.5
BY       NARA DATE 3/30/04

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).

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