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"This Minister has been kept in New York at my instructions and considered himself under house arrest," jokingly.
We left it that Dobrynin would let me know the next day what the subjects were that were being discussed, and I would then tell him into what bureaucratic channel to put it. He did say, however, that the Soviet Union was prepared to make a rapid grain deal in order to be helpful to the President. I told him this was very much appreciated.
Dobrynin then produced a note [Tab Al' on a technical issue of how to repay a part of the debt which was a portion, in turn, of the $500 million Lend-Lease ceiling that had been agreed upon. I told him I would have an answer to him in two days. SALT
Finally, Dobrynin gave me a paper on the Soviet understandings with respect to the SALT agreements [Tab B]. This was in answer to our note of a week earlier and substantially accepted our proposal.
4 Attached but not printed.
5 The attached note is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXII, SALT I, 1969–1972, Document 332.
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On July 8, 1972, at Washington, Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson, U.S. Chairman of the U.S.-Soviet Joint Commercial Commission; Secretary of Agriculture Earl L. Butz; and M.R. Kuzmin, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade of the USSR, signed an agreement regarding Soviet grain purchases in the United States. The three-year agreement provided for Soviet purchases of a total of $750 million in U.S. grains, the largest Soviet purchase of U.S. grain to date. (Department of State Bulletin, July 31, 1972, pages 144–145)
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Memorandum for the President's File by the President's
San Clemente, July 12, 1972, 11:30 a.m.
July 12, 1972
The President welcomed Ambassador Dobrynin to San Clemente. The Ambassador said he liked San Clemente the best of all the President's residences. The top people needed time to think, he said, and this was a good place for it. General Secretary Brezhnev, too, was a very busy man; he always had piles of papers to work on. The next time the President came to the Soviet Union he must come to the General Secretary's resort on the Black Sea.
Dr. Kissinger pointed out that first Mr. Brezhnev would have to come here. Ambassador Dobryinin replied that we can do both in the next four years.
The President then observed that the progress in U.S.-Soviet relations was due to the work accomplished through the KissingerDobrynin channel. When he thought of what had really happened on the critical issues, it was clear that what progress we made in the future depended on this channel. There must be an understanding at the highest level.
The President stressed that nobody's interest was served by having the Vietnam war continued. The only question was how to end it. But both sides must want to end the war.
The bigger problem, the President continued, was how we could build on the achievements of the Moscow Summit and make further breakthroughs. He cited the possible understanding on non-use of nuclear weapons as an example.?
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 494, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 12. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting took place in the President's office at the Western White House. Nixon was in San Clemente from July 1 to July 18. Dobrynin was on a business trip to the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco when Nixon invited him to spend a few days in San Clemente.
2 See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIV, Soviet Union, October 1971-May 1972, Document 299.
Ambassador Dobrynin replied, “You can count on us." General Secretary Brezhnev was looking forward to Dr. Kissinger's return visit around September 10 or a little afterward.
The President cited the Middle East as the other problem that we were interested in pursuing actively. He was looking forward to the General Secretary's return visit to the United States. Could we develop the agenda for our future work? the President then asked. Dr. Kissinger mentioned the El Paso natural gas project. The President said that the vistas for trade can be very big.
The Ambassador concluded by saying that General Secretary Brezhnev sent the President his best personal wishes. The Moscow Summit had positive results and was so evaluated in Moscow. The Soviet leaders looked forward to both Secretary Peterson's forthcoming visit and Dr. Kissinger's visit in September. If the two countries could reach a nuclear agreement, it would considerably ease the world situation, he added.
There were additional pleasantries, and the meeting ended.
3 A possible reference to the involvement of the El Paso Natural Gas Company in a L'S.-Japanese agreement to help in the development of the natural gas fields in Yakutsk in Siberia. The Soviet Union sought bank loans and credits to help finance its development projects.
Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National
CCC Regulations Affecting US-Soviet Grain Sale and Maritime Agreement
In accordance with NSAMs 2202 and 340% of February 5, 1963 and January 25, 1966, Commodity Credit Corporation regulations include the provision that any commodity exported under a financing agreement shall not be shipped from the United States on a vessel which has called at a Cuban port or a North Vietnamese port. The Secretaries of State, Commerce and Agriculture have sent you the joint memorandum at Tab Areviewing the dangers this presents to the new $.75 billion US-Soviet grain sale and the related US-Soviet maritime agreement.
Our best estimate is that approximately 90% of the Russian ships which could be utilized to carry the grain have been to Cuban or North Vietnamese ports since the effective dates of NSAMs 220 and 340. Thus, Soviet agreement to shipping arrangements consistent with NSAMs 220 and 340 is improbable.
The specific problem is that of having Soviet tankers call first at Cuban ports to deliver oil, then at US ports to pick up CCC-financed grain shipments—an arrangement that would be prohibited by NSAM 220 policy. The underlying problem that thus arises is an indirect relaxation of our shipping sanctions against Cuba.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-235, Policy Papers, NSDM 179. Secret; Exdis. Sent for action. Sonnenfeldt forwarded the memorandum to Kissinger under a covering July 15 memorandum with the recommendation that he sign it. According to an attached routing memorandum, it was sent to the President for decision on July 17.
For NSAM 220, “U.S. Government Shipments by Foreign Flag Vessels in Cuban Trade," see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume XI, Cuban Missle crisis and Aftermath, Document 277.
NSAM 340, “U.S. Government Shipments by Foreign Flag Vessels in North Vietnam Trade," is in the Johnson Library, NSC File, National Security Action Memoranda, NSAM 340.
4 Attached but not printed is the undated memorandum from Peterson, Butz, and Acting Secretary Johnson.
The 1971 US-USSR grain deal provided for carriage in third-flag ships, avoiding this problem. As noted in the joint memorandum, the maritime negotiations to date are premised on a targeted one-third US and one-third Soviet participation in bilateral shipping (the provision for US participation being essential for ILA/maritime unions' willingness to work Soviet ships in US ports).
The carriage of oil to Cuba makes grain shipments to Russia an economically attractive round trip for the Soviet vessels. Unless these ships can be so employed, the entire US-Soviet maritime agreement may be unacceptable to the USSR.
State, Commerce and Agriculture believe that, if the grain sale is not to be jeopardized, there will have to be a change to the policy of applying NSAM 220 to CCC commercial export credit sales. The Departments note that any such change would pose substantial foreign policy and domestic political problems:
-The availability of major US grain shipments would make Soviet shipping to Cuba more attractive to the Soviets—this would indirectly benefit Cuba.
- The US has urged other nations not to trade with Cuba; resistance to this policy has increased significantly; any change in US policy-even on a one-time basis or only in recognition of the realities of Russian bulk ship operations—will undoubtedly be read as a softening of our position and be seized upon by others as justifying a broadening of their ties with Cuba, including resuming or expanding trade. Thus, our difficulties in holding the line on existing policy will be sharply increased by the proposed action.
- Any such relaxation in the economic blockade of Cuba by the United States and others would raise strong objections among anti-Cuban and anti-Communist elements in the United States.
In light of these problems, the State Department recommends that the minimum relaxation necessary in NSAM 220 policy be madei.e., a one-time exception for the US-Soviet grain sale, an exception applying only to Soviet, not third-flag ships. Further, State recommends that
5 On June 10, 1971, the White House announced the removal of export controls on agricultural products, among other things. The restriction that required that half of all giain shipped to the USSR be on American vessels was lifted, and longshoremen, who initially protested loading the grain on non-American ships, eventually consented to loading American grain on Soviet ships. See Seymour M. Hersh, The Price of Power: Kissinget in the Nixon White House (New York: Summit Books, 1983), pp. 343–349.
• On July 9, the Washington Post reported with regard to the grain agreement (see Document 7) that “all but one maritime union—the International Longshoremen's Association, headed by Thomas W. (Teddy) Gleason, have agreed to a compromise U.S. govemment proposal under which one-third of the cargo would be hauled in U.S. flag ships, one-third in Soviet ships and one-third in ships of other countries." (Carroll Kirkpatrick, “Russia to Buy $750 Million in U.S. Grain," Washington Post, July 9, 1972, p. A1)