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Documents on Global Issues, 1973–1976

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume E–3, Documents on Global Issues, 1973–1976

Law of the Sea


Document 1: Report Prepared by the Interagency Law of the Sea Task Force, undated.

The memorandum reported on Law of the Sea discussions at the 1972 UN General Assembly and presented a negotiating plan for the U.S. delegation to the 1973 UN Seabed Committee meeting.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, L/OES Files: Lot 77 D 302, July/August 1973 Preparatory Meeting. Confidential. This report was found attached to a March 16, 1973 memorandum from Kissinger to Richardson, Dent, Morton, and Rogers indicating that the document comprised the response to NSDM 196. NSDM 196 is published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–1, Documents on Global Issues 1969–72, Document 443.


Document 2: Memorandum From the Acting Chairman of the Law of the Sea Task Force (Brower) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, June 1, 1973.

Brower forwarded a report on the March–April meeting of the UN Seabed Committee and summarized for Kissinger the recommended negotiating positions for the July–August Law of the Sea Conference preparatory meeting.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 33–8. Secret. Drafted by Camitta; cleared in L, L/OA, S/FW–COA, IO/UNP, SCI/EN, and at the National Science Foundation, the Council for Environmental Quality, and the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Transportation, Interior, and Treasury. Attachment 1, undated and unsigned, is not published. Nixon’s May 23, 1970 Statement About United States Oceans Policy is published in Public Papers: Nixon, 1970, pp. 454–456.


Document 3: Memorandum NSC–U/DM–109 From the Chairman of the National Security Council Under Secretaries Committee (Rush) to President Nixon, Washington, July 11, 1973.

The Under Secretaries Committee recommended approval of instructions for the July–August Law of the Sea preparatory conference, with the proviso that concerns about economic issues raised by the Department of the Treasury required further review.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–241, NSDM 225, LOS Preparatory Conference. Secret.


Document 4: Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, undated.

Kissinger recommended approval of the U.S. delegation’s instructions for the July–August 1973 Law of the Sea preparatory conference and forwarded a summary of the delegation’s proposed positions.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–241, NSDM 225, LOS Preparatory Conference. Secret. Sent for action. Clift forwarded the memorandum and its attachments to Kissinger under a covering memorandum of July 12. Tab 1 is published as Document 5. Tab 2 is published as Document 3. Kissinger initialed approval for Nixon.


Document 5: National Security Decision Memorandum 225, Washington, July 16, 1973.

Kissinger approved the recommended instructions for the U.S. delegation to the July–August Law of the Sea preparatory conference.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–241, NSDM 225, LOS Preparatory Conference. Secret. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs. The USC Chairman’s memorandum is published as Document 3. A summary of the recommended instructions is published as Document 2.


Document 6: Airgram A–7576 From the Department of State to All Diplomatic Posts, Washington, September 4, 1973.

Acting Secretary Rush forwarded the final report of the U.S. Delegation to the July/August 1973 Seabed Committee Session, which also acted as a preparatory conference for the UNCLOS III.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–1973, POL 33–8, 9–17–73. Confidential. Drafted by Leitzell; cleared by Stevenson, S/FW–COA, L/OA, JCS, Defense, Interior, NOAA, NSF, CEQ, Treasury, and the Coast Guard; and approved by Moore. A copy was sent to Hong Kong.


Document 7: Memorandum NSC–U/DM–109A From the Chairman of the National Security Council Under Secretaries Committee (Rush) to President Nixon, Washington, November 1, 1973.

Rush transmitted for consideration the proposed instructions for the U.S. delegation to the organizational session of UNCLOS III.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–243, NSDM 240, 2 of 2. Confidential. NSDM 225 is published as Document 5. The report of the July/August Session of the UN Seabed Committee is published as Document 6.


Document 8: Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, November 30, 1973.

Kissinger summarized the U.S. delegation’s instructions for the upcoming organizational session of UNCLOS III and recommended Nixon’s approval.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–243, NSDM 240, 2 of 2. Confidential. Sent for action. Nixon initialed his approval. NSDM 225 is published as Document 5. Tab A, as signed, is published as Document 9. Tab B is published as Document 7.


Document 9: National Security Decision Memorandum 240, Washington, December 3, 1973.

Kissinger transmitted the approval of instructions for the guidance of the U.S. delegation to the organizational session of UNCLOS III, with a proviso to avoid procedures allowing premature substantive voting.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, NSDM, Nos. 145–264 (1972–1974). Secret. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs. The Under Secretaries Committee Chairman’s memorandum of November 11 is published as Document 7. NSDM 225 is published as Document 5.


Document 10: Report of the U.S. Delegation to the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea Organizational Session, New York, December 3–15, 1973.

The report summarized the negotiations at the UNCLOS III Organizational Session and assessed the results with regard to U.S. interests.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P740084–2149. No classification marking. Stevenson forwarded the report to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger under a covering memorandum of March 14, 1974.


Document 11: Analytical Study OPR–3 Prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, April 1974.

The CIA study examined important issues and interests likely to arise in the course of UNCLOS III negotiations.

Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–78–0011, 801.2 (April–December 1974). Confidential. A note on the study dated April 9 indicates that Schlesinger saw it. Colby forwarded the study to Schlesinger under a covering memorandum, April 15, which began, "Here is a paper that manages, in relatively short compass, to put the complicated and controversial Law of the Sea question into a useful analytical framework." The Office of Political Research, Directorate of Intelligence drafted the study, according to Colby’s memorandum.


Document 12: Memorandum NSC–U/DM–109B From the Chairman of the National Security Council Under Secretaries Committee (Rush) to President Nixon, Washington, May 14, 1974.

Rush transmitted for Nixon’s consideration documents concerning the first (Caracas) session of UNCLOS III.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–243, NSDM 240, Recommended Instructions to UNCLOS III. Secret. The full (122 page) report and the two Comments sections are not published. The July 11, 1973 memorandum from Rush to Nixon is published as Document 3. NSDM 225 is published as Document 5. NSDM 240 is published as Document 9. The following NSDMs are published in Foreign Relations, 1969–76, volume E–1, Documents on Global Issues 1969–72, Documents 375, 405, 424, and 434. The memorandum summarizing the report of June 20, 1972 is published as Document 433. Nixon’s May 23, 1970 Statement About United States Oceans Policy is in Public Papers: Nixon, 1970, pp. 454–456. A summary of the Draft UN Convention on the International Seabed Area and accompanying statements by U.S. officials are published in Department of State Bulletin, August 24, 1970, pp. 209–218. The "1958 model" refers to the four separate conventions which resulted from the First United Nations Conference of the Law of the Sea, held in Geneva during 1958: the Convention on the High Seas, the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the Convention on the Continental Shelf, and the Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources on the High Seas.


Document 13: Minutes of the Acting Secretary of State’s Analytical Staff Meeting, Washington, June 17, 1974, 3–4 p.m.

Department principals discussed issues relating to the UNCLOS III negotiations.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Entry 5177, Box 3, Acting Secretary’s Analytical Staff Meeting, June 17, 1974. Secret. Israel asserted that the Straits of Tiran should be treated as an international strait, open to seagoing and airborne passage by vessels of all countries. Egypt and Saudi Arabia both claimed islands at the entrance to the strait and the surrounding waters as territorial sea, and neither recognized Israel’s claim to the right of innocent passage. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan were not signatories to the 1958 Convention on the High Seas or the 1958 Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone. Israel was a party to both those agreements.


Document 14: National Security Decision Memorandum 260, Washington, June 24, 1974.

Nixon approved instructions for the U.S. delegation to the first substantive session of UNCLOS III (Caracas), subject to additional guidance on several issues.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, NSDM (1971–1974), Nos. 145–264 (1972–1974) [1 of 2]. Secret. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Counselor to the President for Economic Policy. The May 14 recommended instructions are published as Document 12. NSDM 240 is published as Document 9. Haig forwarded the NSDM to Nixon under a memorandum, June 22, which read as follows, "Attached is a far-reaching and somewhat controversial NSDM containing instructions for the Third United Nations Law of the Sea Conference. Because of its importance, I believe you will want to read it carefully. Although Ash and your economic advisers clearly differ with Henry [Kissinger] on a number of details, I believe the Under Secretaries/NSC position is sufficiently protective to warrant your approval of the NSDM as written." Nixon wrote in the margin, "I go along with K [Kissinger] but be sure Ash knows his views are to be strongly presented to our negotiators [illegible] stiffen them where necessary and to go to them where we can."


Document 15: Memorandum of Conversation, Magdalena de Kino, Mexico, October 21, 1974, noon–2:30 p.m.

Ford and Echeverría discussed Law of the Sea matters, with particular emphasis on the patrimonial sea concept.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 6, October 21, 1974–Ford, Kissinger, Mexican President Luis Echeverría. Secret; Exdis. An attached November 2 covering memorandum from Springsteen to Scowcroft indicates the location of the meeting. On October 21 Ford and Echeverría held a series of meetings at sites on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border to discuss a variety of bilateral issues, see Department of State Bulletin, November 18, 1974, pp. 661–667.


Document 16: Memorandum NSC–U/DM–109D From the Chairman of the National Security Council Under Secretaries Committee (Ingersoll) to President Ford, Washington, February 6, 1975.

Ingersoll transmitted the report of the delegation to the June 20–August 29, 1974 (Caracas) UNCLOS III session.

Source: Department of State, RG 59, L/OES Files: Lot 79 D 163, LOS Conference General 1975, Undated–February 11, 1975. Confidential. Only the summary of the 29-page report is published. NSDM 260 is published as Document 14.


Document 17: Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Ford, Washington, March 14, 1975.

Kissinger summarized for the President multiple documents concerning instructions for the U.S. delegation to the 1975 (Geneva) UNCLOS III session and submitted his recommendations.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs Staff, Box 54, General Subject File, Ocean Policy, 1975 (3). Secret. Sent for action. Ford initialed his approval. Tab A is published as Document 18. Attached but not published are Ingersoll’s March 4 memorandum (Tab B) and its attachments (Tabs A and C). NSDM 260 is published as Document 14.


Document 18: National Security Decision Memorandum 288, Washington, March 24, 1975.

Kissinger sent the approved instructions for the U.S. delegation to the 1975 (Geneva) session of UNCLOS III to the relevant Cabinet officers and officials.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, National Security Decision and Study Memoranda, Box 1, NSDM 288. Secret. Scowcroft signed for Kissinger. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Document 17 summarizes the referenced negotiating instructions, the agency comments and Ingersoll’s memorandum.


Document 19: Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Ford, Washington, July 8, 1975.

Kissinger informed Ford of the principal developments during the March 17–May 19, 1975 (Geneva) UNCLOS III negotiations and summarized outstanding problems and issues.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs Staff, Box 55, General Subject File, Ocean Policy, 1975 (9). Secret. Sent for information. Ford initialed the memorandum. Attached but not published at Tab A is Ingersoll’s June 2 memorandum forwarding the U.S. delegation’s summary report to the President. For Tab B, which is attached but not published, see UN Document A/CONF.62.WP.8/ Parts 1–III. NSDM 288 is published as Document 18.


Document 20: Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, October 7, 1975, 8:05–9:20 a.m.

Ford and selected members of his Cabinet met with Republican Congressional leaders to discuss potential 200-mile fisheries legislation.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 15, October 7, 1975–Ford, Kissinger, Republican Congressional Leaders. Top Secret. Attached but not published is the additional list of 25 Republican Congressional leaders. See Document 15 for negotiations with Mexico regarding territorial waters.


Document 21: Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, October 7, 1975, 9:40–10:18 a.m.

Ford, Kissinger, and Scowcroft discussed the meeting earlier that day with Congressional Republican leaders concerning potential 200-mile fisheries legislation.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 15, October 7, 1975–Ford, Kissinger. Secret; Nodis.


Document 22: Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, October 7, 1975, 10:30 a.m.

Ford and Scowcroft met with a Congressional delegation regarding potential 200-mile fisheries legislation.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 15, October 7, 1975–Ford, Congressional Group on Fisheries. Confidential. All brackets are in the original.


Document 23: Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, November 19, 1975, 11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Ford and selected advisers met with a Congressional delegation regarding impending 200-mile fisheries legislation.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 16, November 19, 1975–Ford, Congressional 200-Mile Limit Group. Secret. The referenced charts were not found. Ford’s statement regarding remarks made in Oregon apparently refers to his August 30 speech about the 200 mile limit, which was actually given in Portland, Maine. (Public Papers: Ford, 1975, pp. 1253–1258),. Kissinger’s Montreal statement is in Department of State Bulletin, September 18, 1975, pp. 353–362.


Document 24: Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford, Washington, March 1, 1976.

Scowcroft summarized the proposed instructions to guide the U.S. delegation to the March–May 1976 (New York) UNCLOS III session and recommended approval.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential File of NSC Logged Documents, Box 33, IF/NS File for the President, 7600948—Instructions for Law of the Sea. Secret. Ford initialed his approval. NSDM 260 is published as Document 14. NSDM 288 is published as Document 18. Tab A is published as Document 25. Tabs B and C are published with this document.


Document 25: National Security Decision Memorandum 320, Washington, March 4, 1976.

Ford approved instructions for the U.S. delegation to the March–May 1976 (New York) session of UNCLOS III.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, National Security Decision and Study Memoranda, Box 1, NSDM 320. Secret. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. NSDM 260 is published as Document 14. NSDM 288 is published as Document 18.


Document 26: Memorandum From Secretary of State Kissinger to President Ford, Washington, April 6, 1976.

Kissinger explained the reasons why he believed Ford should veto a bill extending U.S. fisheries jurisdiction to 200 miles.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P760050–1559. Confidential. The draft veto statement has not been published.


Document 27: Telegram 85109 From the Department of State to All Diplomatic Posts, April 8, 1976, 2040Z.

The telegram summarized the contents of a speech delivered by Kissinger concerning Law of the Sea negotiations, requested posts to communicate with host governments about the issue, and issued additional guidance for selected posts.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Limited Official Use; Immediate. Drafted and approved in S/P by Veliotes; and cleared in D/LOS, EUR/RPE, AF/I, EA/J, NEA/RA, EUR/WE, and ARA/LA/PLC. Kissinger’s speech is published in Department of State Bulletin, April 26, 1976, pp. 533–542.


Document 28: Memorandum From Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft), Washington, April 9, 1976.

Clift outlined the arguments for and against vetoing 200-mile fisheries legislation placed before Ford for signature.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs Staff, Box 57, General Subject Files, Ocean Policy, 1976 (10). Confidential. Sent for action. Scowcroft initialed the memorandum. Tab A was not found. On April 13, President Ford signed the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, which provided that as of March 1, 1977, Congressionally-approved agreements with other governments were required for foreign vessels to fish within a 200 mile zone established by the Act. In addition to signing the Act, Ford simultaneously issued a statement of concern, published in Public Papers: Ford, 1976, pp. 1118–1121.


Document 29: Telegram 1508 From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State, April 12, 1976, 1936Z.

The Mission reported reactions to Kissinger’s April 8 speech concerning UNCLOS III negotiations.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Immediate. Sent for information to the embassies in London, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Nairobi, Ottawa, Cairo, Bonn, Jakarta, Brasilia, Lima, Vienna, Singapore, Dar Es Salaam, Madrid, Jidda, Santiago, and Mexico City. For Kissinger’s speech, see the source note for Document 27.


Document 30: CIA Working Paper on Law of the Sea Negotiations, Washington, June 1976.

The Working Paper summarized the accomplishments of previous UNCLOS III negotiations and assessed the prospects for the August–September 1976 (New York) session.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 92T00480R, Office of Current Intelligence Files (OPI 16), ER M 76–10461. Confidential; Noforn.


Document 31: Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford, Washington, June 14, 1976.

Scowcroft summarized a report on the March 15–May 7 (New York) UNCLOS III negotiating session.

Source: Ford Library, William Seidman Files, Box 75, Law of the Sea. Secret. Sent for action. A signed copy of Tab A is in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P760110–0509. Tab B was not attached to this document, but a copy is in the Department of State, S/SI Files: Lot 83 D 290, NSC Under Secretaries Committee Miscellaneous Memoranda (1972–1977), 1976. Tab C is published as UN Document A/CONF.62/WP.8/REV.1. NSDM 320 is published as Document 25. For Kissinger’s speech, see the source note of Document 27.


Document 32: Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford, Washington, August 9, 1976.

Scowcroft summarized the instructions to guide the U.S. delegation to the August–September 1976 (New York) UNCLOS III session and recommended approval.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 67, NSDM 336 (1). Secret. Ford initialed his approval. For Kissinger’s April 8 speech, see the source note to Document 27. Kissinger’s message to UNCLOS III President Amerasinghe is published in Department of State Bulletin, September 6, 1976, pp. 327–328. Tab A, as signed, is published as Document 38. Attached but not published at Tab B is the July 30 NSC Under Secretaries Committee Memorandum NSC–U/DM–109L from Habib to Ford. Attached but not published at Tab C is a July 21 memorandum from Frizzel to NSC Under Secretaries Committee Chairman Robinson.


Document 33: Memorandum for the Record, Washington, August 12, 1976, 6:30 p.m.

Kissinger discussed with Department of State officials how best to utilize his August 13–14 appearance at the August–September, 1976 (New York) UNCLOS III session.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820118–0520. Secret; Nodis. A note to researchers, this document was found under the date September 13, 1976 in the electronic search system.


Document 34: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, August 13, 1976, 10 a.m.

Kissinger discussed negotiating strategy with team leaders of the U.S. delegation to the August–September 1976 (New York) UNCLOS III session.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0558. Secret; Nodis. The "Brazil Group" or "Secret Brazil Group" included Brazil, Chile, France, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the United States, and, after mid–1976, Jamaica. The group met privately to negotiate compromises when impasses arose in LOS negotiations, and then quietly used UNCLOS III officers or sympathetic delegations to introduce conciliatory language into the public debate.


Document 35: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, August 13, 1976, noon.

Kissinger and other representatives of the U.S. delegation discussed Law of the Sea matters with members of the Mexican delegation.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0548. Secret; Nodis.


Document 36: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, August 13, 1976, 1:15–3:30 p.m.

Kissinger and other representatives of the U.S. delegation discussed Law of the Sea matters with UNCLOS III officers.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0508. Secret; Nodis. Kissinger’s toast was circulated as Department of State Press Release USUN (91) 76, which can be found in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0517. Ambassador Kenneth Osbourne Rattray of Jamaica was Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department and a member of the Jamaican UNCLOS III Delegation.


Document 37: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, August 13, 1976, 5 p.m.

Kissinger and other representatives of the U.S. delegation discussed Law of the Sea matters with members of the Soviet delegation.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0527. Secret; Nodis.


Document 38: National Security Decision Memorandum 336, Washington, August 14, 1976.

Ford approved instructions for the U.S. delegation to the August–September 1976 (New York) session of UNCLOS III.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, National Security Decision Memoranda and Study Memoranda, Box 1. NSDM 336. Secret. Copies were sent to the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. NSDM 260 is published as Document 14. NSDM 288 is published as Document 18. NSDM 320 is published as Document 25. The July 30 Memorandum from the Acting Chairman of the NSC Under Secretaries Committee is summarized in Document 32.


Document 39: Memorandum for the Record, Washington, August 24, 1976, 4:30 p.m.

Kissinger discussed with Department of State officials how best to utilize his early September appearance at the August–September, 1976 (New York) UNCLOS III session.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P860084–2123. Secret; Nodis. Paul Engo of the Republic of Cameroon chaired the First Committee of UNCLOS III.


Document 40: Memorandum for the Record, Washington, August 27, 1976, 11:30 a.m.

Kissinger met with selected Executive Branch representatives to discuss strategy on key Law of the Sea issues.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820118–0912. Secret; Nodis.


Document 41: Telegram 213536 From the Department of State to Multiple Posts, August 27, 1976, 2000Z.

The Department cabled for immediate delivery a private message from Kissinger to selected Foreign Ministers concerning the UNCLOS III negotiations taking place in New York.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Niact Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Newlin (D/LOS); cleared by Lord (S/P); and approved by Kissinger. Sent NIACT/immediate to Abidjan, Bogota, Bonn, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Canberra, Caracas, Dakar, Jakarta, Jidda, Kathmandu, Kingston, Kinshasa, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz, Lima, London, Lusaka, Mexico City, Monrovia, Nairobi, Nassau, Oslo, Ottawa, Rabat, San Jose, Santiago, Singapore, Tehran, The Hague, Tokyo, Tunis, Vienna, and Wellington. Sent immediate to USUN and Paris.


Document 42: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, September 1, 1976, 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Kissinger and other members of the U.S. delegation discussed marine scientific research and the status of the economic zone with representatives of selected delegations to UNCLOS III.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0625. Secret; Nodis.


Document 43: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, September 1, 1976, 1:15 p.m.

Kissinger and other members of the U.S. delegation discussed UNCLOS III negotiations with British, Soviet, Japanese and French representatives.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0672. Secret; Nodis. A note to researchers, this was found under the date December 8, 1976 in the electronic system.


Document 44: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, September 1, 1976, 4:45 p.m.

Kissinger and other members of the U.S. delegation discussed UNCLOS III issues with a roundtable of representatives from other states.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0651. Secret; Nodis.


Document 45: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, September 2, 1976, 9:30 a.m.

Kissinger and other members of the U.S. delegation discussed UNCLOS III issues with representatives from Norway, Sri Lanka, and Peru.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820121–0641. Secret; Nodis.


Document 46: Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, September 2, 1976, 5:40–6:46 p.m.

Kissinger reported to President Ford on his intervention at the UNCLOS III session in New York.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 21, September 2, 1976, Ford, Kissinger, Scowcroft. Secret; Nodis. For the announced changes in the U.S. position, see Kissinger's speech in source note, Document 27.


Document 47: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, September 10, 1976, 11 a.m.

After Kissinger’s second visit to the August–September 1976 (New York) UNCLOS III session, he discussed Law of the Sea matters with Department of State officials.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P860084–2438. Secret; Nodis. "Jules" refers to Katz.


Document 48: Telegram 225459 From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations, September 12, 1976, 0204Z.

Kissinger issued instructions to guide the U.S. delegation during the final stages of the August–September (New York) UNCLOS III negotiating session.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Immediate; Exdis, Stadis. Drafted by Blaney (S/P); cleared in L, OES, D/LOS, and S/S; and approved by Kissinger.


Document 49: Telegram 3788 From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State, September 17, 1976, 2107Z.

The U.S. delegation submitted an unclassified report concerning the August 2–September 17 (New York) UNCLOS III negotiating session.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Unclassified; Priority. Only the summary of the 22-page telegram is published. Kissinger’s September 17 statement issued upon the closing of the UNCLOS III negotiations in New York is published in Department of State Bulletin, October 11, 1976, pp. 451–453.


Document 50: Telegram 3795 From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State, September 17, 1976, 2153Z.

The U.S. delegation submitted a classified report concerning the August 2–September 17 (New York) UNCLOS III negotiating session.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Priority. The delegation’s unclassified report is published as Document 49.


Document 51: Memorandum From Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft), Washington, October 16, 1976.

Clift reviewed, for Scowcroft, the August 2–September 17 (New York) UNCLOS III negotiating session, outlined the preparatory steps to be taken prior to the May 1977 UNCLOS negotiations, and recommended course of action pertaining to domestic seabed mining and fisheries legislation.

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs Staff, Box 58, General Subject File, Ocean Policy, 1976 (18). Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. The tabs have not been found. For a copy of Learson’s report see Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs Staff, Box 58, General Subject File, Ocean Policy, 1976 (16). NSDM 336 is published as Document 38. In the same file is an October 21 memorandum from Scowcroft to the Under Secretaries Committee requesting a review of the most likely outcomes of Congressional seabed mining initiatives during 1977 and the development of legislative response options taking into account the positions of interested Executive Branch agencies.


Document 52: Memorandum of Conversation, New York, October 22, 1976, 4:30 p.m.

Kissinger discussed preparatory measures for the May 1977 LOS session with Department of State officials.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P860084–2438. Secret; Nodis. "Jules" refers to Katz.


Document 53: Action Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of State (Robinson) to Secretary of State Kissinger, Washington, November 22, 1976.

Robinson outlined a basic strategy for future UNCLOS III negotiations.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P760189–1838. Confidential. Drafted by Poats (D); and cleared in the LOS Planning Group. At the top of the first page notation in an unknown hand reads, "Interagency consultations are already underway. Robinson would appreciate confirmation you are in agreement with strategy laid out below." Kissinger initialed his approval and noted "Make absolutely clear that there is to be no further give in Committee I." Attached but not published is the 62-page paper, dated November 3. Legislation to enable U.S. companies to proceed with seabed mining had been introduced in previous sessions of Congress, the most recent being the 1976 Deep Seabed Hard Minerals Act (S. 713). No bill had been enacted by the close of the Ford administration and it was not clear what provisions might be included in legislation likely to be introduced in 1977.


Document 54: Briefing Paper Prepared in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the Department of State, Washington, undated.

This transition paper written for the incoming Carter administration outlined the principal issues surrounding UNCLOS III negotiations and the implementation of 200-mile fisheries legislation.

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 327, Department of State, Carter, Jimmy, Transition Papers, Briefing Books, Series I (2), December 1976. No classification marking. Drafted by OES and D/LOS. Coordinated with ARA/LA/EP, L, EB, and H. Department of State telegrams indicate that Anthony Lake of President-elect Carter’s transition team requested by December 6 this document as a follow-up to a November 18 briefing book that provided a general overview of major issues facing the new administration. (Telegram 289737 from the Department of State to Kissinger, November 26, and telegram 292120 from the Department of State to Kissinger, December 1, both in National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)