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National Security Adviser. Presidential Briefing Material for VIP Visits, 1974-1976

Collection Finding Aid


A collection of briefing materials prepared for President Ford’s meetings with visiting heads of state and government officials.  There were over 50 official visits, and the material covers a wide array of foreign policy topics.  Also included are materials relating to more routine aspects of preparations for visits by foreign dignitaries.

9.2 linear feet (ca. 18,400 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-118)

Open, but some materials continue to be national security classified and restricted.  Access is governed by the donor’s deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, and National Archives and Records Administration regulations (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.  The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them.  Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Helmi Raaska, August 1997; Revised by Mark Fischer, May 2010
[s:\bin\findaid\nsc\presidential briefing material for vip visits.doc]


Presidential Briefing Material for VIP Visits is one of many sub-collections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files. The provenance of the Ford National Security Adviser Files and an explanation of the designations “Presidential” and “Institutional” are provided in Appendix A.

This collection contains materials relating to over 50 official visits to the United States by foreign heads of state and government officials.  The core materials for the visits are the briefing books prepared by the Department of State for President Ford’s meetings with the visiting dignitaries.  These briefing books include background information on U.S. bilateral relations with each country, talking points and strategy papers, and biographical sketches of members of the official party.  President Ford’s annotations are rare.  Although there are extensive background and preparatory materials for each meeting, there are no notes from the actual meetings or information on policy decisions.  The files also contain materials relating to the more routine preparations for each visit, such as developing schedules and compiling guest lists for social functions.  Briefing materials prepared for Mrs. Ford are sometimes included in the files.

Scope and Content
Middle East issues are particularly well documented, with extensive amounts of material for three visits each by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and King Hussein of Jordan, a visit by President Anwar El Sadat of Egypt, and a visit by Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. 

Other countries for which there is substantial material include Japan, West Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, France, and Indonesia. 
Three separate visits by delegations from Japan included Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, Prime Minister Takeo Miki, and a mainly ceremonial visit by Emperor Hirohito. 

There is also extensive material for the three visits by officials from West Germany.  Chancellor Helmut Schmidt visited twice during the Ford administration, and President Walter Scheel visited once.

 Concerning the United Kingdom, there were two visits by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1975, and a ceremonial visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain in July 1976.  Visits that took place in 1976 generally included some form of observance of the American Revolution Bicentennial celebration. 

President Giovanni Leone and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy each made one visit.  Interestingly, Prime Minister Andreotti’s visit occurred in December 1976, one month after President Ford lost his bid for election to Georgia governor Jimmy Carter.

There also is substantial material for the two visits by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada and the visits by President Valery Giscard d’Estaing of France and President Suharto of Indonesia.

NSC staff apparently started a file for a visit early in the initial discussion stage.  Folders remain in this series for visits that were never formally scheduled or were eventually cancelled or postponed.

Related Materials (May 2010)
Related materials are found in many other National Security Adviser files.  The subcollections Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Memoranda of Conversations, and the various Presidential Country Files are especially closely related.  Briefing materials were also prepared for the President’s trips abroad and are filed in the President’s Trip Files.  Researchers can locate relevant materials via PRESNET search reports, which are provided upon request.  New information is entered into the PRESNET database as collections become available for research.  Researchers are encouraged to consult the Ford Library website for announcements of collection openings and to view online collections and documents.  Related online materials include the National Security Adviser Files, Memoranda of Conversations.

Series Descriptions

Boxes 1-23          Briefing Material, 1974-76  (9.2 linear feet)
This series contains materials relating to visits to the United States by foreign heads of state and government officials.  The files include cables and memos concerning scheduling and logistics of the visit, strategy papers, talking points, briefing books, detailed scenarios, press guidance, guest lists for dinners and luncheons, and drafts and final versions of presidential toasts and remarks.  The materials prepared for President Ford’s meetings with the foreign visitors contain substantive background information on U.S. bilateral relations with each country.  However, the files do not contain notes on the actual meetings or information on policy decisions.  Other materials in the files pertain to the more routine aspects of visit preparations such as arranging schedules and compiling guest lists for social functions.
This series is arranged chronologically by date of visit.  Chronological order is maintained for the documents for each visit, with briefing books filed last.

Container List

Box 1               VIP Visits
8/16/74 - Jordan - King Hussein (1)-(3)
9/10-13/74 - Israel - Prime Minister Rabin (1)-(10)
9/21/74 - Japan - Prime Minister Tanaka
9/25/74 - Italy - President Leone (1)-(2)

Box 2               VIP Visits
9/25/74 - Italy - President Leone (3)-(14)
10/8/74 - Poland - First Secretary Gierek (1)-(3)

Box 3               VIP Visits
10/8/74 - Poland - First Secretary Gierek (4)-(8)
11/12/74 - Austria - Chancellor Kreisky (1)-(8)
12/4/74 - Canada - Prime Minister Trudeau (1)-(2)

Box 4               VIP Visits
12/4/74 - Canada - Prime Minister Trudeau (3)-(9)
12/5/74 - Germany - Chancellor Schmidt (1)-(9)

Box 5               VIP Visits
1/29-2/1/75 - United Kingdom - Prime Minister Wilson (1)-(15)

Box 6               VIP Visits
2/5/75 - Pakistan - Prime Minister Bhutto (1)-(9)
2/15/75 - Saudi Arabia - King Faisal
3/18-22/75 - Yugoslavia - Prime Minister Bijedic (1)-(7)

Box 7               VIP Visits
4/18-20/75 - Zambia - President Kaunda (1)-(4)
4/22/75 - Morocco - King Hassan (cancelled)
4/29/75 - Jordan - King Hussein (1)-(5)
5/1/75 - Tunisia - Prime Minister Nouira (1)-(5)

Box 8               VIP Visits
5/7/75 - United Kingdom - Prime Minister Wilson (1)-(2)
5/8/75 - Singapore - Prime Minister Lee (1)-(4)
5/14/75 - Netherlands - Prime Minister den Uyl (1)-(3)
5/16/75 - Iran - The Shah (1)-(5)

Box 9               VIP Visits
5/16/75 - Iran - The Shah (6)-(12)
5/22-23/75 - Senegal - President Senghor (1)-(4)
6/11/75 - Romania - President Ceausescu (1)-(2)

Box 10             VIP Visits
6/11/75 - Israel - Prime Minister Rabin (1)-(9)
6/16/75 - Germany - President Scheel (1)-(6)

Box 11             VIP Visits
6/16/75 - Germany - President Scheel (7)-(8)
6/20/75 - Syria - Foreign Minister Khaddam (1)-(2)
7/5/75 - Indonesia - President Suharto (1)-(10)

Box 12             VIP Visits
8/8-9/75 - Japan - Prime Minister Miki (1)-(12)
9/18-19/75 - USSR - Foreign Minister Gromyko (1)-(5)

Box 13             VIP Visits
9/18-19/75 - USSR - Foreign Minister Gromyko (6)-(7)
9/25/75 - Colombia - President Lopez (1)-(8)
10/2-3/75 - Japan - Emperor Hirohito (1)-(6)

Box 14             VIP Visits
10/2-3/75 - Japan - Emperor Hirohito (7)-(10)
10/10/75 - Norway - King Olav V
10/26-29/75 - Egypt - President Sadat (1)-(9)

Box 15             VIP Visits
10/26-29/75 - Egypt - President Sadat (10)-(24)

Box 16             VIP Visits
11/12/75 - Luxembourg - Prime Minister Thorn (1)-(5)
11/13/75 - Denmark - Prime Minister Jorgensen (1)-(2)
1/27-29/76 - Israel - Prime Minister Rabin (1)-(9)

Box 17             VIP Visits
1/27-29/76 - Israel - Prime Minister Rabin (10)-(15)
3/17/76 - Ireland - Prime Minister Cosgrave (1)-(3)
3/24-25/76 - Turkey - Foreign Minister Caglayangil (1)-(4)
3/30/76 - Jordan - King Hussein (1)-(5)

Box 18             VIP Visits
3/30/76 - Jordan - King Hussein (6)-(9)
4/5/76 - Sweden - King Gustaf (1)-(3)
4/12/76 - Italy - President Leone [cancelled]
5/11/76 - Denmark - Queen Margrethe (1)-(5)
5/17-20/76 - France - President Giscard d’Estaing (1)-(2)

Box 19             VIP Visits
5/17-20/76 - France - President Giscard d’Estaing (3)-(12)
6/2-3/76 - Spain - King Juan Carlos (1)-(7)

Box 20             VIP Visits
6/15/76 - Greece - Prime Minister Caramanlis [cancelled]
6/16/76 - Canada - Prime Minister Trudeau (1)-(4)
7/7-11/76 - Great Britain - Queen Elizabeth (1)-(12)

Box 21             VIP Visits
7/16-17/76 - West Germany - Chancellor Schmidt (1)-(12)
7/27/76 - Australia - Prime Minister Fraser (1)-(2)

Box 22             VIP Visits
7/27/76 - Australia - Prime Minister Fraser (3)-(6)
8/3-4/76 - Finland - President Kekkonen (1)-(8)
9/76 - Nigeria - General Gowon [not scheduled]
9/76 - Sri Lanka - Prime Minister Bandaranaike [not scheduled]
9/14/76 - Brazil - President Geisel [cancelled]
9/21-22/76 - Liberia - President Tolbert (1)-(2)

Box 23             VIP Visits
9/21-22/76 - Liberia - President Tolbert (3)-(7)
10/5/76 - Venezuela - President Perez [cancelled]
11/10/76 - Kenya - President Kenyatta [no indication visit actually took place]
12/6-7/76 - Italy - Prime Minister Andreotti (1)-(7)