A mix of routine and substantive letters and telegrams exchanged between President Ford and leaders of sixty-four countries. Substantive exchanges address such topics as Angola, the British financial crisis, economic summit meetings, Middle East peace process, OPEC, Cyprus, South Vietnam, NATO, and Soviet influence in Africa and Asia. Supporting materials, including memoranda, notes, and letter drafts, round out the collection.

Summary Description | Introduction | Series Descriptions | Container List

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1.5 linear feet (ca. 3,000 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Gerald Ford has donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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, 1998; Revised by Geir Gundersen, March 2004
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Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders is one of many subcollections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files. The provenance and nature of the National Security Adviser Files as a whole are described in Appendix A

The subcollection described here concerns letters and telegrams exchanged between President Ford and leaders from sixty-four countries. The materials address regional issues as well as issues specific to individual countries and are arranged alphabetically by country and then by name of foreign leader.

Scope and Content of the Materials
Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders includes material prepared for and by the National Security Adviser and the National Security Council staff. Letters, telegrams, memoranda, notes, and drafts of messages make up the bulk of the collection.

The collection consists primarily of letters, many of them originals, sent by foreign leaders to President Ford and copies of letters and messages sent by President Ford to foreign leaders. Many folders contain supporting materials used in drafting President Ford’s letters and telegrams.

The Presidential correspondence ranges from routine courtesy messages to substantive letters on many foreign policy issues. The routine communications, for example, convey congratulations on the assumption of office, invitations to visit, and greetings on national holidays. The substantive letters and telegrams address a wide-range of topics such as Angola and the administration’s policy in Africa, the British financial crisis, Cambodia, economic summit meetings, the Middle East peace process, nuclear proliferation, trade, OPEC and oil prices, Cyprus, Spain’s shift to democracy, NATO, the final months in South Vietnam, and Soviet influence in Africa and Asia. 

Major correspondents include Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada, Premier Chiang Ching-kuo of the Republic of China (Taiwan), President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, President Valery Giscard d’Estaing of France, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), the Shah of Iran, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel, Prime Minister Aldo Moro of Italy, Prime Minister Takeo Miki of Japan, President Park Chung Hee of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), President William Tolbert of Liberia, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan, Premier Chou En-lai of the People's Republic of China, King Faisal and King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Prime Minister James Callaghan of the United Kingdom, President Nguyen Van Thieu of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), and President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia. 

Related Materials (March 2004)
Related materials are available in a number of other open and closed National Security Adviser collections, including the Presidential Country Files, Presidential Transition Files, Memoranda of Conversations, NSC Staff Files, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Kissinger Trip Briefing Books and Cables, and Presidential Trip Briefing Books and Cables. Additional correspondence and messages with foreign leaders are located in the White House Central Files Subject File, while further information on the editing process is found in the Paul Theis and Robert Orben Files and Robert Hartmann Files. Researchers can identify file locations of related open materials from PRESNET search reports, which are available upon request. As closed collections are processed and opened, they will be added to the PRESNET database. Researchers can also consult the Ford Library website for announcements of collection openings.


Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, 1974-77.  (Boxes 1-5, 1.5 linear feet)
Letters, telegrams, memoranda, notes, and drafts of messages concerning President Ford’s correspondence with leaders of sixty-four countries. The materials, a mix of routine and substantive messages, address a wide array of regional issues and issues specific to individual countries. Examples include Australian and Irish meat quotas, Canada’s purchase of Long-Range Patrol Aircraft, Taiwanese anxiety about the administration’s one China policy, the Rambouillet and Puerto Rico economic summit meetings, the Italian economy, the U.S-West German balance of payments offset agreement for the NORTHAG brigade, the fallout from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Saudi Arabian influence on oil prices, Iranian nuclear matters, Great Britain and the IMF agreement on gold and exchange rates, the Sinai Accords, the Lockheed scandal in Japan, Pakistan’s concern about Soviet influence in India and Afghanistan, North Vietnamese violations of the Paris Agreement, the international impact of the U.S. economy and recession, and African thoughts on US policy and Soviet influence in Angola and southern Africa.

Arranged alphabetically by country and then by name of foreign leader. 


Please click on folder titles to view contents.

Box 1 - Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders

Box 2 - Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders

Box 3 - Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders

Box 4 - Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders

Box 5 - Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders