Special Assistant to the President
Congressional Relations Office


Material concerning his work on legislation, congressional liaison, issues, and office administration while serving as the deputy director of the White House Congressional Relations Office. The most significant documentation concerns a variety of national security and foreign policy issues, including the Vietnamese War and investigations of the intelligence community, although some material on domestic issues appears. Included are minutes of some congressional leadership meetings with the President, 9/75-6/76.

2.0 linear feet (ca. 4,000 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-62)

Open. Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (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Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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 Dennis A. Daellenbach, January 1985
[s:\bin\findaid\wolthuis, robert - files.doc]


Robert K. Wolthuis

August 7, 1935 - Born, Ogden, Utah

1955-58 - Missionary, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, serving in the Netherlands

1959 - A.S. degree, Weber State College, Ogden, Utah

1960 - B.A. degree, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

1962 - M.A. degree, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

1963 - National Park Service, Washington, DC

1964-72 - Research Assistant, Legislative Assistant, and Administrative Assistant to Sen. Wallace F. Bennett, Republican from Utah

1968 - Ph.D. degree in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

1972 - Republican candidate for Congress, Utah's First Congressional District

1972-73 - Field Representative for Sen. Wallace F. Bennett

1973-74 - Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs (Senate)

1975-76 - Deputy to the Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs

1976-77 - Special Assistant to the President

1977- - Deputy Staff Director, Republican Policy Committee, United States Senate


The Robert Wolthuis files span the period November 1974 to January 1977. They document Wolthuis' work in the White House Congressional Relations Office.

Wolthuis, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs and administrative assistant to Sen. Wallace Bennett of Utah, joined the White House staff on January 1, 1975. Although his title changed several times, his primary responsibility remained the same for the duration of the Ford administration: to serve as chief deputy to Max Friedersdorf, the Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs and head of the Congressional Relations Office. Unlike other staff people in the office, Wolthuis did not work exclusively with Senators or Representatives. Rather, he handled broader legislative issues, directed the office in Friedersdorf's absence, and occasionally attended meetings in Friedersdorf's place.

The files' most significant documentation, including memoranda, correspondence, minutes and reports, relates to national security and foreign policy issues. Material on the Middle East covers the Turkish arms embargo, Arab boycott of firms dealing with Israel, and aid to Israel. For Vietnam, the material especially relates to a congressional fact finding trip in February 1975 and the follow‑up reports on the situation in Indochina. The files also include material on the 200 mile fishing limit and the Ford administration's response to investigations of U.S. intelligence activities. For many of these national security and foreign policy issues, and also for domestic concerns such as tax cuts and energy policy, the highest level documents are minutes of meetings which President Ford had with congressional leaders.

Other materials in the files cover a variety of domestic issues, routine administrative functions of the Congressional Relations Office, and Wolthuis' personal activities. In addition to the domestic topics covered in the legislative leadership meetings, there are scattered documents on bill signing ceremonies, military base realignments, and presidential letters of endorsement for candidates in the 1976 election. Office administrative items include a series of logs on bills received at the White House (November 1974‑October 1976) and congressional clearances for White House appointments (1975). The "Letters" folders contain Wolthuis' correspondence with members of Congress, and political, religious, and educational leaders in his home state of Utah.

Related Materials (January 1985)
The files of Wolthuis' colleagues in the Congressional Relations Office contain related material, especially covering the routine administrative functions of the office such as logs of bills received at the White House. Several categories in the White House Central Files relate to Wolthuis' activities and the substantive issues on which he was involved. Examples include FG 31-1 (Legislative Leadership Meetings), CO 1-7 (Middle East), CO 165-2 (South Vietnam), and FO 3-2/CO 156 (Mutual Security/Turkey).


General Subject File, 1974-77.  (Boxes 1‑5, 2.0 linear feet)
Memoranda to and from White House staff and agency officials; correspondence with members of Congress, agency officials, the general public, and personal friends; minutes of the President's meetings with congressional leaders; logs for personnel clearances and bills received at the White House; briefing papers, schedules, and reports. The materials primarily concern national security and foreign policy issues relating to intelligence investigations, Vietnam, and the Middle East; and routine administrative activities of the Congressional Relations Office. There are also scattered materials on domestic issues, including the 1976 campaign and legislation related to energy, tax cuts, and military base realignments.

Arranged alphabetically by subject, and chronologically thereunder.


Box 1 - General Subject File

  • Action Memo Log
  • Arab Boycott
  • Base Realignments: Kincheloe Air Force Base
  • Base Realignments: Lexington Blue Grass Army Depot
  • Bill Signing Recommendations from Members of Congress
  • Bills Received at the White House (1)‑(7)
  • Budget for Fiscal Year 1977
  • Cambodia Fact Sheets: Evacuation of Phnom Penh
  • Campaign ‑ 1976
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Club Heights Bicentennial Singers

Box 2 - General Subject File

  • Congressional Briefings ‑ Defense Issues
  • Congressional Leadership Meetings
  • 9/24/75: GOP
  • 9/25/75: Bipartisan
  • 10/7/75: GOP
  • 11/3/75: Bipartisan
  • 11/5/75: GOP
  • 11/13/75: GOP
  • 12/10/75: GOP
  • 3/24/76: Bipartisan
  • 4/7/76: Bipartisan
  • 4/27/76: GOP
  • 6/23/76: Bipartisan
  • Congressional Relations
  • Congressional Requests ‑ General
  • Congressional Travel
  • Defense Issues: General
  • Diego Garcia: Presidential Determination
  • Energy: List of Presidential Meetings with Members of Congress
  • Federal Election Commission
  • Fisheries Legislation: 200 Mile Limit
  • Foreign Policy: General
  • Fundraising Letter for Senate ‑ House Campaign Fund
  • Intelligence Investigations: Chile
  • Intelligence Investigations: Church Committee (1)‑(2)
  • Intelligence Investigations: Pike Committee
  • Legislative Calendar for 1976
  • Legislative Conference at Camp David, 1976
  • Legislative Report for 1975

Box 3 - General Subject File

  • Letters File (1)‑(5)
  • Mayaguez: Congressional Responses
  • Memo File (1)‑(7)

Box 4 - General Subject File

  • Memo File (8)‑(13)
  • Micronesia Negotiations
  • Middle East
  • Military Construction Authorization Act
  • Personnel Clearances Log
  • Presidential Endorsement of Congressional Candidates, 10/76
  • Rockefeller Commission
    : Draft Executive Orders Implementing Recommendations
    : Memo to the President (1)‑(2)
  • Schedules: Presidential Campaign Trips
  • Schedules: Mrs. Ford's Campaign Trips

Box 5 - General Subject File

  • Staff Meeting with the President, 11/3/75
  • Transfer of SCORE and ACE to the Small Business Administration
  • Turkish Arms Embargo
  • Vietnam: Evacuations
  • Vietnam: Fact Sheets
  • Vietnam: General
  • Vietnam: Report by Congressman McCloskey
  • Vietnam: Visit by Members of Congress