Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has signed a contract with Little, Brown and Co., a subsidiary of Time Inc., for the publication of his memoirs in the United States and Canada.

Through the amount paid to Kissinger was not revealed by any parties directly involved with the contract, several industry sources place the figure at about $2 million.

There had been speculation that Kissinger would receive a much higher sum - as much as $5 million - in a single deal including all subsidiary rights. But Little, Brown has bought only the U.S. and Canadian hardback, paperback and book club rights to the memoirs, the company's president, Arthur H. Thornhill Jr. said. "We have not purchased the foreign rights. Serialization and syndication rights will probably not be sold for a few weeks," he said.

At least two houses, Simon and Schuster and Holt, Rinehart and Winston were known to be using the figure of $1 million as a guideline to the value of foreign, serialization, and syndication rights in determining their bids for the memoirs. Television and movie rights have also been retained by Kissinger. Their value is unclear.

Stewart Richardson, editor-in-chief of Doubleday, said that his company had only been interested in acquiring the entire rights package.

The sale of the remaining subsidiary rights will be handled by Kissinger's agent, Marvin Josephson. Thornhill expects to have a voice in "coordinating" the negotiations.

In the official announcement, Thronhill said, "I expect the book to be completed in the fall of 1979. The author intends to treat his role in government from 1968 to 1976 in depth." That period included the withdrawal from Vietnam, the peace negotiations in the Middle East, and Watergate.

Thornhill suggested that these "momentous events in United States History will make Dr. Kissinger's book fascinating and extremely valuable."