[Omitted here is dissussion unrelated to arms control]
Kissinger: Now, just a minor
thing. In the letter in which they are transmitting this thing [the
SALT agreement] to Congress, we
asked the Arms Control Agency to draft it—and it actually had already
passed through my office and was on the way to your office.
Kissinger: It said “This
culminates a twenty-five years of consistent American policy” -
Nixon: Oh Christ!
Kissinger: - “to bring nuclear
weapons under control.” Well, I changed this to say, “This represents
the efforts of this administration, pursued from 1969 on” -
Nixon: Right! Of course!
Kissinger: - “to” -
Nixon: The nuclear policy over 25 years, now that's a pure Smith gripe.
You know that, as if—you know—he tries to say—his whole line has been,
Henry, that this is the outgrowth of the Nonproliferation Treaty. It has
not a goddamn thing to do with the Nonproliferation Treaty, and the Test
Ban treaty and all the rest. This is nuts. I wasn't for those things,
Kissinger: I wasn't either.
Nixon: I supported nonproliferation because we had to. But you see,
Smith, Bob, is always trying to put it as if—you know why that is? The
son-of-a-bitch is trying to give credit to the Democrats. Do you
Kissinger: Of course. If it is an
obligation entered into as a result of the Nonproliferation Treaty it's
a—we didn't support—since we didn't negotiate the Nonproliferation
Treaty. It isn't our record.
Nixon: That's right.
Kissinger: So, again on my way to
Japan, on my trip to Japan, the State Department was bugging the
daylights out of me and I was getting briefing papers, letters, planted
questions, if I would publicly support the Nonproliferation Treaty in
Japan and squeeze the Japanese government.
Nixon: I hope you didn't.
Kissinger: I didn't. I sort of
mumbled around where ever the ambassador was present. But I told Sato and Fukuda privately that what you said in
San Clemente is our policy.
[Kissinger is apparently referring
to a January 7, 1972, meeting at San Clemente between the President and
Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku
Sato. According to a memorandum of that conversation,
Sato asked the President whether Japan should move rapidly to ratify the
NPT and he replied as follows: “Each
nation should handle this problem in the light of its own circumstances.
It is not a matter for us to decide and we respect the right of each
nation to decide for itself in the light of its own desires. The United
States…is not exerting pressure. In fact…Japan might take its time and
thus keep any potential enemy concerned.” According to the memorandum,
Nixon then asked Sato to “forget the preceding remark.” The record of
the meeting was attached as tab B to a January 21, 1972, memorandum from
Holdridge to Kissinger at the
National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry A. Kissinger Office Files, Box
1025, Pres./HAK Memcons,
President/PM Sato, Jan 6-7,
Haldeman: [unclear] have any problem?
Kissinger: No, but—
Nixon: [unclear] has to report it, Bob. [unclear]
Kissinger: No, he's a decent guy,
Kissinger: He's a good guy.
Kissinger: And this trip does him
a lot of good.
Nixon: Yeah, because he got to go the—
Kissinger: Yeah, he got to—
Nixon: Let me say, the State [Department] always puts that
Nonproliferation Treaty in there. You know what the reason is? The State
Department bureaucracy considers that to be theirs, Henry. Really, it's
a selfish damn thing. Now listen, the Nonproliferation Treaty has
nothing to do with the security of the United States of America. You
know very well.
Kissinger: It's made at the
expense of other countries.
Nixon: That's right.
Kissinger: And basically-we can't
say this publicly-I sort of would like to see [text not
Nixon: That's right. I support it too.
[Omitted here is discussion Kissinger's recent trip to Japan.]
1Source: National Archives, Nixon
Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Conversation No. 732-11.
No classification marking. The editor transcribed the portions of
the tape recording published here specifically for this