78. Notes of Meeting1
NOTES ON BRIEFING OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT NIXON AND GOVERNOR AGNEW
THOSE ATTENDING THE BRIEFING WERE:
- The President
- Former Vice President Nixon
- Secretary Rusk
- CIA Director Helms
- Cyrus Vance
- Governor Agnew
- Tom Johnson
CIA Director Helms: Czechoslovakia is eased, not over. The Czechs want to reduce commitment to Warsaw Pact. Czechoslovakia made certain assurances. Prague meeting will take place in September. Soviets seek to bring about reforms.
Nixon: Is it your opinion that the Soviets can’t let this happen?
Secretary Rusk: The problem is if both sides can move along so Czechoslovakia can progress and the Soviets can take care of its problems with its students, visitors.
Nixon: Will pressure be kept on?
CIA Director Helms: Yes. The situation will continue to be a tense one.
Nixon: The best line publicly is that this is a sensitive situation. We have sympathy but to say anything would not be helpful.
Secretary Rusk: That is right.
Governor Agnew: What is the relation of this to the Jewish question?
CIA Director Helms: No anti-semitism in Czechoslovakia.
Nixon: The Czech government goes to great pains to show Jewish cemetery. It is no problem. It is a problem in Poland.
Secretary Rusk: Don’t give the Russians a pretext for action. We’ve been tough on the USSR privately, not in public.
[Here follow 4 pages of discussion of the Near East and Vietnam.]
- Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. Prepared by Tom Johnson.↩