334. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the Representative to the United Nations (Stevenson)1
LBJ: Yeah, yeah.
AES: —and we’re not going to have to ask you whether-to take any political heat because there isn’t any…
LBJ: I got a very distressing memo from Bunche.2 I wish you’d talk to him. Tell him that you have thoroughly gone over this with me and that I shared your view that we ought to go just as far as we could with any self-respect to find an area of agreement, and you had done that. And you’d touch base with Fulbright ahead of time and …
AES: Well, the trouble with that is …
LBJ: …tell him I’m just as distressed as he is.
AES: I would have gone further, as you know, as I told you yesterday3 that the State Department was ready to go and anxious to do that, uh, what, just ten days ago and I talked to Mac Bundy about it. You were ill at the time. And he didn’t take it up with you. I would have gone further and accepted the $15(?) million payment and made a big play to the General Assembly that while we were, ah, while we were, ah, conceding[?]4 this point, for the present[?], at least until next September, we were doing so in order to preserve the organization without prejudice to our position, but I could never get any support for that at the State Department, and I also rather have the feeling that they wanted me to take the preliminary measures, the preliminary proposals first. Having made them, I don’t think now I can well go back and capitulate further.
LBJ: Well, you know the situation there better than I do. Let me transfer you and you dictate this memo. I’ve got a group here …
AES: I will, I will, Mr. President.
- Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation between President Johnson and Ambassador Stevenson, Tape 65.06, Side A, PNO 1. No classification marking. The President was in Washington; Stevenson was in New York City. There is no indication of the time of the conversation. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume.↩
- Document 332.↩
- No record of a February 5 telephone call or meeting was found. However, according to the President’s Daily Diary, Stevenson and Johnson met on February 4 at the White House between 12:19 and 12:24 p.m. “The President and Mrs. Johnson presented him a small cake, decorated with one candle, reading, ’Happy Birthday Adlai.’” (Johnson Library) No further record of this meeting was found.↩
- All brackets in the source text.↩