127. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the Under Secretary of State (Irwin)1
- Your Luncheon Today with Henry Kissinger
Two of the regional Assistant Secretaries (Marshall Green and Joe Sisco) have raised with me the difficulties caused them by virtue of the fact that when the President meets with foreign leaders, State Department representatives are usually not included in the meetings. The normal practice is for Henry Kissinger to be the only American present besides the President and, if necessary, an interpreter.
Henry usually takes some time to prepare and distribute a record of the meeting. Our Assistant Secretaries and Ambassadors in the field are therefore left in the dark as to what has happened on matters which often are in a state of flux. For example, we do not yet have records of any of the President’s meetings with foreign leaders this past weekend.
I suggest that you raise this problem with Henry and urge him to persuade the President to include an appropriate State Department official whenever he meets with foreign leaders except on a tête-à-tête basis. You could tell Henry that we would of course not distribute records of Presidential conversations without White House concurrence. But this new procedure would enable us quickly to prepare action and information telegrams on matters of importance that are discussed in these meetings.2