136. Draft Paper Prepared in the National Security Council1


All contacts with the White House by the Secretary of State which deal with national security affairs and foreign policy must, as a general rule, be channeled through the NSC office. Direct telephone calls from the Secretary to the President should normally be handled this way. Exceptions should be brought immediately to Dr. Kissinger’s attention so that he is fully apprised of the contents of the Secretary’s exchange with the President.
The President’s directive from Colorado Springs of September 1, 19692 and from Washington on December 21, 1970, are in full force.3 They require that all cables and contacts involving policy matters and especially those with the Soviet Union, including Ambassadorial contacts, will be cleared by the President through the NSC office. Cases of doubt will be resolved in favor of clearance. Following such a contact, the President, through Dr. Kissinger, will be immediately informed in writing of the full context of the exchange.
Henceforth, the Middle East situation will be managed within the broad framework of the National Security Council system as with any national security matter. Existing White House clearance procedures will be applicable. (Dr. Kissinger agrees that if the President so directs, he will defer to the Secretary of State on policy issues involving the Middle East situation but this arrangement must be applied within the established NSC system.)
Just as press leaks emanating from the White House which are derogatory to the Department of State are unacceptable to the national security, similarly attacks on White House policies emanating from State sources constitute attacks on the Presidency and are no longer acceptable. Immediate remedial steps should be taken to insure greater discipline in their respect.
Dr. Kissinger will agree to notify the Secretary of State prior to any contacts involving policy matters between him and the representatives of foreign governments. Notification of the fact of contact will be made beforehand and a memorandum of conversation will be furnished in writing on an exclusive basis, following the contact.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 148, State/WH Relationship, Vol. 4. Secret; Sensitive. A handwritten notation on the source text reads: “Typed 4:15 p.m.” The paper was presumably prepared in connection with Kissinger’s meeting on January 20 with Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Shultz, and Mitchell that is described in Document 135.
  2. Document 70.
  3. A copy is in the National Security Council, Secretariat, Directives, 1970, Directive #154.