139. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers1


  • State–White House Clearance Procedures

In recent weeks a number of outgoing State cables, which have not been coordinated with the White House, in my view needed clearance in order to comply with the President’s directives on clearance procedures. As you know, the President described his wishes concerning White House clearance in his Colorado Springs memorandum of September 1, 1969,2 and reaffirmed them in his memorandum of December 21, 1970, Subject: “Disclosures of Classified Information and Coordination and Clearance of Official Statements.”3 In both directives the President stated that, “Should there be any uncertainty as to Presidential or interdepartmental interests, it will be resolved in favor of clearance.”

The following cables are examples of cables which appear to have violated the spirit of the President’s instructions: State 209304 (Dec. 24); State 005063 (Jan. 12); State 005520 (Jan. 13); State 006930 (Jan. 14);4 State 007936 (Jan. 15); State 007497 (Jan. 15); State 007861 (Jan. 15); State 008169 (Jan. 17); State 016543 (Jan. 30) and State 016548 (Jan. 30). Many of these messages, undoubtedly, were dispatched without your being made aware of the clearance process followed. I noted, for example, that in the case of State 016543 you had only cleared the message in substance.

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I know that you share my interest in insuring adherence to the clearance and coordination procedures established by the President. In the future, if there is doubt as to White House interest or insufficient time for following formal procedures, I would welcome a phone call on outgoing cables dealing with policy issues.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 148, State/WH Relationship, Vol. 5. Secret; Exclusively Eyes Only. A handwritten note at the top of page 1 reads: “Dispatched by hand to Ted Eliot, 2–5–71.”
  2. Document 70.
  3. A copy is in the National Security Council, Secretariat, Directives, 1970, Directive #154.
  4. In a January 16 memorandum to Rogers which is attached to a January 16 cover note stating “Do not send! Hold per Gen Haig,” Kissinger called Rogers’ attention to the Presidential directives on White House clearance in light of telegram 006930 to Cairo: According to Kissinger, “a message to the Egyptian Foreign Minister repeated to six Ambassadors abroad as well as our Ambassador to the United Nations and authorizing the latter to show it to Ambassador Jarring by definition involves national policy and requires White House clearance under the provisions of the President’s directives.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 148, State/WH Relationship, Vol. 4)