170. Memorandum From President Nixon to Secretary of State Rogers and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

Confirming the discussions you have had recently with the Attorney General and Bob Haldeman, it is essential that we all have a clear agreement as to our basic operating procedure with regard to all matters relating to China, the Soviet Union, the Middle East, Cuba and Chile.

Because of the sensitive nature of our relationships in these areas, I must be kept fully informed at all times of any contacts made and action taken. Also I must have the opportunity to review any proposed contacts or actions before they are undertaken—with sufficient advance time so that I can provide additional instructions or guidance if necessary.

I am asking, therefore, that each of you assume the responsibility of seeing that I am so informed regarding any such actions or contacts by yourself or any member of your department.

Without limiting the general sense of this request—I want to be particularly sure that all meetings on any topic with representatives of the Soviet Union, PRC, Israel, the Arab States or Chile are cleared in advance with me. I would appreciate an outline of the proposed objective of the meeting and the specific talking points to be covered. I will, of course, also need a complete memorandum of conversation following the meeting.

I am fully aware that there are some problems involved in carrying out these instructions, and I know they have been discussed at length. I’m sure, however, that you will both understand the importance during this critical year of making sure we find a way to handle this and I will appreciate your cooperation.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office Files of William P. Rogers: Lot 73 D 443, Box 25, WPR—President Nixon. Secret; Eyes Only; Personal.