173. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to the President’s Assistant (Haldeman)1


  • President’s Visit to the Soviet Union

As we intensify preparations for the President’s visit to the Soviet Union,2 I plan to take personal charge of State Department coordinating efforts with the various relevant departments of the Government. I shall be having a series of meetings this week within the Department of State to review the current situation, after which I intend to call in Ambassador Dobrynin to discuss the various bilateral negotiations presently or potentially under way which might have a bearing on the Summit conference. We may also be meeting with representatives of [Page 345] other agencies who are, or will be conducting discussions with the Soviets during the pre-Summit period, with a view to insuring that their efforts fit into the general framework both as to timing and possible use in connection with the Presidential visit. Marty Hillenbrand, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, will be working closely with me on the substantive side pursuant to Presidential decisions.

As far as planning the physical arrangements for the trip are concerned, our principal representative will be John Thomas. I will appreciate it if as you proceed to make plans for the visit that Mr. Thomas can attend meetings and be kept fully posted.

William P. Rogers3
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 148, State/WH Relationship, Vol. 5. Confidential. A copy was sent to Kissinger.
  2. President Nixon visited the Soviet Union May 22–30 for the Moscow Summit at which the SALT I and ABM treaties were signed. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXII, SALT I.
  3. In a March 15 memorandum to Haldeman, Kissinger stated that “a personal coordinating role by the Secretary could, obviously, pose serious problems with respect to the preparation of substantive matters which have already been set in motion” and thus he believed it essential that Haldeman “remind the Secretary that whatever coordinating role he visualizes for himself should be within the framework of the provisions of the NSC directives which have already been promulgated.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 148, State/WH Relationship, Vol. 5) Kissinger attached a draft memorandum from Haldeman to Rogers which, with revisions, Haldeman dispatched on March 16 (Document 174).