375. Memorandum From C. Fred Bergsten of the Operations Staff, National Security Council to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1

Per your request, I called Secretary Stans to inform him how HAK wanted to handle the bureaucratic issue between State and Commerce over our commercial representation abroad. You will recall that HAK wanted to send Stans’ proposal2 to State for comment and then put the package to the President.

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Stans informed me that the issue had been overtaken by events. First, State and Commerce are negotiating on the Commerce proposals. Second, Haldeman has raised the issue with the President who indicated that he wants the matter referred to the new Peterson Council. Stans is relatively happy with the progress along these lines, and so there is no need for us to take any further action from our side.

Since I have always advocated that we stay out of the issue as much as possible, I jumped at the opportunity and replied that we would in fact do nothing. I presume that HAK is not so interested in getting involved in this issue that he would wish to perpetuate his role in it, after the chief protagonist has withdrawn his request “for counsel on how to handle it.” (It is also clear that the protagonist goes various places for counsel.)3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 213, Commerce, Vol. II. No classification marking. Sent for information.
  2. Document 371.
  3. Haig wrote “OK” to Bergsten at the top of the memorandum.