53. Memorandum From President Nixon to Secretary of State Rogers and Secretary of Defense Laird1

I believe you will agree that I am best served when there is full coordination between our respective staffs, and when I am fully apprised of current national security operational and policy questions. To ensure that there is no misunderstanding as to my policy in this area, I thought it would be useful to review the categories of messages which should regularly be referred here prior to transmission. These are:

  • —Policy cables—those laying out or interpreting general policy for the guidance of officials abroad as well as instructions regarding [Page 116] approaches to foreign governments or positions to be taken by representatives abroad.
  • —Operational instructions involving policy questions, current negotiations, or the handling of critical situations.
  • —Foreign visitors, either scheduled or prospective in whom there is a real or potential Presidential interest.
  • —Any communication which involves or mentions the President or the White House.
  • —Any telegram relating to a matter currently under consideration or scheduled for consideration by the National Security Council or its related bodies.
  • —Matters in which there is a known Presidential interest, particularly items which the President has, or may be expected to have, before him for decision.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 280, Department of State, Vol. III, 6/1/69. Confidential. Haig forwarded the memorandum to Kissinger for the President’s signature on June 26. (Memorandum from Haig to Kissinger, June 26; ibid., President’s Daily Briefs, Box 8, June 17–30, 1969) For background on the memorandum, see Document 50.