68. Notes of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rogers and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson)1

Secy Rogers calling from Walter Reed (there for a check-up). Re Thailand, Secy said we should all keep quiet about it now. Amb J said Tanat is very very happy. Secy said to tell everyone to keep quiet—we have nothing else to say. Amb agreed with this line.

Secy said he had couple of run-ins with Henry Kissinger yesterday Secy said first he and Newsom2 were working on Nigeria when he got a roundabout message from Lake saying that President didn’t want anything done until he returned from Calif. When Secy asked Lake who told him to call, he said Henry. Secy then called Kissinger to find out what was going on—Henry said that it was a mistake, Lake [Page 149] should not have called. Then later in day Secy was working on Thai message to Fon Min when Marshall Green’s3 office rec’d message from the White House saying that the President wanted to send the message. Secy called Henry again asked what the devil was going on—Henry had earlier told Secy that such incidents would not take place again. Kissinger again said it was mistake that Ted Eliot should have been informed of this. Secy told Kissinger that President should not be sending messages to FonMins—Kissinger agreed. Secy told Kissinger in no uncertain terms that he wanted this business of Kissinger’s subordinates sending him messages stopped—said Kissinger’s messages were “not worth a damn” and that he had no intention of following them!

Secy asked Amb to get out message for his signature to Kissinger along following lines: “To make certain that we get directions clearly and readily understood and be sure directed to appropriate people who handle them, has been agreed with White House staff that directions from President will come directly to me or to the Secretariat.” Secy said he wanted something that sounded friendly, not like having a feud.

Amb J asked Secy when he would be coming back. Secy said he would be in tomorrow. Amb said he had several things to discuss and that he would be going back to San Clemente for a meeting on Sept. 4th. Secy said he would be going back around the same time. Amb said he would report conversation he had with boss when he sees Secy tomorrow.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, U. Alexis Johnson Files: Lot 96 D 696, Telcons, Personal. No classification marking.
  2. David Newsom, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
  3. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.