45. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1
- —The Supplemental is being held up by Senator Fulbright through the device of refusing to convene a conference with House conferees.
- —Senator Church has pledged to break the impasse if Secretary Rogers will give him a letter which in effect will express the Administration intention to conform to the restrictions on ground troops or advisors in Cambodia contained in Section 6 of the appropriation bill (at Tab B).2
- —Church and Fulbright fear the Administration will take advantage of the broader language contained in the DOD appropriations bill (at Tab C).3
- —Assistant Secretary Abshire believes such a letter is essential to passage of the Supplemental. (Draft language at Tab A.)4
- —Bill Timmons believes it may be essential.
- —It is State’s position that such a letter merely confirms what you told Senator Church at the reception last Tuesday, and what you stated at your press conference.5
- —The colloquy referred to in the letter (at Tab D)6 contains the following “concerns”:
- —That you would seek congressional consent before undertaking a full-scale invasion of Cambodia.
- —That the President’s powers and responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief not be interfered with.
- —That an “incursion” would be within the President’s power to act without Congress.
- —That an incursion on the scale undertaken last spring would be prohibited under the new language.
The draft language is approved7
The draft language is disapproved
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 318, Cooper-Church Amendment. No classification marking. The NSC Correspondence Profile sheet indicates the memorandum was logged in on December 21.↩
- Not printed. The Cooper-Church Amendment would restrict U.S. military activities in Cambodia. See Document 28.↩
- Not printed.↩
- The draft language, dated December 19, reads as follows: “Dear Senator Church: Confirming Assistant Secretary Abshire’s conversation with you, I should like to affirm that the Administration’s programs, policies and intentions in Cambodia in no way conflict with Section 6 of HR 19911, or with the concerns expressed in the colloquy on the floor of the Senate on 15th December.”↩
- Not further identified.↩
- Not found.↩
- The President initialed this option. The correspondence profile sheet contains a December 28 notation from Lehman that reads: “Language OKd by Pres, sent by Rogers to Cooper & Church, deal made. Supplemental sprung from Conf and passed Senate Wednesday 23rd. Hurrah!”↩