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16. Memorandum From President Nixon to his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

In reading the news summaries, particularly the television coverage, the line is already developing that the negotiations in Paris are deadlocked. The next step we can anticipate is that the commentators [Page 53]will begin to demand that we change our position in order to make headway. I think it is important that you keep in close touch with Lodge—probably by telephone—so that (1) he does not become discouraged by this type of coverage, and (2) in his backgrounders and other press statements he can knock down the idea that we should expect any kind of progress at this early date. In fact, I think it would be helpful if he indicated that several months usually are required before parties on such basic substantive disagreements begin to make progress, but use your judgment as to how to handle it. Incidentally, our observers here said that, “Lodge comes across so well on TV, it might not be a bad idea to encourage him to do more of it. He just looks like a model negotiator and certainly inspires more hope as a personality than Harriman did. His appearance counts for much and it may.”

You might read this to Lodge when you talk to him on the phone and indicate to him that he should find every opportunity to say something on TV which reaches the United States—forget what the Europeans, particularly Parisians, may see or write. He should aim everything he says toward the United States indicating that the going is hard and that he does not hold out any false optimism, but that he is convinced that the negotiations will succeed, and that he is getting every possible encouragement from RN.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 182, Paris Talks/Meetings, Paris Talks, Vol. I, 1–69, Memos and Miscellaneous. No classification marking. A note at the top of the page by Eagleburger reads: “Note to Ken Cole: HAK called Lodge 2/4/69. LSE.” The memorandum is unsigned.