57. Memorandum From President Nixon to Secretary of State Rogers 1
- Paris Negotiations
I have recently been given a very disturbing report by a member of the staff of our negotiating team in Paris, which came to me on a personal basis.
The report, an extract of which is attached, indicates that our negotiating team is fundamentally split on the issue of the conduct of U.S. negotiations and that there are members of the team who are actively involved in a disloyal campaign “to save the President from himself.” Activities include the conduct of correspondence with elements in the United States who favor termination of the war under any conditions, informal and frequent discussions with the press and friendly and unfriendly embassies to which opinions and views contrary to official policy are expressed.
Allegedly this activity has been conducted for some time without the cognizance of the head of our negotiating team and in flagrant violation of my previously stated policy on the conduct of our negotiations.
As I have emphasized on several occasions, I expect and encourage the free exchange of conflicting views on any policy issue up until the time a decision is made. Following decision, however, viewpoints in conflict with stated policy should be silenced. I expect a complete adherence to this policy throughout the Department of State and our embassies abroad. Should deviations come to your attention, the individuals involved should be promptly replaced.