87. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Director of Central Intelligence (Schlesinger)1

K: Hello.

S: How are you doing?

K: OK.

S: The House, as you probably know, has voted through the Continuing Resolution and just added the ______ amendment which precluded any military action in any of the four countries without explicit authorization of Congress. The cutoff of activities in Cambodia is at midnight on the 30th. A Continuing Resolution is something that is normally not even considered for veto so we are going to have to face up to the question of a partial evacuation of Americans out of Phnom Penh.

[Page 360]

K: Yeh, I just think that a partial evacuation together with a cutoff will lead to a total collapses in Cambodia.

S: It points in that direction. I asked Bill Colby to run out to the station to see what their expectations are going to be.2

K: Yes.

S: We lost it.

K: By 24 votes.

S: Well, it was a 60 vote margin on the critical vote. Something like 232–170. It is just getting weaker and weaker each day and the Continuing Resolution was passed by 385–90. As a result even a veto could be contemplated for a Continuing Resolution—it could be overridden. It also puts us into a very (tough) position for funds after the Fiscal Year.

K: It is getting impossible to do anything in Indochina.

S: That is right. We can’t ______ the bombing should the North Vietnamese resume the bombing [fighting?].

K: Or the mining.

S: Well, the mining I have to check on. That may be sufficiently gray area that it is possible, but the Resolution was pretty well ______.

K: That finishes us.

S: That’s right. We have run out of string on this one. I trust the North Vietnamese will stay put and the responsibility for the pending collapse of Cambodia should be pinned on the Congress. Normally they bitch at the Executive Branch. They should be made to recognize it is their responsibility. I think it should bring over in time some improvement of the public.

K: Yes, but it doesn’t help us anywhere.

S: Not in Cambodia.

K: So the Continuing Resolution applies only two months.

S: Yes, but they will ______ on to ______ after that. What I am hoping here is the debacle in Cambodia will ______ them into their place.

K: OK, I will talk to the President and let you know tomorrow.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry A. Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 20, Chronological File. No classification marking. Kissinger was in San Clemente; Schlesinger was in Washington. All blank underscores are omissions in the original.
  2. See Document 89.