221. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

P: Any late developments?

K: Itʼs more and more certain itʼs India attacking and not Pakistan. We cut off other military supplies. Secy. wants to go to Security Council and go on TV. I say we can go just as soon as Pakistan says itʼs all right with them. We are sending a message2 through our channels to speed it up. I donʼt think we should rush until we see what they want. And tell the Chinese itʼs done with Pakistanʼs concurrence.

P: Why stick our nose in unless they want us.

K: The right way to do it is low key way and call a Security Council meeting.

P: If Rogers goes on TV itʼs not going to be a plague on both your houses. He understands?

K: I hope so.

P: He knows. They have the same facts we have. Donʼt they know India—Everyone knows Pakistan not attacking India.

K: Attacks took place at 5:45 when dusk falling. Three commercial airfields. The other attack at [omission in the source text]. Pakistan could not do it in 15 minutes. Pakistan must be [have] jumped off and India pursued. [omission in the source text] You canʼt follow us and other side has 5 hours on alert. Thatʼs what Moorer said.

P: They would do it at dawn to surprise them.

K: And keep up attacks.

P: Itʼs a tragedy the Indians are so treacherous. Her attitude—not that it is [omission in the source text] our attitude but to put it on an anti-colored attitude. How much help is she getting from colored people?

K: We should stop [start?] cutting economic aid now. $90 million of letters of credit unsigned.

P: Put a stop order on them. They must be signed by me. I think we should go slow on giving visas to Americans going there. American businessmen and others.

[Page 609]

K: Right.

P: Tell them to slow down. We donʼt want to have to evacuate some jerks and businessmen trying to make investments. What else?

K: Administratively the [omission in the source text] is cut aid next year.

P: That would have to be done in Congress.

K: [omission in the source text]

P: I see. Get Hannah busy and let it leak. We told her if they went in it would be tough.

K: Scott made a speech and Morse and Frelinghuysen3 already said something.

P: He4 was pro-Indian but an honest man.

K: He turned around.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

[P:] On India/Pakistan we are not doing this out of peak [pique] or mad at India. They may react like Nasser did.

K: Itʼs not in their interest.

P: It puts them fully in hands of Russians.

K: It will drive Chinese to us.

P: Can Russians feed 400 million Indians?

K: And Egypt and Cuba? They are getting overextended.

P: You give figure of 6 million dollars worth of aid.5

K: It turns out to be 10.

P: Multilateral also?

K: Yes. But 10 is quite a slug.

P: I bet Passmanʼs figure is bigger. Give Passman a call.6 Say President says 10 billion to India and ask what his figures show. He would appreciate being asked. Going to Gridiron tomorrow?

K: No.

P: Lucky.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington. According to a note on the transcript, the call was placed late in the afternoon.
  2. Reference is to a telegram sent by Ambassador Raza to his government through U.S. communication channels.
  3. William Scott, F. Bradford Morse, and Peter Frelinghuysen were Republican Representatives from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, respectively.
  4. Reference is to Frelinghuysen.
  5. The question involved the amount of economic assistance provided by the United States to India since 1947, either directly or through multilateral organizations. The dollar amounts involved were billions rather than millions.
  6. 6 After talking with the President, Kissinger called Representative Otto Passman, who served as Chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Passman provided a figure of $8.3 billion in U.S. economic assistance to India. (Transcript of a telephone conversation, December 3; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)