26. Memorandum From the Acting Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Walsh) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • The President’s Meeting with Ambassador Beam on March 20, 3:00 p.m.2

Ambassador Beam is in Washington on consultation prior to assuming his duties as Ambassador to the Soviet Union.3 He plans to arrive in Moscow on March 31. The Ambassador will be taking up his new post at a time when several positive developments are in train in US–Soviet bilateral relations. Specifically:

We are completing final arrangements with the Soviets on an exchange of chancery sites in Washington and Moscow and hope to reach formal agreement in the latter part of April.
We hope to negotiate with the Soviets this summer on the reciprocal establishment of consulates in Leningrad and San Francisco.
We expect to hold talks soon with the Soviets on peaceful uses of nuclear explosives.

Soon after his arrival in Moscow, Ambassador Beam will be calling upon a number of high Soviet officials, who will be anxious to learn what our latest position is on strategic arms limitations talks, the Middle East, Vietnam, and an eventual Summit meeting. The President may [Page 95] wish to discuss these subjects with Ambassador Beam with a view to the Ambassador’s subsequent discussions with Soviet officials.

A biographic sketch of Ambassador Beam is enclosed.4

Robert L. Brown 5
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 US–USSR. Confidential. Drafted by Gifford D. Malone (EUR/SOV) on March 14, and concurred in by Thompson Buchanan (EUR/SOV), Dubs, Toon, and Beam.
  2. According to the President’s Daily Diary Nixon met with Beam and Kissinger on March 20 from 3:08–3:50 p.m. No substantive record of the meeting has been found. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files) On March 18, Kissinger sent Nixon a memorandum of talking points with 6 tabs: a copy of Nixon’s letter to Rogers and Laird of February 4 (see Document 10), a draft letter to Kosygin (see Document 28), supplementary explanatory oral instructions for Beam, press guidance for Ziegler and Beam, draft letters to the major West European allies, and instructions to USNATO for briefing the North Atlantic Council. Beam describes the meeting in Multiple Exposure, p. 218, as follows: “Kissinger was present at my farewell talk with the President when we went over the draft letter to Kosygin. I was told to treat our talk with great secrecy. Since Secretary of State Rogers was away, I naturally left a memorandum for him reporting on what I had been doing, a step which I understand caused great annoyance to the White House staff.” No record of Beam’s memorandum to Rogers has been found.
  3. On March 13, the U.S. Senate confirmed Beam as Ambassador to the Soviet Union.
  4. Attached but not printed.
  5. Deputy Executive Secretary Robert L. Brown signed for Walsh.