150. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

D: I hope you arrived on time at your office last night.2

K: You should know with your intelligence network.

D: Yes, but I received mixed reports. According to one you went straight to your office; according to the others you went other places.

K: You keep only the agents who said I went to my office. The others aren’t worth their pay.

D: But the other things sounded too official.

K: I’ll let you know when I am doing something unofficial. I am going to send over some partial comments.

D: That would be helpful.

K: On the draft.3

D: I remember.

K: But I want you to understand these are not phrased in polite diplomatic language.

D: I understand.

K: They are phrased in terms of what is acceptable and what is not. We will instruct our Ambassador accordingly.

D: Just indicates the direction of your thinking?

K: Yes, they are not formal and are all negative.

D: They are all negative. There must have been something positive.

K: I told you the positives yesterday4—these are the things we want changed. But we do not have an exact formulation. We will try to have that tomorrow, but have indicated what we want.

D: Those four major things?

K: They are in there. Was that all you wanted? I gave you comments on every section.

D: That is fine.

K: But we will approach it in a positive spirit. One point on which I may have misled you. We are prepared to upgrade the commercial [Page 432] representation you have there, but we cannot do anything that has diplomatic status.5 But this is informal—not in the document.

D: Okay. I understand. I am going to Moscow on Saturday.6 I know you are leaving on Friday. If I have any questions I will drop them in the mail to you before Friday.

K: Okay, Friday afternoon is when I leave.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File. No classification marking.
  2. See footnote 1, Document 149.
  3. See Document 144.
  4. See Document 149.
  5. Reference is to the issue of Soviet presence in West Berlin.
  6. March 27.