156. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1
D: It is difficult for good friends to say good-bye.
K: I tell you, you terrify me so much. I don’t see why I get you answers; you never get me any.
D: You saw I was efficient yesterday.2
K: You were straightening out your mess. (laughter)
D: Everything is clear and I have no problem.[Page 455]
K: It is substantive answers that I need.
D: When you ask me for anything I get you answers very quickly.
K: Only on something you want. You have me so cowed that when I see you I get people out of bed and I talk to the President. I wanted to give you an answer if you would stop interrupting me (laughter). On the commercial business, no problem about equal status and so we are against discrimination.3
D: After one hour of thought I thought you would come to this conclusion.
K: See, you tell your Government you scored a tremendous victory.
D: When I say equal they will say naturally.
K: The last point—consulate general—we can be quite flexible about commercial enterprises. So, you can assume that most of the items on your list are acceptable. We want a little flexibility. And the other points on commitment and on the other two items—I have found a way of communicating there and I will have an answer before tomorrow evening.
K: But the general sense which I gave you is almost certainly correct.
D: Thank you very much. I always was thinking and deeply believed you were a very efficient man.
K: You also think that I am easily flattered.
D: Oh, no, no, no, come on!!
K: When we are both out of government service, which will be a lot later for you than me, I hope you will let me read the reports you send in on me.
D: I can tell you before. When I get back I will tell you.
K: I will probably talk to you tomorrow. If not, I will put it in an envelope and leave it for General Haig. In that case I would call you Saturday morning.4