246. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Director of Central Intelligence Helms1
H: Happy Birthday.2
K: Thank you.
H: That’s what I was calling about …
K: I appreciate it. I had a question: Are you sure the Soviet submarine is nuclear powered?3
H: No, I am not. We had a conversation about that yesterday. It is not clear what that submarine is. TASS has made an announcement to the effect that it’s going to be there.4
K: But if it’s nuclear powered and cruise missile …
H: It’s okay.
K: Well, technically, but I would then let Dobrynin know that they are getting to the limit of the understanding and it’s a hell of a time to annoy us. But if it’s a diesel submarine it’s okay. We haven’t even heard that it might be a Y-Class submarine.
H: It might be some kind of communication link between two things. But it was too inconclusive and couldn’t be proven.
K: Can you find out for me as fast as possible if it is nuclear-powered with cruise-type missiles?
H: I don’t know if I can …
K: It’s supposed to be an #–2 [E–2] type submarine.
H: I’ll check on that.
K: Would you and give me the best judgment of your people?5
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 10, Chronological File. No classification marking.↩
- Kissinger was born on May 27, 1923, in Fürth, Germany.↩
- See Document 245.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 228.↩
- Helms called Kissinger back at 5:55 p.m.: “H: You had more information than I had faster than I did. It is an E–2, nuclear powered, with cruise missiles. There was a photo taken. K: That you are sure about? H: Yes, no question. You’re on good grounds. K: It’s on the margin of the understanding.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 10, Chronological File)↩