274. Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1

[Omitted here is discussion of Vietnam, including Kissinger’s visit to Saigon on July 4.]

Nixon: Well, let me know if anything happens on the other fronts: either the Pakistani or, of course, the Russian front. Well—

Haig: Well, I—

Nixon: I doubt it’s—probably you won’t hear from Dobrynin before you leave now. It’s—

Haig: No, I think we will, sir. I think we will.

Nixon: Before—I mean, before you go to California?

Haig: Yes.

Nixon: You think you will. Let’s see. We leave tomorrow at noon, you know.

[Page 809]

Haig: Yes, sir.

Nixon: Well, you might hear tomorrow morning.

Haig: Right.

Nixon: And if you don’t, it’ll be done. Because we—he’s been told we have to know and that’s that.

Haig: Yes, sir. That’s right. He knows.

Nixon: And either way, it’s fine if—

Haig: Well, when I saw him yesterday morning,2 he—

Nixon: Yeah.

Haig: —he went over the routine of, if we had gone to California, he would come in—

Nixon: Yeah.

Haig: —and use your phone.

Nixon: Sure. Sure. Sure. Good. Well, we just need to know one way or another. We’re not going to appear anxious about it, because we’re not. We can [laughs] we can take it one way or another, as it turns out. Okay.

Haig: Right, sir.

Nixon: Fine.

Haig: Yes, sir.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Conversation 6–153. No classification marking. The editors transcribed the portion of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Nixon called Haig at 9:08 p.m.; the two men talked until 9:13. (Ibid., White House Central Files)
  2. Haig met Dobrynin on July 4 to deliver a formal letter of condolence on the recent death of Soviet cosmonauts.