280. Backchannel Message From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) in New Delhi1

WH 10611/Sitto 42. To: David Halperin for Henry A. Kissinger.

The President has called me in for a second time just prior to our departure for San Clemente.2 He is increasingly concerned about response from our messenger3 and its future implications. He asked me to re-emphasize to you his desire that intermediate visit4 be cut out and proceed directly to the main round. Concerning your other discussions in the Kirschman forum,5 he feels strongly that they be terminated and that the record is made clearly by Kirschman.

Considerable concern has been expressed about the Danang shelling6 and he wants it clearly conveyed that future activity of this kind will not be tolerated nor will tit-for-tat modus operandi be pursued.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Very Sensitive Trip Cables. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. On Haig’s behalf, Kennedy initialed the message, which was sent from the White House at 1:04 p.m.
  2. See Document 279.
  3. Dobrynin. See Document 273.
  4. See footnote 6, Document 278.
  5. Reference is to Kissinger’s secret talks with the North Vietnamese in Paris. Walters, who was responsible for managing the channel, gave Kissinger the pseudonym “Harold A. Kirschman.” (Walters, Secret Missions, p. 514) See also Kissinger, White House Years, p. 439.
  6. Early in the morning on July 5, North Vietnamese artillery struck the U.S. airbase at Danang, killing three American soldiers.