293. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Congressman Gerald R. Ford1

F: Hello Henry.

K: Hello Jerry. I was just talking to the President.2 He was talking to me about the Ford Mack truck deal. We are looking at it and are trying to be sympathetic but it hasn’t yet been approved.

F: When will it be?

K: I will tell you this. We need to keep the Russians in line during this phase. We will approve parts of it as soon as we can. If we would just get our industrial companies to stop pressuring us.

F: Will it be approved in a reasonable period of time?

K: Yes, in time when it will be helpful, but don’t tell them that.

F: From our point of view, one of the companies who has $150 million in machine tools—it is not in my district—but we are being pushed [Page 869] because it means 200 or more workers being guaranteed two or more years of work.

K: But we are using this with respect to Peking.… They may draw back on SALT and other political problems.

F: I understand your problem.

K: I understand your problem. We are being very sympathetic but the chances are much better if we are not pressured.

F: I haven’t said anything to the papers, but I did send the President a note.3

K: That is all right. The President wanted me to call you.

F: All right. Just keep me abreast.

K: I will keep you informed of everything I do.

F: The reaction I get to your trip and the President’s forthcoming trip is just excellent. It is marvelous. Only John Smith and Russell(?)4 were the only ones who do not seem to approve but then they were both with the John Birch Society.

K: Well that is all right. We have to expect a little from the right wing I guess.

F: Well do your best for us Henry.

K: You can count on us. We will do our best.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 10, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. Nixon and Kissinger met in the Executive Office Building from 12:40 to 1:05 p.m.; Haldeman was also in attendance. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) During the conversation, Nixon asked Kissinger to brief Ford on the Kama River project. The two men also discussed other economic incentives for the Soviet Union, including a possible high-level delegation to Moscow. According to Haldeman: “K raised the problem of Stans requesting a visit to Russia, and we agreed that would be turned down. Stans had his administrative assistant approach Dobrynin directly on it, which didn’t make Henry very happy.” (Haldeman, Haldeman Diaries: Multimedia Edition) A tape recording of the conversation is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Conversation 264–5.
  3. Not found.
  4. Reference is apparently to two leading anti-Communist conservatives: Congressman John Schmitz (R–California) and William Rusher, publisher of National Review. During a meeting on July 30, Agnew asked Haldeman for guidance on how to deal with such “critical people” as Schmitz and Rusher. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, Staff Member and Office Files, H. R. Haldeman, Box 44, H Notes June–Sept 1971)