339. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

P: I thought you would be interested to know that Connally was delighted with what I told Paul S[chweitzer].2 He said it was just what he needed to hear—this fellow was cutting us up all over. Connally said he was surprised because he thought I was going to do just the opposite. He did not think this would do any good. My God, just look at the attitude of Gromyko from a year ago. He went on and on about this personal message from Brezhnev. Brezhnev had talked at great length about me and our meeting.

K: This is not how they behave if they want to set somebody up.

P: Right. On the other thing with regard to Bill, do you think maybe that Haldeman ought to talk to him first.

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K: I think he has to have a chance to raise his points. We are having a hell of a time finding time in your schedule.

P: I will just do it at Noon. He has to be seen. I wish we could set it up in a way—I don’t want the fact that you are going …

K: He won’t raise that.

P: If we announce the Soviet visit now before the China thing …

K: As a practical matter they will think it is a result of Gromyko. You will remember we were pushing it to have it as early as possible.

P: We offered to have it sometime in February.

K: He knows about dates and he knows that this was to discuss … I tried to make it look like it was done more recently specific.

P: With regard to debate in General Assembly,3 I don’t see how this will matter that much. They are just going to announce that you are going.

K: You can argue it both ways.

P: Speaking of Acheson—he said he wants me to know he was supporting me all the way.

K: I had lunch with Acheson 4 and he said newsmen asked whether the election was going to give him a problem with the Democrats. He said not at all. He said if Jackson runs he may vote for him otherwise he will vote for you.

P: Does he know what we are trying to accomplish?

K: Yes. He thinks the Berlin achievement is a master stroke.

P: I would love it if he could see my note about the Byrd Amendment.5 I hope you told him I am resisting this with State. Really, if Bill could only see …

K: He did say this is something if we could have the two—to have both announcements in one week would really be earth-shaking.

P: I said to Haldeman—bad time (missed some of the sentence). Haldeman says there is never a good time. We have to make the trip. But it is your feeling that this is not the real reason—you think the real reason is he doesn’t want you to go.

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K: Yes. He doesn’t want me to get the publicity. I have not taken any of the publicity that I could have.

P: My point is that the publicity thing is just nuts. Who are we going to send—Marshall Green [omission in transcript]. There is nobody else that can go. State always says let’s just go in and talk. As a matter of fact if your talks indicate that they will fail, we just won’t go through with it.

K: Absolutely! We now have more flexibility with the Soviet movement.

P: Before you see Gromyko I must talk to you because I must pass on to you what I said about the Mid-East.

K: I think that is essential.

P: I said I was prepared to have you talk about it. He started on the European Security thing but I said I wanted to have you and Dobrynin talk about it. I danced off it. I said you had something important to say on Vietnam.

K: He did not raise Vietnam?

P: No, No. He did not at all. He raised the Middle East. So, don’t give him Middle East without giving him Vietnam.

K: Absolutely.

P: I can see the Middle East is what is bothering him.

K: I will fix some time, Mr. President, to see you first thing in the morning.

P: What time is my first appointment tomorrow?

K: I think it is 10:00. I have an 8:00 appointment with Bush.

P: You see Bush at 8:00 and come in to see me at 9:00. You are having breakfast with him.

K: Yes.

P: After you see Bush, come in.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 11, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. According to his Daily Diary, the President met Schweitzer and Connally on September 29 from 10:33 to 11:15 a.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files) A tape recording of the conversation is ibid., White House Tapes, Conversation 580–5.
  3. Reference is to the so-called Important Question on Chinese representation at the United Nations, including membership in the Security Council.
  4. According to his Record of Schedule, Kissinger met Acheson for lunch on September 29 from 1:20 to 2:30 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76) No record of the conversation has been found.
  5. Reference is presumably to the amendment sponsored by Senator Harry Byrd (I–Virginia) allowing the United States to import chrome from Rhodesia in spite of a U.N. Security Council resolution mandating an embargo. The Senate passed the amendment on September 23.