34. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Secretary of State Rogers1

K: I was having lunch with Irwin and I thought I would stop by. You haven’t had any thoughts? I don’t think we should try it.2 I don’t see what we can do now.

R: I don’t either.

K: It wasn’t a firm question. It would give an impression of frantic activity.

R: Did you have any discussion with Dobrynin on—

K: They wanted to reaffirm it. They are interested. They are prepared to discuss it [omission in transcript] terms of agenda. Two problems—looked like an election ploy and it looked like a sudden change to them. I am sending you the note. It’s very brief. They specifically reaffirmed the invitation and interest.

R: Just the election ploy is understandable.

K: I told you, from our point of view, I am not sure it’s not a blessing. We would have had a lot of explaining to do.

R: I don’t see why we should announce it so far in advance. Some in advance but—

K: Jan. or Feb. we might need it. I don’t think it would add to the situation.

R: Other talks with Dobrynin.

K: There were no other talks.

R: When you saw him in NY3 they didn’t indicate it was all right and then back away from it?

K: He asked when we wanted to announce it. He thought the 30th and I said the President thought the 29th. He said I would have an answer by next week. 99% of discussion was Cuba. I have written that up and will let you have it.4 Other topic was just to clarify between the 29th and 30th.

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R: I saw him at dinner last night but he didn’t raise the subject. We will let it stand.

K: Maybe in late Nov. or Dec. you could start generally talking about an agenda. I don’t want to get in it.

R: On the other subject, tell the President there’s nothing that isn’t contrived.

K: If you try you pay for it later. In fact, now it will look obvious. Many elements of the bureaucracy would say they hadn’t heard of it.

R: The President looks great anyway.

K: Considering difficulties we have overcome—

R: Not an issue in the campaign.

K: No one attacking him.

R: Position on Israel is good.

K: We have pulled out of that.

R: We met with the Arabs last night—Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and very friendly.

K: Considering we are in morass we are doing well.

R: See you at 4:00 tomorrow.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 7, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. Reference is to the abortive plan to announce a summit meeting. See Document 32.
  3. See Document 29.
  4. See footnote 1, Document 29, and footnote 1, Document 32.
  5. No record has been found to indicate that Kissinger and Rogers met on October 29.