84. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

K: I have just talked about this document2 with the President3 and I will be prepared to discuss it with you on Monday4 but I wanted to be sure I knew what the precise question is to which you want an answer. The question is not clear. You said there is one question in particular to which you want an answer and I was calling to make sure I knew what it was.

D: About the first page, to speed up the whole process. Secondly, from our side and from your side point of view—you remember Gromyko’s discussion with the President.

K: That you are prepared to go forward on that basis.

D: How it was handled there—

K: I understand, I understand. We are looking at this with a very constructive attitude.

D: Constructive position. We are quite prepared to—I have instructions which I did not want to put in writing in that message—if President OKs we could have some talks between you and I. I have instruction to tell the President … details of the major issues—we are prepared to go but both of us should talk—

K: For your information I think I will be prepared to talk with you. Perhaps on Monday we will not be able to deal with all of it but get the basis for which our discussions will take place.

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D: This one and maybe can discuss most useful things to do to speed up.

K: At least I could explain to you how I think it can be done.

D: It probably can be taken care of in 2 or 3 meetings and then see the President—

K: 2 or 3 meetings to narrow the thing.

D: Not how to solve but direction where we go.

K: What we think our needs are and what you can do about them and then we will treat your needs in the same way.

D: Two things—speeding up two major points which was discussed with the President.

K: I thought that is what you were saying but I wanted to check. Now that is taken care of all I have to worry about is what you will do to my waist-line.

D: Don’t worry about that. I have been reading with pleasure about your adventures there.5 It sounds as if you have been having a good time but it is good for you.

K: Once we get to know each other better perhaps you will show me the file you have on me.

D: No. We don’t have a file seriously. Is our meeting 1 or 12:30? K: Let’s leave it at 1 p.m. then I will not keep you waiting.

D: 1 p.m. then.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 8, Chronological File. No classification marking. A typed note indicates that the transcription was “not verbatim.” Kissinger was in San Clemente; Dobrynin was in Washington.
  2. Kissinger is referring to the January 6 Soviet note; see Document 83. During a telephone conversation at 8:45 a.m., PST, Kissinger and Dobrynin briefly discussed the Soviet note: “D: It is a continuation of the talk between the President and Gromyko. In line of the discussion which took place at the White House. The consultation of the President and Gromyko at one point. K: We are in the process of reviewing that whole issue anyway so I will be glad to get this message.” Kissinger, however, added: “I cannot give you an answer now because I have not seen the message.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 8, Chronological File)
  3. According to his Record of Schedule, Kissinger met Nixon, who was also in San Clemente, on January 6 from 10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76) No record of the meeting has been found.
  4. January 11.
  5. On January 5, Maxine Cheshire reported in the Washington Post (pp. C1, C2) that Kissinger had taken advantage of his time in California “to make the scene in Hollywood” with two actresses, Jill St. John and Joanna Barnes.