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

R: Hi, Henry.

K: Bill, you called me last night?

R: Last night? No.

K: I got a message that you called last night and you might call again this morning.

R: No, I didn’t call you last night. But on this business about the Qs and As today on the Soviet Union trip, I am perfectly prepared to be reasonable about how we state it but I don’t want it to appear that we in the State Department are only doing routine things.

K: I agree completely. Bill, I don’t care how they state the damn thing. I don’t think it is good for either of us to be in charge of it in this way. Did they send you what I suggested they say?

R: No. Well, they sent me something that said the State Department will handle diplomatic matters which will be okayed at the White House.2

K: What do you think we should say?

R: Well, first this is a coordinated effort under the direction of the President; that the diplomatic and substantive matters will be handled the normal way by the State Department with full cooperation of Dr. Kissinger and his staff.

K: Well, let me see if we can phrase something like that and I will check it with Ted3 before we give guidance. I don’t think we should do anything that …

R: No, and I think it gives us more of a chance to say this is a cooperative effort. The reason China was different was because we didn’t have diplomatic relations with them.

K: Well, as far as I’m concerned … I want you to know anything I can do to make it appear to be a cooperative effort I will do.

[Page 209]

R: I think this is important because there has been so much speculation.4

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Moscow Summit.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 371, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 60.
  3. Theodore Eliot, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary of the Department of State.
  4. According to a transcript of a telephone conversation on March 18 at 11:58 a.m., Kissinger requested that Rogers visit Europe and consult with NATO allies prior to the summit. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 371, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)