3. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin1

D: Hello, Henry.

K: Anatol, two things.

D: Yes.

K: One, on that trip—I mean, not mine but yours.2

D: Yeah.

K: We have put on the restriction I mentioned to you this morning.3

D: Until—

K: And we will maintain it until he leaves if it is within a reasonable time.

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D: Yeah, I understand. Okay, thank you.

K: Yes, but it is important that you tell me as soon as you can once you know the time is.

D: I will check with them but I am sure nobody could answer me right now because it will depend—he probably already arrived today or if he doesn’t arrive but how many days, I just tell you reasonably it probably take around four days but nobody could tell as of now. Particularly, because it is not just a quick visit in a sense, that is, a visit from this till this one. He will just have an informal discussion with them but it will not be long, I am sure about this.

K: Well, if you could let me know, then I will not put an arbitrary restriction on.

D: Yeah, I understand. May I put it this way, I will say to—by Saturday or what you say, or you don’t want really—better not to mention, of course, specifically but—

K: Well, we have now put it on through Saturday their time.

D: I see.

K: But if your leader should stay an extra day, could you let me know?

D: Okay.

K: And we will not do anything while he’s there.

D: Yeah, I understand. Okay, I think it’s fair enough. Saturday, yes, their time.

K: As it is now, the orders are to go through Saturday.

D: Yes, understand.

K: But if you let me know before, say Friday, or let Haig know that he’s staying, say through Sunday.

D: Yeah.

K: We will not do anything while he’s in the country.

D: I understand. It involved that you mentioned?

K: Exactly.

D: Okay, thank you.

K: Secondly, I have on this issue of how we present the treaties.4

D: Yes.

K: We have found a formula which I think you might find interesting. We will invite the two foreign relations committees and the two armed services committees—

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D: The whole committees.

K: The whole committees. And the Joint Atomic Energy Committee to the White House together with the press—

D: Huh?

K: The press pool.

D: I see.

K: And I will present them. The President will introduce me and I will introduce me [it?] and I will present it.

D: Um-humm. It’s quite a performance (laughter).

K: So it will not be on television but it will be a very full press coverage.

D: I see. You’ll be in the White House?

K: And it will be in the White House.

D: Is it any timetable or you cannot say?

K: We haven’t told the press so it’s strictly for you.

D: I understand.

K: Thursday morning at 9:00.5

D: Oh, Thursday morning. So it’s really before you go?

K: Yes.

D: I see. I think it’s a very good idea.

K: It will not make my reception much warmer when I say friendly things about you.

D: (laughter) So I see you are not really exhausted by your trip to the Orient. Still there are some ideas following.

K: Okay.

D: Okay, thank you. So we will—somebody will be in touch with you.

K: Good.

D: You are leaving on the end of Thursday or Friday?

K: I’m leaving either at the end of Thursday or Friday morning.

D: Just for my own information.

K: But you will let Haig know?

D: Yeah. He knows?

K: Yes, he’s fully informed.

D: Yeah. Okay about this one. And we will have this warm line I hope.

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K: Oh, that will be established within the shortest time.

D: Yes, I understand that today. Have you had a chance to speak with Pete [Peterson], not yet?

K: Oh, yes, I had lunch with Peterson and I think you will find his approach very constructive and positive.

D: Oh, I think it sounds very positive . . .

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversations (Telcons), Box 14, Chronological File. No classification marking. Blank underscores are omissions in the original
  2. Kissinger is referring to Podgorny’s upcoming trip to Hanoi.
  3. According to Kissinger’s Record of Schedule, he met with Dobrynin in the Map Room for breakfast, 8:32–10:16 a.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1967–76) In a June 13 memorandum, Haig wrote Kissinger: “Inform Dobrynin that in light of the brevity of Podgorny’s visit to Hanoi, you have prevailed upon the President to extend the bombing restrictions to a line south of 20° latitude throughout the period of Podgorny’s visit. Mention that this restriction is being applied in the face of strong bureaucratic opposition but that we are making this exception as an expression of our good will and interest in Podgorny’s activities in Hanoi.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 67, Country Files—Europe—USSR, Map Room, Aug. 1972–May 31, 1973 (1 of 3)) No other record of the meeting has been found.
  4. In his June 13 memorandum to Kissinger, Haig wrote: “Inform Dobrynin that we are transmitting the SALT legislation to the Hill at noon today.” He recommended that Kissinger explain “the packaging of the legislation” and the “general format of testimony.”
  5. The June 15 White House briefing was reported in The New York Times, June 16, 1972, p. 1. For the text of the President’s remarks, see Public Papers: Nixon, 1972, pp. 676–679.