124. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1


  • Meeting with Ambassador Farland, May 7, 1971

On Friday, May 7, I met for three hours with Ambassador Farland in Palm Springs.2 At that time, I outlined the exchange of messages between the U.S. and China that has taken place through the Pakistanis; I read portions of the most recent message delivered by Ambassador Hilaly on April 213 and told Ambassador Farland that you intended to respond by proposing that I meet with Chou En-lai, or a suitable Chinese representative, either in Pakistan or at a location in southern China easily accessible from Pakistan. We considered a number of details associated with the trip and reached some tentative decisions.

  • —After reviewing several alternative communication channels, we agreed to place a special Navy communicator in Karachi to provide a communications channel similar to the one I have set up with Bahr and Rush. This should be operational this week.
  • —I discussed with Ambassador Farland my proposed trip itinerary which would provide for an arrival in Islamabad on a Friday, at which point he or Yahya could arrange to host me for the weekend. This would provide the cover for my meeting with the Chinese, and on Monday I would continue on to Tehran. I indicated that I would probably require about 24 hours with the Chinese and would plan on meeting in three separate sessions.
  • —Ambassador Farland felt that it would be better to be taped by the Chinese than the Pakistanis, and for this reason the meeting should be conducted in southern China rather than Pakistan.
  • —We discussed the relative merits of my traveling to China by Pakistani, Chinese or U.S. aircraft and tentatively decided that the optimum arrangement would be to pre-position a smaller White House aircraft in Pakistan equipped with a Pakistani navigator. This would permit the larger aircraft in which I arrive to remain parked at Rawalpindi over the weekend in public view.
  • —I instructed Ambassador Farland to discuss our meeting and my proposed trip with Yahya and made him responsible for all the technical details of the trip. He will submit for my review several possible scenarios for the China meeting as soon as the special communications channel is activated.

Ambassador Farland made several more general points:

  • —He was sharply critical of Ambassador Keating who, in his view, is attempting to make a partisan issue of the Pakistani situation and discredit the Administration in the process. Ambassador Keating apparently called in a New York Times correspondent and divulged the contents of the Blood cables,4 and Ambassador Farland feels that Ambassador Keating will use his trip back to Washington to lobby against your Pakistan policies.
  • —Ambassador Farland stressed his conviction that it will take a substantial (i.e., $250 million) loan to sustain Pakistan for another six months and he requested support in obtaining a commitment from the World Bank or IMF. As a related matter, Ambassador Farland asked that Hannah be told in a forceful way that you want him to adopt a positive attitude toward Pakistan for at least the next six months.
  • —Ambassador Farland also felt that Germany, Great Britain and possibly also Japan should be apprised of our determination to save Pakistan and asked to adjust their policies to support our position. A full record of the meeting is attached at Tab A.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, Files for the President—China Material, Exchanges Leading up to HAK’s Trip to China, December 1969–July 1971. Top Secret, Sensitive; Eyes Only. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. According to the attached memorandum of conversation prepared by David Halperin of the NSC staff, this meeting took place at the home of Theodore Cummings in Palm Springs, California, on May 7 between 2:50 and 5:45 p.m. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Document 6. In a backchannel message to Farland, May 3, Kissinger wrote: “For the most sensitive reasons known only to the President and myself, the President wishes you to find some personal repeat personal pretext for undertaking an immediate trip to the United States in order that you may be able to confer with me.” (Ibid.) Farland responded on May 4 that he had informed the Department of State that he was returning to the United States to conduct an urgent business transaction. (Ibid.)
  3. See Document 118.
  4. Archer K. Blood was the U.S. Consul General in Dacca, East Pakistan (Bangladesh). The “Blood cables,” written by Blood and the staff at the Consultate in Dacca, criticized U.S. policy toward South Asia and called for strong condemnation of Pakistani military repression in East Pakistan. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XI, Document 19.
  5. Attached but not printed. See footnote 2 above.