135. Editorial Note

The United States and the People’s Republic of China finalized arrangements for the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger’s trip with a series of message relayed through the Pakistani Government. Kissinger, Winston Lord, and Ambassador Agha Hilaly met at the White House on June 21 from 6:07 to 6:45 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) At this meeting, Hilaly handed over two notes. First was a June 19 note from Islamabad, written on stationery from the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington:

“My dear Henry: Enclosed is the slip of paper sent to me by President Yahya Khan. The rest of the slip had the following message from him to me. ‘The above message from Peking seems to clinch the issue finally. Please assure our friend that absolute fool proof arrangements will be made by us and he need have no anxiety on this count. I will be expecting him in Islamabad on July 8—mid-day. Please deliver the above message to him & send me his confirmation & reaction if any.’ With my best regards, Yours sincerely, Agha [Khan, President of Pakistan].”

Attached to this note was Premier Chou En-lai’s June 11 message to President Nixon:

“President Nixon’s message transmitted by President Yahya Khan on June 9, 1971 has been received. Premier Chou En-lai agrees to change the time of Dr. Kissinger’s visit to Peking to July 9th to 11th, 1971. The govt of People’s Republic of China will make all the necessary arrangements accordingly.”

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) Kissinger relayed his travel plans to the Ambassador to Pakistan, Joseph S. Farland, on June 22. The draft telegram signed by Kissinger reads as follows:

“1. This will bring you up to date on my plans for Pakistan visit which have now firmed up. 2. We plan to surface Asian trip in bureaucracy late this week, and publicly first of next week, building it around three-day stop to Saigon, followed by low-key orientation visit to Bangkok, New Delhi, and Islamabad, plus stopover in Paris to see Bruce on way home. 3. My side trip is now confirmed for July 9–11. 4. My official itinerary as sent to posts will show me arriving in Islamabad mid-day July 8 and departing July 10 afternoon. In response to State cable, you should work with Pakistani Government to arrange official schedule in Islamabad during this period. We will adjust schedule while I am traveling. 5. Other members of my staff with me for [Page 347]Pakistani stop will be Hal Saunders, John Holdridge, Winston Lord, Dick Smyser, David Halperin and a Secret Service agent. 6. The only other people aware of the side trip are Helms’ deputy Karamessines [1½ lines of source text not declassified]. 7. I have told Ambassador Hilaly that because of need for fast communications, further planning for side trip will be through you. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] I will keep Hilaly informed. You should deal only with President Yahya or whomever he personally designates as liaison. 8. You should, of course, remain in Islamabad from now through my visit. I look forward to seeing you. Warm regards.” (Ibid.)

An undated telegram in this special series provided more detail on arrangements for Kissinger’s trip. The telegram reads in part:

“He [Kissinger] will be accompanied on side trip only by Lord, Holdridge, Smyser and two Secret Service reps. Saunders will stay in Pindi for business there. Halperin will go to Hill Station with Farland and third Secret Service rep, while Saunders stays at Guest House. Two girls in the party, Diane Matthews and Florence Gwyer will be billeted separately. By the time of arrival in Islamabad, all members of the party, with the possible exception of three additional Secret Service men who will presumably be at Embassy, will be witting. Another exception as matters now stand will be Yeoman First Class Charles Radford who will also not be witting.”

The telegram also detailed how Kissinger’s staff would prevent a doctor from the U.S. Embassy from traveling to the Hill Station during Kissinger’s “illness.” (Ibid.)

According to a draft telegram prepared by Kissinger’s deputy Alexander Haig, on June 28 Kissinger sent another special channel message to Farland:

“When you see Yahya tomorrow to discuss draft itinerary for visit to Pakistan, please ask him to transmit the substance of the following message to the Chinese as soon as possible: 1. U.S. Government wishes the Government of the People’s Republic of China to know that it will not answer the Soviet Government with respect to the question of the five power nuclear disarmament conference until Dr. Kissinger has discussed the matter during his forthcoming visit. 2. The U.S. Government will maintain the strictest secrecy with respect to Dr. Kissinger’s forthcoming trip regardless of whatever speculation may occur in the U.S. press or elsewhere. 3. During his visit, Dr. Kissinger will be empowered to work out with the Government of the People’s Republic of China the substance and form of a possible subsequent announcement of his trip. Warm regards.” (Ibid.)