101. Note for the File by the Chief of the Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (Smith)1


  • Phone Calls on August 11 from Senator Percy and from Senator McIntyre2

I talked to Senator Percy who called from the White House, as did Senator McIntyre. Both calls were preceded by a call from General Haig, who said that the two Senators were going to call me, that he hoped I could say that from the SALT point of view, the bill as reported out from the Committee would be best.3

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Percy’s approach was to see how much we are proposing to appropriate while not going the full route that the Administration had requested. Isn’t that a dynamic enough approach? I told him that I was not precisely informed on the various amendments,4 that I only could make the gross judgment, that if the Senate action gave the image that some element of suspense was being put into the program it would not be good for SALT bargaining purposes.

He stressed how much they were trying to help the SALT thing in the Safeguard debate. I told him I would be glad to talk to him on my return.

McIntyre took the same approach, with a little more acerbity: Wouldn’t you say a million dollars was a dynamic move? I repeated my arguments given to Percy. To both of them I stated that I assumed these were confidential communications. McIntyre said, “I will honor that.”

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA Files:FRC 383–97–0010, Director’s File, Smith Chronological File, SALT, Box 1, Progress Reports with White House Officials, March–August 1970. Secret.
  2. Thomas McIntyre (D–NH). Transcripts of Smith’s telephone conversations with Senators Percy and McIntyre are ibid.
  3. On August 10 Haig forwarded to Kissinger a backchannel message from Smith that stated: “The delegation is not precisely informed on Cooper–Hart, Hughes, Brooke, etc., amendments. The delegation believes that Senate action having ‘tread water’effect on Safeguard program or evidencing significant split between Executive and Legislative Branches, would prejudice prospects for SALT agreement.” In Haig’s covering memorandum, he suggested that Colson show the passage to Senators Pearson, Percy, Brooke, Symington, and Aiken and tell each to call Smith. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 427, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages, 1971, SALT)
  4. The Brooke, Cooper–Hart, and similar amendments provided varied amounts of funding under Phase I, which permitted Safeguard deployment to the sites at Grand Forks and Malmstrom, funded continued R&D, but restricted sites to only Phase I.