255. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Chief of the Delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (Smith)1
S: We’re meeting this evening at 7:002 and I just wanted to touch base with you before talking to him. Is there any development in Washington I should know about?
K: No, you must assume you will know about every development I noticed in one of the last meetings with him [omission in the original] was probing the Soviets as if you had to find out from them what was going on.
S: No, he didn’t have that in mind. I didn’t get that impression.
K: Be that as it may, there is no development here. There has been no development since I talked to you and I have yesterday approved your going ahead with tabling our proposal, but it should be put in the context of SLBM.
S: It certainly will be.
K: Not as a proposal in its own right.
S: It will be done that way.
K: And I want to assure you again you will be kept fully informed. You can assume if they tell you something they are fishing.
S: Your message of Saturday3 …
K: On what?
S: General impression of where we stand and raised the possibility of [omission in the original] whether Washington [omission in the original]or [omission in the original]. Would that be agreeable?
K: Washington what?
S: [omission in the original]
K: I see. Let me check that with the President.
S: You may want to give me authority to make a tentative proposal.
K: If you can do it on the basis that you don’t know if it will be approved.
S: I can do it that way or I can make it even stronger, say I doubt it will be approved, but am making a personal inquiry.[Page 763]
K: Why don’t you do that?
S: The Soviets got the impression from the press conference4 just after we got here …
K: On SLBM?
K: That is not correct.
S: May I say I personally checked with the President and that is not correct?
K: You may definitely tell him that.
- Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 371, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The conversation took place on a secure telephone line. Kissinger was in Washington; Smith was in Helsinki.↩
- Reference is to a Smith–Semenov meeting.↩
- April 8. No record of a conversation or message has been found.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 248 and footnote 1, Document 251.↩