294. Backchannel Message From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

Tohak 95. We are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with what actually is being agreed with the Soviets and what line Haldeman’s people are to take with respect to these agreements. It is essential that some member of the party sit down and provide us with a general press line to be taken here and to also give us specific clarifications as to what has been agreed to in each instance.

As you may know, Haldeman has Ehrlichman geared up to exploit each agreement as it is announced. The problem is that no one knows the finite parameters of the agreement when it occurs, or the press line you wish taken with respect to it. We need your assistance on this in order to prevent glitches.

For example, the Vice President is scheduled to give a 3:00 p.m. statement on the space agreement tomorrow and we have heard nothing on what the final agreement consists of. I recognize what terrible pressure you and our people are under. Perhaps Hyland or Sonnenfeldt could take time out to give us this guidance to be sure that we are all singing from an accurate score card.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 479, President’s Trip Files, President’s Moscow, Iran, Poland, Austria Trip TOHAK (File No. 1), Situation Room, May–June 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Printed from the copy approved for transmission.