46. Memorandum for the File by the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Smith)1

Kissinger called me on January 6 (from San Clemente to Easton) and said that the President did not have trouble with the approach on ABM that I had suggested.2 He was quite open on this philosophy, but he felt that if a little money was appropriated for phase II, it would strengthen our bargaining position. Kissinger said the White House hoped that ACDA would cooperate in this approach. I told him that we certainly would and inferred that no ACDA people would lobby on this hill against this approach.

I got the impression that the President might agree to a zero level ABM if the Soviets would negotiate an otherwise reasonable agreement.

Kissinger also said that the President had no objection in principle to the idea of communicating with (as he put it Dobrynin) Semenov, but the President would like to see anything that we sent along. Of course, anything that we might receive in this channel from the Soviets could be very interesting.

GS 3
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA Files: FRC 383–97–0010, Director’s Files, Smith/Farley Chronological File, Smith–White House Correspondence, January–December 1970. Secret; Nodis. Smith initialed the memorandum and added a handwritten “nodis.”
  2. On December 30 Smith wrote Nixon a letter requesting an administration review of the relationship of ABM to SALT. Smith declared that “the question of ABM seems to be the central issue of SALT” and suggested that “it would be desirable to keep Safeguard Phase II in R & D status during FY–71.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 840, ABMMIRV, ABM System, Vol. III, Memos and Misc., January–March 1970)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.