42. Memorandum From the Counselor to the President (Harlow) to the President’s Assistant for Domestic Affairs (Ehrlichman) and the President’s Assistant for International Economic Affairs (Flanigan)1

On February 10 I asked the President his desires on the publicity program for the oil import report.

He says that he doesn’t want a “public flap.” He believes that Flanigan and Kissinger should give a backgrounder, and that other Administration people should not comment when the report is released. He takes this position because it is a split report, and he doesn’t want various Cabinet officers giving divergent views.

In regard to the concern of Secretary Shultz that no one will speak up for the report, the President takes the position that “all the liberal press will support it,” and, therefore, the Secretary should not be too [Page 104] concerned. Moreover, the Congress is scheduling early hearings, and there will be ample opportunity in these hearings to advance the report.

I am informing Secretary Shultz, as Flanigan requested, of the above views.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 367, Subject Files, Oil 1970. No classification marking. A copy was sent to Kissinger.