167. Editorial Note

On July 2, 1973, President Nixon sent a backchannel message to Secretary of State Rogers, who was in Helsinki for the Ministerial meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, July 3–8. Nixon’s message reads in part: “Here are some views I wanted to pass on to you relating to the Helsinki conference. I am somewhat concerned that the press treatment of the conference may be raising excessive hopes in people’s minds concerning the eventual accomplishments of the CSCE. I am sure you have this in mind, but I want to be certain that all members of our delegation maintain a positive but low-key posture at Helsinki. This is not an exercise that we started, and we have no interest in generating more euphoria than already exists. In your private and public comments, therefore, I think it would be best to stay away from references to past historical events like the Congress of Vienna and from suggestions that this conference in and of itself will produce peace and cooperation between East and West in Europe. I would also like to be sure that the possibility of a final summit at this conference is not promoted by any of our people since as you know I have considerable doubt about getting involved in such an operation.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 424, Backchannel Messages, Europe, 1973)

In an undated memorandum attached to a copy of Rogers’s June 28 memorandum to the President (Document 165) President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs Scowcroft wrote President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger: “Henry—We did not know what Rogers was going to say at the CSCE. The only thing we got was the attached memo to the President with general proposed U.S. positions and nothing about a speech.” At the bottom of the routing memorandum, Kissinger wrote, “That’s what I thought.” (Ibid., Box 248, Agency Files, CSCE and MBFR) The text of Secretary Rogers’s speech to the Ministerial conference of the CSCE is in Department of State Bulletin, July 30, 1973, pages 177–181.