305. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and President Nixon1

K: What I let them do is get Rush back next week. The agreement is done but I can’t refuse to let the Secretary of State talk to him. But if there is any disagreement we may have to invoke you to rule on behalf of Rush. But I think it won’t come to that. The only reason I wanted you to know is so that if you get any phone call […]

[Page 862]

P: You mean State wants to delay it?

K: State has a few legalistic nitpicks Mr. President that will take me a half an hour to explain to you. The basic fact is that we made an agreement—a proposal on February 62 and that the agreement we got is better in every respect than the proposal we ourselves made which is almost incredible.

P: Right.

K: And Rush thinks […]

P: Well why is State bitching then?

K: State is bitching because it has moved so fast that Rush—it looks as if Rush did it all.

P: Great, let him do it then.

K: Then they found some legalistic things. Well, of course they must suspect that we did something from here.

P: Oh sure.

K: Because Rush has just gone—well I think we can get […]

P: Well, do you think the announcement is going to be good?

K: Of Berlin.

P: Yes.

K: Oh yes. It will now be delayed a week. We were going to be ready to announce it Monday,3 but I have got to let them bring Rush back.

P: One week. OK, fine.

K: But we will have it done by September 1. Because if that screws up, the summit will screw up.

P: Yes.

K: And we really have our good faith engaged and it is—given the fact that the whole thing is a lousy negotiation it is as well as we could do.

P: Yes. OK.

K: Right Mr. President.

P: Well then the deal is to—I will hold the line with State.

K: Right. And we will give them instructions that they shouldn’t say anything.

P: Right. [Omitted here is a brief discussion of the October 3 Presidential election in South Vietnam and the public reaction to Nixon’s “New Economic Policy” announced on August 15.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 369, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Kissinger called Nixon at 6:57 p.m., PDT; the conversation lasted until 7:04 p.m. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files)
  2. Reference is to the comprehensive Allied draft proposal of February 5; see Document 173.
  3. August 23.