162. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Meeting with President Pompidou

Attached is a report from General Walters2 who met with President Pompidou to request the French to try to persuade the North Vietnamese to continue the negotiations. President Pompidou responded that he hoped peace would come and would do what he could to hasten it because he wanted peace and felt your reelection was indispensable. He was certain, however, that you would win the reelection easily with or without a Vietnamese agreement.

In a preliminary meeting, President Pompidou’s assistant had noted that the French had already done a lot to move the recalcitrant Vietnamese and would again do what they could.

In the course of the conversation President Pompidou also made the following points of interest.

—He felt he would win his own election and by about the same margin with which you would win the U.S. election.3

—The Russians were having economic difficulties.

—He was concerned about rumors that U.S. agencies might be going to provoke a scandal about drugs in France involving political figures. General Walters reassured him on this point.

—He greatly regretted the departure of Ambassador Watson who was a good friend of France.4

In closing, President Pompidou asked that his warm personal greetings be conveyed to you and reaffirmed that he would do all he could to hasten peace.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 679, Country Files—Europe, France, Vol. X. Top Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the first page reads: “The President has seen.”
  2. Not printed. Walters became Deputy Director of Central Intelligence on May 2.
  3. The President circled this point and annotated: “K—Be sure I wish him well.” In a November 3 memorandum, Haig instructed Sonnenfeldt to ensure that the President’s wishes were sent to Pompidou at the appropriate time. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 679, Country Files—Europe, France, Vol. X)
  4. Watson left post on October 30. John Irwin presented his credentials on March 23, 1973.