222. Memorandum From Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Graham Martin’s Backchannel

He has sent you a copy (Tab B) of his response to the questions raised by the 40 Committee (we had already got the Roger Channel). It is vintage Martin and you should read it; it does not really answer the questions but asks for faith. However, I understand that your brethren on the 40 Committee do not propose to pursue their questions and now agree to the program.

A second backchannel (Tab C) tells you that (1) he gathers you did not attend the 40 Committee and (2) he is going ahead. He also tells you (1) [1 line not declassified] (2) the Pope is happy to have Billy Graham come to Rome in the spring of 1973 for a Crusade and that he would receive him if Graham (Billy) asks. Graham (Martin) suggests the President may want to tell Graham (Billy).

Attached (Tab A), if you want to send it, is a reply to Martin.2

You may want to mention orally to the President the business about the Pope and Billy Graham.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 695, Country Files—Europe, Italy, Vol. III. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Initialed by Haig. The tabs are not printed.
  2. Kissinger wrote at the bottom of the memorandum: “Send out backchannel. HK.” The message confirmed that he had chaired the March 7 meeting of the 40 Committee, adding, “I appreciate your response and sense of urgency. I anticipate no problem.” (Ibid.)