91. Notes of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Smith)1 2

HAK said why do you keep giving away things we haven’t got yet and jeopardizing our national security? (in same light vein) Smith said that’s just mischief-maker.

HAK said he had been talking to the President about it and, although he didn’t want to give Smith any inside information, we are going to try to work it out so we can handle this thing. HAK will have word for Smith in a day or so.

Smith asked about a Presidential remark toward the end of the meeting, where the Pres said something about the allies wouldn’t do very much—we would have to take on responsibilities. HAK said that was general philosophy and not relevant to what Smith is doing. Pres. meant “don’t come to me all the time and tell me what allies want me to do.” Since we basically have responsibility, we have to make judgment on that. At the same time this shouldn’t be interpreted to mean let’s ignore them. But don’t let them trigger us into negotiations, etc.—just because the domestic situation requires them to make noises for which they are not willing to pay the price. It is not an instruction one way or another. Smith said that makes good sense.

HAK said he will want to talk to Smith before the end of this week to see whether we can get that treaty into shape that Smith can live with and that would meet a few of Mel’s points. Smith said he will be giving some thought to the matter and would be free whenever HAK would like to see him.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 359, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File, 23–30 April 1969. No classification marking.
  2. Kissinger and Smith discussed the proposed treaty and the NSC meeting earlier that day. Smith inquired into a comment made by President Nixon at the meeting and Kissinger responded with an outline of Nixon’s general philosophy concerning international responsibility vis ‘a vis the seabeds treaty.