256. Conversation Between President Nixon and the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

Conversation Number: 30-17


  • Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger

Nixon: I donʼt want to irritate your evening, but I was not satisfied with the report on Uganda, which came from State.

Kissinger: Right.

Nixon: Now, the man we have there is Melady, who is a sweet guy. Heʼs a great supporter of ours, but totally African, all African. He doesnʼt understand. Now, I know him—Tom Melady—know him well. Second point, I want harder action taken. I want all—everybody from America evacuated as soon as possible.

Kissinger: Right.

Nixon: I want hard action. And second, I want to get that Burundi Ambassadorʼs ass out of there right now and thatʼs an order.

Kissinger: That should be—

Nixon: Now, goddamanit—

Kissinger: That will be ordered today.

Nixon: Now we—I think you will agree, Henry, we have really had a double standard on this thing.

Kissinger: Oh, sure.

Nixon: In the African Division, you know what I mean, do we care when they kill a poor goddamned Pakistani? Do we care when these damn Africans eat 100,000 people? I mean, itʼs really gone too far. What do you think?

Kissinger: I couldnʼt agree more.

Nixon: All right. Will you get on Tom about it? Now Meladyʼs report saying, he said, “Well, no Americans have been arrested and there are a few UKʼs have been killed. Goddamnit, if a Britisher killed—I mean call Melady back for instructions. You know? Letʼs call him right back. How about that?

Kissinger: We can do both of those.

Nixon: All right. You get Meladyʼs ass right back here.

Kissinger: Right.

Nixon: Okay.

Kissinger: Right.

Nixon: Bye.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, 7:42–7:43 PM, White House Telephone, Conversation No. 30–17. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume. No classification marking.
  2. Nixon wanted stronger action taken in Uganda, such as the evacuation of all Americans, and the recall of Ambassador Melady.