47. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2
- Negotiating Instructions on Wheelus Base
I gather you told Alexis Johnson that you wanted to clear the negotiating instructions on Wheelus.
As you know, State and Defense tried for a week to get us to break the negotiating deadlock between them. We stood aside, and they have now come to terms with each other.
Ambassador Johnson has sent the resulting cable under the attached note (Tab A). I have described it in a possible information memo to the President. He has asked for clearance by Friday, December 12.
I have written the attached memo to the President for his information. It does not seem to me that negotiating tactics on something like this are a subject he should be bothered with.
On the tactics themselves, I believe we should now let State and Defense continue to haggle this out and just go along with their compromise.
- That you acquiesce in the attached telegram (Tab A). [Kissinger wrote OK]
- That you send the information memo at Tab B to the President if you feel he is interested.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 738, Country Files, Africa, Libya, Vol. I. Secret. Sent for action. A note on the memorandum indicates Haig approved it. The notes on the attached December 11 memorandum from Johnson to Kissinger read: “Word received by phone that Mr. Packard concurs. H.H.S.”; “O.K. Haig for HAK 2/12/69”; and “Cleared cable with Jan Barbieri, S/S, 2100–2/12/69. SS.” The instructions were transmitted in telegram 206408 to Tripoli, December 12. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 15 LIBYA–US)↩
- Saunders transmitted negotiating instructions on the Wheelus base prepared by State and Defense.↩