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HAK: One other thing that needs no saying. I don't know whether you read that Joe Alsop column1 yesterday.

AD: No.

HAK: Well, it is pure, absolute total (?) mystery.

AD: What did he say?

HAK: He said that I was going there to discuss military measures against a Soviet attack.

AD: Why would he write something like this?

HAK: Anatol, I do not understand it. First off I do not believe there will be a Soviet attack, secondly, I have said a thousand times that I have never discussed any military measures with him-you know-it is not that sort of a relationship.

AD: That is why I was wondering why. It is interesting why he would do it.

HAK: I cannot understand it.

AD: He has a good personal relationship ..

HAK: He has an excellent relationship with me I am so furious with him that I have ordered both Haig and of course myself to cut off all contact with him. Because this is the he has an excellent relationship with me and for that reason it's going to mean a significance that it wouldn't normally have.

AD: Because this is the point, there is no reason why-two or three days ago he wrote an article about all the Soviet ambassadors5— I don't know if you remember-going around saying that there—

HAK: Well, you saw the article he wrote about me that I will be made Secretary of State-do you think that will do me any good?

AD: (laughs) It would be flattering from the point of view of the common public, I should say.

HAK: From the point of view of the common public, it is flattering, but from the point of view of Washington it is a disaster—you know


AD: Yes, I know.

HAK: But believe me-I haven't seen the article about you—

AD: No, no there was no article about me—just that all the Russian ambassadors that they were telling everyone that the military advance of the North Vietnamese is a complete failure.

* A reference to Joseph Alsop, “Countering Russia,” Washington Post, June 23, 1972,

p. A19.

P. A27.

5 See Alsop's column, "Moscow's View of Hanoi," Washington Post, June 14, 1972, "Not further identified.

HAK: Well, he doesn't get that from me either.

AD: To put that in my mouth, I am saying everyone—it is nothing really otherwise, you know.

HAK: You know, Anatol, both you and I know he is violently anti-Soviet for a reason we both know and he is making the maximum amount of mischief. I normally don't comment to you about newspapers, but I have—and to do that while I am in Peking, so it isn't speculation, it's like he really knew something.

AD: As if it were a special kind of connection [laughs].

HAK: Well, I can tell you I don't know what the Chinese think, but they must be furious.

AD: It doesn't bother about their feelings specifically.
HAK: Of course, you know if it wasn't

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we wouldn't do it, it

would be insane in the light of our present relationship, but it is an absolute outrage.

AD: I will call you in a half an hour.

HAK: I will be giving a brief press conference this morning just describing the schedule of my trip of China—it's just mechanical. AD: I see—just in Peking or your travels around Peking.

HAK: Just Peking. Oh, there was another article in the newspapers incidentally that I had visited the Polytechnical Institute and talked to their rocket experts-total nonsense.

AD: Yes, and last night or the week before it was the guest house where you stayed there were so many people around arriving for the special meeting.

HAK: Again, total nonsense. The day I went-you know they followed it and they were usually cut off by security people—I can tell you what I did but that morning I went to the Sports Academy where they train acrobatics and ping pong players which is about two miles from the Polytechnical Institute—and I went to the Sports Academy, so they-I never went to the Institute or saw that scientist. For example, one night they said I had a late meeting at the Great Hall of the People—somebody must have put this stuff out in Peking, because what happened was that I went to an Opera performance at the Great Hall of the People which ended at 11:00.

7 For a summary of Kissinger's comments, see Semple, "Kissinger Detects No Change on War After China Visit," The New York Times, June 25, 1972, p. 1. In a telephone conversation on June 24 at 12:25 p.m., Kissinger discussed the press conference with President Nixon, who asked: "Did you get across the point, which I think is very important, you know, that our relations with them [the Chinese] are very good-that's the thing.” When Kissinger replied affirmatively, Nixon said: "that's the thing that I think will really bust or burn the Soviet's ass.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversations (Telcons), Box 14, Chronological File)

AD: Did you have American newspapermen there?

HAK: No, this was the local press and of course the Chinese controlled them completely-I cannot control what they do, but I did not see a single newsman and there was no particular meeting in fact the last night we had been outside the guest house.

AD: They're probably just trying to arrive at a colorful ... saying you are in Peking.

HAK: You call me at 11:00, I'll be back in my office-11:15.
AD: Okay, I'll call at 11:15.

HAK: Good.8

8 In the telephone conversation with Nixon at 12:25 p.m., Kissinger said: "I talked to Dobrynin again this morning." Nixon responded: "Oh, tell me about that." Kissinger replied: "Slobbering all over me, saying how serious his leaders are and when can I let him know whether we are ready to negotiate. I said on Monday I'll give him an answer. Because I think we should first notify the North Vietnamese. They shouldn't hear it from them."


Memorandum of Conversation1

Washington, June 26, 1972, 1:30-3 p.m.


Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

The meeting was extremely cordial. We had some introductory pleasantries during which Dobrynin asked how the Chinese addressed me. I said one thing that impressed me about them was that they always called me "Excellency." That fitted in well with my vanity. Dobrynin said, well, if he had known that he would have briefed Brezhnev to call me "Excellency," too. But now it was too late, because I was beyond the "Excellency" level with Brezhnev, who considered me as a co-worker.

1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 494, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 12. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Brackets are in the original. The meeting took place at the Soviet Embassy.

My Trip to China

Dobrynin then asked me about the Chinese trip-what had been most significant. I followed the strategy of telling him things which, if they got leaked back to the Chinese, would appear like a provocation and therefore highly improbable. I said that the Chinese were, of course, extremely concerned about the Summit-especially they were concerned by the Declaration of Principles which had an aspect of condominium. They wondered whether this meant that the United States and the Soviet Union were prepared to cooperate in carving up China. (I drew this from a presentation Chou had made to me a year earlier.) Dobrynin said, "Can they really mean it?" I said I had no way of knowing, but this seems to be a fear. Dobrynin wanted to know what they thought about Japan, and specifically my trip to Japan.2 I said I couldn't say that they were overjoyed by my trip, but they understood its basic necessity. I pointed out, however, that they were not eager to see the Japanese invest in Siberia. Dobrynin said that their Ambassador in China had the impression that the Chinese were reconciled to the Security Treaty. I said that it was hard to judge; they were still talking against it but perhaps not with the same intensity. Dobrynin asked whether the Chinese were raising European matters. I said only that I had the general impression that they favored European unity, but this obviously was not a major subject of consultation. Dobrynin asked me about the Chinese attitude towards the Middle East. I said they seemed to me to be supporting in effect the Fedayeen position. Dobrynin said yet it was odd that they refused to participate in the five-power talks in New York.

Dobrynin volunteered the fact that the Soviet press had handled my visit to China in a very restrained way and that it was understood in Moscow that my visit had really been at the Chinese initiative. It indicated the good basis which our relationship had reached.


Dobrynin next asked whether we had made any decisions with respect to Hanoi. I said we had received word from Hanoi that they would not accept the 28th because Le Duc Tho and Xuan Thuy would still be in Vietnam but that they were prepared to resume plenary sessions on the 13th and private talks on the 15th. We had accepted the plenary for the 13th but had moved the private talk to the 19th in order not to interfere with my trip to the West Coast. Dobrynin suggested that this would create great confusion in Hanoi since he doubted that they really understood the notion of a vacation; and they probably wondered whether there was some profound ulterior motive. Do

2 Kissinger was in Japan from June 8 to June 12.

brynin said that they have a very odd way of doing business and that they are watching them sometimes in Moscow with consternation and always with fascination because they seem to do everything according to a set pattern that is almost impossible to change.

I asked him why Podgorny's trip was delayed so long. He said the North Vietnamese had been extremely difficult. They claimed that the Politburo members were out of town and that therefore they could not receive him for two weeks after the Summit. When Podgorny was in Hanoi, they took the position that they would have to hear from Peking about my trip first before they could take a final decision. They did promise, however, that they would study the proposition of Brezhnev very attentively. In about two weeks, the Soviets would inquire what had happened to it.

One obstacle, he continued, was that the North Vietnamese completely misread the American domestic situation. They were easily taken in by loud sympathizers of a point of view that had really very little objective support in the United States, and he could not be sure that they were not waiting for the election. Dobrynin asked whether I said anything in Peking that would undercut the Soviet position. I said, on the contrary, I took a slightly tougher line in Peking than in Moscow, stressing primarily the ceasefire elements and not going into any detail on the political solution. In other words, Hanoi would hear nothing from Peking that would give them comfort on the political solution and that, indeed, would go as far on the political side as we had gone vis-à-vis Moscow. Dobrynin seemed relieved by this.

I asked Dobrynin in passing how it was that Brezhnev had misunderstood me so much that he could think I had offered a two-month period of resignation for Thieu. Dobrynin laughed and said Brezhnev hadn't misunderstood it. He had simply told the Politburo that he had obtained it from the President. At that point, Gromyko had nudged Dobrynin and said, "Do you believe that Kissinger said more than one month?" Brezhnev hearing them talk said, "Kissinger didn't say it, but I got it out of the President." Finally, Brezhnev agreed that all the agreement called for was that, if nothing else stood in the way but an extension of the resignation deadline, it could be considered.

Economic Relations

We then turned to other matters. Dobrynin told me about the visit of the Deputy Minister of Trade3 to the United States. He said he was under instructions to settle the grain issue in the sense desired by the President, but he wanted the discussions to be kept quiet. He said,

3 M.R. Kuzmin.

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