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State to make his first visit to the USSR in that position. We can work it out later.
Regarding SALT, the Kissinger-Dobrynin discussions were very helpful for the first two times. We should proceed the same way but we have a problem because we have to bring the bureaucracy into line, especially the military. On MBFR, I am pleased to say we are not too far apart.
I On CSCE, as I told the General Secretary, we would be pleased to finish by the end of the year and, if others agree, to have a summit for the conclusion, but it is not easy to get a conglomerate of nations together to agree. I happened to be reading a biography of Wellington last night. There were only four countries at the Congress of Vienna, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Britain, and four at the Congress of Paris after the defeat at Waterloo. But it was very difficult. On CSCE, there are very many views but you and we have no particular problems.
Secretary Kissinger: Mr. President, we now have to get down to concrete issues on this.
The President: We must agree where we want to come out—I don't mean condominium-otherwise it will be a shambles. I will leave it to the Secretary of State to work out. I made that commitment.
Regarding the Middle East, it is a very important priority as I said in my press conference. You say we must realize the danger of waking up one morning and finding a war. But there is also the energy problem. The Secretary has it as a direct assignment from me and we will push it, whatever the surface appearances may be. While we may have differences on how it comes out, we want progress on an interim basis certainly, or perhaps on principles.
Now on MFN, I listened to you with interest. Yesterday, Dr. Kissinger and I met with the leaders and gave them hell." He and I said just what you said. We made a commitment and a bargain. And you have delivered on it. For example, on lend-lease. We have an unholy alliance at the moment. First the classical anti-Soviet people-what I was supposed to be; second, labor, though not all of them. But George Meany and one advisor, Lovestone, are strongly opposed.
Secretary Kissinger: Lovestone is a former communist.
Presumably a reference to Nixon's September 5 press conference. See Public Papers: Nixon, 1973, pp. 732–743.
4 For the memorandum of conversation of the President's September 27 meeting with the Republican Congressional leadership, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXI, Foreign Economic Policy, 1973–1976, Document 187.
See Document 100.
The President: Third, there are as you say the shouters who shed crocodile tears, and ten years ago said hands off, let us have nothing to do with the Soviet Union. Now they have switched.
Any future progress depends on agreement that neither side will interfere in the internal affairs of the other. That is why we came as far as we did. The State Department is going to go right down the line. There will be no rebellion.
Secretary Kissinger: The age of rebellion is over.
The President: We believe the block to MFN should be removed, but it is a very difficult legislative situation. You must trust us. We will wrangle with different amendments and so on, but the goal is to carry out our commitment. But I won't promise what Congress will do. We will work in private and public. We will get it in the end, but the question is when. At least, when they passed the amendment, they knocked out the provision that would have stopped credit. You may have noticed that after Don Kendall talked to The New York Times they did a pretty good editorial. You can see what an influential man he is. But then on the same day The New York Times reported that an award to Kendall from a Jewish group had been withdrawn.
You should assure the General Secretary that I made a commitment and will keep it. But we have a difficult situation and can't control things. There is a lot of shouting. Meanwhile, we should proceed with other matters.
Now, finally, China. The General Secretary spoke very candidly here and again at San Clemente. Our relations with the Soviet Union are on quite a different basis than with the PRC. We have diplomatic relations and trade agreements and arms reduction. So we are talking about a different relationship than with the PRC and it has a high priority because our objective is for a peaceful world. On the other hand, it is important for the peace of the world to maintain relations with the PRC. You actually have an Ambassador, we have Bruce. The important thing to bear in mind is that we in our relations with anyone-PRC, Europe, anyone—will do nothing that will impair relations with the Soviet Union. I don't want to leave a false impression that we will cool it with the PRC because of you. We will continue discussions.
6 The New York Times reported on September 20 that Kendall's award for civic leadership from the American Jewish Committee had been retracted because of his efforts to increase trade with the USSR. Many Jewish organizations were calling for trade restrictions with the USSR until Jews were allowed to emigrate freely. See “Honor Retracted to Head of PepsiCo," The New York Times, September 20, 1973, p. 93. The reference to an editorial may be to a news analysis by Bernard Gwertzman in the same edition of The New York Times entitled “Links With Soviet: Criticism Stings Administration."
7 David K.E. Bruce, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing.
It is very important that in Asia we don't have a force to which we are not talking. Henry, do you want to add anything?
Secretary Kissinger: In the spirit of what you said, we will conduct no policy directed against the Soviet Union.
The President: Right. That is what I told the General Secretary.
Secretary Kissinger: We have not taken any position on the border dispute or on any bilateral issues. We won't.
The President: You have a border, we do too in a sense because we are in the same ocean. We will be candid with you if you are with us.
Secretary Kissinger: We will keep up the information exchange.
The President: That doesn't mean we will go to China with this conversation.
Somebody will say that the meeting the President had with the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union today was more important than the meeting with the Prime Minister of New Zealand yesterday, and it is true because with our strength, our power, our science we two are the most important nations in the world, although maybe not forever. But that is why when the General Secretary comes we spend a week and when the British come we spend one and one-half days. I am not trying to play them down and we have to have in mind the sensitivity of others. But we need not apologize for our strength. We will respect the rights of others and the agreement on the prevention of nuclear war says just that. That is the way to a peaceful world.
Gromyko: Thank you Mr. President for putting forward your considerations on all these matters. Regarding the Middle East, when would you be ready to set forth specific ideas or plans to get down to specific arrangements for the area, having in mind of course the role of the parties?
The President: I have in mind that when Dr. Kissinger makes his trip to the Soviet Union this could be done. It seems far off but it really isn't. The trip should have results. We would like it sooner but the Secretary has lots to do so this is the soonest we can do it; within 60 to 90 days.
Secretary Kissinger: I will stay in touch with Dobrynin.
Gromyko: I asked the question because experience has shown that you were not fully prepared on the questions I asked the last time. There was no desire on your side to talk.
In summarizing, you have confirmed in very definite terms the line you
have taken in Soviet-American relations and will continue. If that is so, or since that is so, we intend to pursue the same line we have chosen.
The President: Let us think about the trip around the first of the year if you can prepare it. We are not talking of as late as February.
Gromyko: Once again, thank you for the meeting.
The President: In developing the new relationship, the Foreign Minister has played an indispensable role. When we think of the great differences in our first meeting here, we can look back with some pride. We laid the groundwork for two summits.
Gromyko: Let us build the tunnel from both sides. The process is easier now because the tunnel is lit better.
The President: I will send Dr. Kissinger to Camp David with Dobrynin so they don't just meet in the map room. I know the General Secretary likes Camp David. It will be very useful. They can spend some days and I will tell them not to come back until they get their work done.
Gromyko: As long as you had kind words about my part, let me emphasize the very important work done by Dr. Kissinger as Assistant to the President and now as Secretary of State with force and brilliance.
The President: Let me say in conclusion that the Foreign Minister referred to the fact that on trade we only have virgin land. Once Kissinger gets settled at State, there won't be any virgins left there.
Secretary Kissinger: That is quite a challenge, Mr. President.
138. Message From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon and
Secretary of State Kissinger?
Moscow, October 6, 1973.
The Soviet leadership got the information about the beginning of military actions in the Middle East at the same time as you got it. We take all possible measures to clarify real state of affairs in that region, since the information from there is of a contradictory nature. We fully share your concern about the conflagration of the situation in the
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry A. Kissinger, 1973–1977, Lot 91 D 414, Box 1, Nodis Miscellaneous Docs., Tels., Etc., 1973–1977. Secret; Nodis. A note on the message indicates that Dobrynin transmitted it by telephone at 2:10 p.m.
2 On October 6, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel by crossing the cease-fire lines into the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights, areas which had been held by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXV, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1973, Documents 97–114. Kissinger, who was in New York but returned to Washington that morning, and Dobrynin had begun discussing the situation by telephone at 6:40 a.m.
Middle East. We repeatedly pointed in the past to the dangerous situation in that area.
We are considering now as well as you do, possible steps to be taken. We hope soon to contact you again for possible coordination of positions.'
3 Both Kissinger and Scowcroft continued to be in contact with Dobrynin by telephone concerning possible actions the United States and the Soviet Union could take. See ibid., Documents 108 and 109.
139. Oral Message From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to
Moscow, October 8, 1973.
We have contacted the leaders of the Arab states on the question of ceasefire. We hope to get a reply shortly. We feel that we should act in cooperation with you, being guided by the broad interests of maintaining peace and developing the Soviet-American relations. We hope that President Nixon will act likewise.
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry A. Kissinger, 1973–1977, Lot 91 D 414, Box 1, Nodis Miscellaneous Docs., Tels., Etc., 1973–1977. Secret; Nodis. A note on the message indicates that Dobrynin read the message to Kissinger. The transcript of the telephone conversation during which Dobrynin read the message is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXV, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1973, Document 123.
140. Message From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon?
The Soviet leaders consider it necessary to draw in the most urgent way the attention of the President to the defiant, to put it straight,
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry A. Kissinger, 1973–1977, Lot 91 D 414, Box 1, Nodis Miscellaneous Docs., Tels., Etc., 1973–1977. Secret; Nodis. A note at the top of the page reads: "Handed to HAK by D 7:45 pm 10/12/73."