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Conversation: 456-012

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Start Date: Tuesday, February 23, 1971 6:05 PM

End Date: Tuesday, February 23, 1971 7:09 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")Ehrlichman, John D.Colson, Charles W.Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")White House operatorMacGregor, ClarkShultz, George P.Woods, Rose MaryNixon, Richard M. (President)Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")Ehrlichman, John D.Colson, Charles W.Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")White House operatorMacGregor, ClarkShultz, George P.Woods, Rose Mary

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 02:18:13

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 03:14:37

456-012.mp3

NARA Description:

On February 23, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman, Charles W. Colson, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, White House operator, Clark MacGregor, George P. Shultz, and Rose Mary Woods met in the Oval Office of the White House from 1:05 pm to 2:09 pm. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 456-012 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 456-12

Date: February 23, 1971
Time: 1:05 pm - 2:09 pm
Location: Oval Office

The President met with H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman

     The President’s schedule
          -Governors’ conference
               -President’s comments

[The President talked with John D. Ehrlichman at an unknown time between 1:05 pm and 1:12
pm]
[Conversation No. 456-12A]

                -Media coverage
                -White House dinner

[End of telephone conversation]

     Suspension of Davis-Bacon Act
          -Briefing of congressmen
                -Clark MacGregor’s view
                     -Robert P. Griffin
                -Jacob K. Javits
                -Administration position

     White House dinner
          -Press coverage
               -Columbia Broadcasting System [CBS] interest
                     -Herbert J. (“Jackie”) Gleason
               -Charles W. Colson
               -Guest list
               -Thelma C. (Ryan) (“Pat”) Nixon’s view
               -Advantages
                     -Compared to Edward K. (“Duke”) Ellington dinner
                     -Gleason
                     -President’s position
                     -Beverly Sills
          -Location of stage
                                            21

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



               -Richard (“Red”) Skelton
               -Johnny Cash
          -Press coverage
               -Mrs. Nixon’s view

     Newsweek story on State of World message
         -Leak
              -Haldeman’s conversation with William P. Rogers Conv. No. 456-12 (cont.)
                    -Henry A. Kissinger
                    -James J. Kilpatrick, Jr.
                    -Strategic Arms Limitation Talks [SALT]
                    -Arms Control and Disarmament Agency [ACDA]

Colson entered at 1:12 pm

     Davis-Bacon Act
          -Colson’s role
          -Effect
               -Wage Price Board
          -Wage and price freeze
               -James D. Hodgson
               -Colson’s view
          -Effect on unions
          -Purpose

[Haldeman talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 1:12 pm and 1:30
pm; the President and Colson can be heard in the background]

[Conversation No. 456-12B]

     Call to MacGregor

[End of telephone conversation]

     Suspension of Davis-Bacon Act
          -Administration position
               -Raymond K. Price, Jr.
               -President’s view
               -Purpose
          -Labor’s view
               -Peter J. Brennan
          -Administration strategy
                                             22

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



                -Ehrlichman’s view
                -Criticism from left
                -Credibility
                -John B. Connally’s view
                -The President’s view

[Haldeman talked with MacGregor at an unknown time between 1:12 pm and 1:30 pm; the
President and Colson can be heard in the background]             Conv. No. 456-12 (cont.)

[Conversation No. 456-12C]

          -Congressional briefing
              -Timing

[End of telephone conversation]

          -Administration strategy
              -Joint statement by George P. Shultz and Colson
                    -Wording
                          -Labor Department section
                                -Public versus private statement
                          -Purpose of Davis-Bacon Act
                                -Union wages
                          -Re-instatement
                                -Timing
                          -State Department view
                          -President’s view

[Haldeman talked with the White House operator [?] at an unknown time between 1:12 pm and
1:30 pm; the President and Colson can be heard in the background]

[Conversation No. 456-12D]

     Call to Shultz

[End of telephone conversation]

     Suspension of Davis-Bacon Act
          -Administration strategy
               -Joint statement by Shultz and Colson
                     -Wording
                           -Justification of Davis-Bacon Act
                                               23

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                       Tape Subject Log
                                          (rev. 9/08)



                                 -Union wages

Shultz entered at 1:30 pm

                                  -Department of Labor view
                                  -Paul W. McCracken
                                  -Willie J. Usery, Jr.
                                  -Brennan                               Conv. No. 456-12 (cont.)
                                  -Effects of opposition
                                  -William L. Safire
                                        -Schedule
                                              -State of the World address
                            -Oil and steel actions as precedent
                            -Steel prices
                            -Bargaining process
                            -Conditions that fostered Davis-Bacon Act
                            -Consistency of administration’s actions
                                  -Steel and oil actions

Rose Mary Woods entered at 1:50 pm

                            -Safire
                            -The President’s schedule

Woods left at 1:54 pm

     State of the World address
           -Safire
           -Price
           -Kissinger
           -Newsweek story
                 -Leak
                      -Rogers
                      -ACDA
                      -Haldeman’s conversation with Rogers
                           -Kissinger

     National Security Study Memoranda [NSSMs]
          -Haldeman’s conversation with Kissinger
          -Melvin R. Laird
          -Number
          -Alexander P. Butterfield
                                              24

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)




Haldeman left at 1:56 pm

     Davis-Bacon Act
          -Statement from administration
                -Wording
                     -Rationale for administration action
                     -Meaning to industry                           Conv. No. 456-12 (cont.)
                     -Colson’s call to concerned party
          -Construction industry
          -Hodgson’s statement

Colson and Shultz left at 2:09 pm