Conversation: 502-012Prev: 502-011 Next: 502-013
Start Date: Thursday, May 20, 1971 4:05 PM
End Date: Thursday, May 20, 1971 4:48 PM
Participants:Nixon, Richard M. (President); Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob"); Ziegler, Ronald L.; Kissinger, Henry A.; [Unknown person(s)]; Scali, John A.; Cox, Tricia Nixon; Woods, Rose Mary;
Recording Device: Oval Office
Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 01:30:40
Full Tape Conversation End Time: 02:09:50
On May 20, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, Ronald L. Ziegler, Henry A. Kissinger, unknown person(s), John A. Scali, Tricia Nixon Cox, and Rose Mary Woods met in the Oval Office of the White House from 12:05 pm to 12:48 pm. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 502-012 of the White House Tapes.
Nixon Library Finding Aid:
Conversation No. 502-12 Date: May 20, 1971 Time: 12:05 pm - 12:48 pm Location: Oval Office 16 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. 9/08) The President met with H.R. (“Bob”) Haldeman. President's announcement of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks [SALT] agreement -Haldeman’s assessments -Foreign policy statement -Effect on viewers -Press -Dan Rather Conv. No. 502-12 (cont.) -Herbert E. Kaplow -John W. Chancellor -Rather's comments -Surprise -Moscow -Time in Washington, D.C. and in Moscow -Drama -Evening news -Length of President's statement -SALT talks -Limitation of nuclear arms -Text of President's announcement, May 20, 1971 -Introduction Ronald L. Ziegler entered at 12:10 pm. -Ziegler's views -Compared to Kissinger's earlier press briefing -Anti-ballistic missiles [ABM] -Rather's comments -President -Aleksei N. Kosygin -Leonid I. Brezhnev -Camera coverage -Wire service coverage -Kissinger's response Kissinger entered at 12:27 pm. -New Republic -U. Alexis Johnson [?] -Marianne Means [?] -Charles G. ("Bebe") Rebozo -Text of President's announcement, May 20, 1971 17 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. 9/08) -Change of wording -Soviet response -Kissinger's earlier press briefing, May 20, 1971 -Chancellor's response -Rather -Marvin L. Kalb [?] -Preliminaries to President's announcement -North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] Conv. No. 502-12 (cont.) -Paris -Domestic policy -Soviets -President’s relations with the press -Michael J. (“Mike”) Mansfield -Charles W. Colson -President's instructions -Senate -Soviets -Strategy for pursuing negotiations with Soviets -Offensive -Defensive President's briefing of Congressional leaders, May 20, 1971 -Senators -J. William Fulbright -Mansfield -Allen J. Ellender -Fulbright -Smoking habits -Reading -Newspaper -Carl B. Albert's absence -Meeting with Capitol Architect -Informing the press -Spiro T. Agnew -Press -Veracity SALT announcement -Kissinger's calls on May 20, 1971 -George Meany -Response -Lyndon B. Johnson 18 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. 9/08) -Response -Howard Stein -Jack J. Dreyfuss, Jr. (?) -John J. McCloy -Response -Nelson A. Rockefeller's views -People's Republic of China [PRC] -SALT Conv. No. 502-12 (cont.) -Kissinger's earlier press briefing on SALT, May 20, 1971 -Press -Compared to Kissinger's Vietnam press briefings -ABM -Offensive weapons -Cameras -Press -Chinese -Message -Pakistani Ambassador -Joseph S. Farland [Unintelligible] -Navy -Farland -Agha Muhommad Yahya Kahn -Official communication -John A. Scali -Reaction to announcement -Soviet reaction An unknown person entered at an unknown time after 12:27 pm. Request for Scali The unknown person left at an unknown time before 12:31 pm. SALT announcement -National Security Council [NSC] members 19 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. 9/08) -Gerard C. Smith -Arms Control and Disarmament Agency [ACDA] staff -Photograph session in Oval Office -William P. Rogers -Melvin R. Laird President's briefing of Congressional leaders on SALT, May 20, 1971 -Smith's performance Conv. No. 502-12 (cont.) -Smith -Negotiating efforts with the Soviets -George H. Mahon, F. Edward Hébert and Robert F. Byrd's comments -Republicans -Fulbright Scali entered at 12:31 pm. Scali's briefing on SALT, May 20, 1971 -Smith -Howard K. Smith -Smith -Johnson -SALT -US and Soviet Union positions -Negotiating strategy SALT announcement -Press -Rather -United Press International [UPI]'s and Associated Press [AP]'s lead stories on President's SALT announcement, May 20, 1971 -Timing -Coverage President's previous Congressional briefing -Ellender, Hébert, Byrd, Mahon, John C. Stennis -Congressional response -ABM Kissinger left at 12:36 pm. [The President talked with Tricia Nixon between 12:36 pm and 12:39 pm] 20 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. 9/08) [Scali and Haldeman can be heard in the background] [See Conversation No. 3-83] [Conversation No. 502-12A] [End of telephone conversation] Conv. No. 502-12 (cont.) President's SALT agreement announcement -Chancellor -Tricia Nixon's views on length of President's comments -Drama -Scali -Chancellor -Meeting with Kissinger Scali's press briefing, May 20, 1971 -Kissinger's press briefing, May 20, 1971 -Senate -Negotiations with Soviets -Press -Post World War II world -Importance of SALT -Historical perspective Kissinger entered at an unknown time after 12:39 pm. -US relations with Soviet Union and PRC -Since World War II -Means Kissinger, Ziegler, and Scali left at 12:43 pm. Soviets President’s critics PRC Vietnam Rose Mary Woods entered at 12:45 pm. 21 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. 9/08) Letter to Acheson President's SALT agreement announcement -Length -Drama -Television -Drama -Length Conv. No. 502-12 (cont.) Acheson letter The President, Haldeman, and Woods left at 12:48 pm.