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Conversation: 711-003

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Start Date: Tuesday, April 18, 1972 2:20 PM

End Date: Tuesday, April 18, 1972 3:02 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Rogers, William P.Kissinger, Henry A.White House operatorSanchez, ManoloButterfield, Alexander P.Laird, Melvin R.Bull, Stephen B.Nixon, Richard M. (President)Rogers, William P.Kissinger, Henry A.White House operatorSanchez, ManoloButterfield, Alexander P.Laird, Melvin R.Bull, Stephen B.

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 00:01:54

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 00:42:24

711a.mp3

711b.mp3

711c.mp3

NARA Description:

On April 18, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon, William P. Rogers, Henry A. Kissinger, White House operator, Manolo Sanchez, Alexander P. Butterfield, Melvin R. Laird, and Stephen B. Bull met in the Oval Office of the White House at an unknown time between 9:20 am and 10:02 am. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 711-003 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 711-3

Date: April 18, 1972
Time: 9:20 am - unknown before 10:02 am
Location: Oval Office

The President talked with William P. Rogers between 9:20 and 9:23 am.

     [Conversation No. 711-3A]

     [See Conversation No. 23-14]
                                              2

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 7/07)




Henry A. Kissinger entered at 9:22 am.

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Rogers's testimony
               -Julie Nixon Eisenhower
               -Calls from staff
          -Respect for the President
          -Press
               -Reports on Melvin R. Laird
                      -Opposition to air strikes
               -Story from Saigon
                      -Air strikes
                            -Laird’s position
          -US policies
               -Show of strength
                      -People’s Republic of China [PRC]

     PRC
           -Message to the President
                -Urgency
                -Call to Kissinger
           -Actions on air strikes
           -Message
                -Warning on territorial violation
                      -Bombing of Haiphong
                -Significance
                      -Hugh Scott and Michael J. Mansfield
           -Hainan Island
                -Geographic location

     Vietnam
          -Laird
               -Release of story
                    -Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.
                          -Staff
                    -The President’s call to Laird
                    -Need for unity

The President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 9:23 and 9:27
                                               3

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 7/07)



am.

[Conversation No. 711-3B]

[See Conversation No. 23-15]

[End of telephone conversation]

      Vietnam
           -Laird
                 -Release of story
                       -Motives
                       -Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [USSR]
                            -Kissinger’s trip
           -American public opinion
                 -Support
                       -Lyndon B. Johnson
                            -Comparisons to current administration
           -Air strikes
                 -Call to Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
                       -Number of sorties
                 -Kissinger’s trip to Moscow

The White House operator talked with the President at 9:27 am.

[Conversation No. 711-3C]

[See Conversation No. 23-16]

[End of telephone conversation]

      Vietnam
           -Battle report
                 -Military Region One
                       -Army of the Republic of Vietnam [ARVN] action
                             -Effectiveness
                       -North Vietnamese casualties
                       -Fire base near Hue
                             -Encirclement
                                   -Protection
                 -Military Region Two
                       -B-52 strikes
                                               4

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                       Tape Subject Log
                                          (rev. 7/07)



                          -An Loc
                               -North Vietnamese movements
                                      -Direction
                               -ARVN actions
                          -North Vietnamese movements
                               -Weaknesses
                          -B-52 strikes
                          -Phantoms
              -Air strikes
                    -Weather
                          -South Vietnamese strikes
                               -Moorer’s comments
                          -Need for study of US airpower
                          -B-25s
                               -World War II
                                      -Comparisons
                    -A-1s
                          -Capabilities
                          -US air tactics

     Israel
              -Yitzhak Rabin
              -Use of Phantoms
                   -Altitude

     Vietnam
          -Air strikes
                -Pilots
          -Naval action
                -Destroyers
                      -Numbers
                -Surface to air missiles [SAMs]
          -Destroyers
                -US casualties
          -Air strikes against North
                -Secondary fires
                -Haiphong
                -Hanoi

Manolo Sanchez [?] entered at an unknown time after 9:27 am.

     Refreshment
                                              5

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 7/07)




Sanchez [?] left at an unknown time before 9:49 am.

     Vietnam
          -Air strikes
                -Truck parks
          -Senate Foreign Relations Committee
                -Bill
                      -Aid cut-off
                            -Timing
                            -Prisoners of war [POWs] release
                            -Mansfield
                                  -Amendment
          -Battle reports
                -Further details
          -Soviet note
                -Mild nature
                      -US response
                -Soviet ships
                      -US response
          -Indian protests
                -US response
                -US aid
                      -Further discussions
                -Friendly acts
                      -Kenneth B. Keating
                            -Cable
                                  -Possible dialog with India
                                       -Keating
                                             -Respect from Kissinger
          -Rogers’s testimony
          -Soviet ships
          -Charles W. Colson's staff
                -Public relations work
                -Discussions with Kissinger
                      -News summaries
                -Attack on Edmund S. Muskie
                      -Muskie's statements
          -Kissinger's attendance at Henry Brandon dinner
                -Charles D. Hamilton
                      -Comments regarding the President
                            -The Sunday Times
                                     6

                NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                            Tape Subject Log
                               (rev. 7/07)



            -Acquaintance with the President
            -Roy H. Thomson
                  -Date
            -Francis D. L. Astor
                  -The Observer
                  -Interest in Africa
      -Benjamin C. Bradlee
            -Washington Post
            -Criticism of Democratic candidates
            -Comments
                  -Feelings towards the administration
      -Mood
            -Elliot L. Richardson
                  -Discussion with critics
                  -Defense of Vietnamization
                        -Arguments
                               -Potential success
                        -Bombing
                               -Diplomatic act
-Laird testimony
      -Vietnamization
-Bombing
      -Administration intentions
            -Kissinger’s upcoming talk with Laird
                  -Hanoi and Haiphong
      -Impact on Soviets
-Critics of Kissinger
      -Defensiveness
      -Current offensive
            -Bradlee's comments
            -Duration
                  -September
                        -Possible end to hostilities
-Laird
      -Testimony
            -Line of argument
-Troop withdrawals
      -Goals
      -Abrams's assessment
            -Agreement with the President
      -Level in 1969
            -Ceiling
                                         7

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                    (rev. 7/07)



           -Rate
           -Ceiling levels
                 -Decline
                       -Reasons
      -The President's schedule
           -Trip to Moscow
           -Troop reduction
           -Trip to Moscow
                 -Kissinger’s upcoming meeting
                       -Timing

PRC
      -John A. Scali’s concern
           -Table tennis team
                 -Moscow

Vietnam
     -Air strikes
           -Haiphong
                 -Kissinger’s Moscow trip
                 -US intentions
                       -Kissinger’s previous conversation with Anatoliy F. Dobrynin
                 -Laird and Abrams
     -USSR
           -Benefits from war
                 -Hanoi’s dependence
           -Kissinger’s trip
                 -US position
                       -Haiphong
                       -Air strikes
           -Pressure on Hanoi
                 -1972 election
           -Summit
                 -Benefit for US
           -US pressure
                 -Stance toward Hanoi
                       -US pressure on Moscow and Peking
                       -Concessions
                       -Options
           -Continuing relations
           -Kissinger’s trip
                 -Results
                                                  8

                               NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                          Tape Subject Log
                                             (rev. 7/07)



                               -Further actions
                -Summit
                     -Advantages
                     -Conditions
                            -Attacks on North Vietnam
                                  -Options
                                       -Strikes
                                       -Blockade
                                             -Soviet response
                                                   -Timing of US position
                -Kissinger’s trip
                     -Blockade
                            -Implementation
                            -Problems
                                  -Soviet summit
                                       -Possible response from Hanoi
           -Blockade
                -Duration
                     -USSR
                -Public support
                     -Administration’s demands to USSR
                -Possible results
                     -POWs

Alexander P. Butterfield entered at 9:49 am.

     PRC
           -Table tennis game
                -Scheduling
                -Team
                      -Meeting with the President
                           -Possible photograph opportunity
                      -The President’s remarks
                           -US-PRC relations
                           -Soviets

Butterfield left at 9:51 am.

           -Rogers’s attendance at table tennis match, April 17, 1972
                -Protesters
                      -Types
                                              9

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 7/07)



     Vietnam
          -Bombing
               -Protests at University of Wisconsin
                     -Size
                           -Television coverage
          -Blockade
               -US capabilities
               -Laird
               -Ships to Haiphong
                     -Interception
                           -Possible confrontation
                           -The President’s previous conversation with Moorer
               -Mining
                     -Moorer’s opinion
                           -Mining over blockade
                     -Problems
                           -Soviet minesweepers
                     -Advantages
                     -Preparations
                           -Heavy raids
          -Bombing
               -Effectiveness
          -Laird
               -Complaints
               -Release of story
                     -Reaction of Hanoi
          -Negotiations
               -Le Duc Tho
                     -Trip to Paris
                           -Significance
                                 -Possible sign of weakness
          -Soviets
               -Further actions
                     -Cautiousness
               -Kissinger’s trip
                     -Dobrynin
               -Summit
                     -Kissinger’s position
                           -Conditions from the President

The President talked with Laird between 9:55 and 9:56 am.
                                                10

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 7/07)



     [Conversation No. 711-3D]

     [See Conversation No. 23-17]

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Bombing
                -Laird’s statement
          -Military operations
                -Alexander M. Haig, Jr.’s cable
                -Abrams’s assurances
                -Air strikes
                      -Gen. John W. Vogt, Jr.
                            -Morale

Stephen B. Bull entered at an unknown time after 9:56 am.

     PRC
           -Table tennis team
                -Arrangements
                      -A platform
                -Press coverage

Bull left at an unknown time before 10:00 am.

     Vietnam
          -Military operations
                -Haig cable
                     -Thailand
                           -Encouragement
                           -Reassurances
                     -Battlefield situation
                           -North Vietnamese units
                           -Saigon area
                     -Abrams
                           -North Vietnamese capabilities
                                 -Weaknesses
                     -Negotiations
                           -May meeting

     Kissinger
                                              11

                              NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                       Tape Subject Log
                                          (rev. 7/07)



           -Washington Special Actions Group [WSAG] meeting

     Vietnam
          -North Vietnamese capabilities

Sanchez entered at an unknown time after 9:56 am.

           -Nikita S. Khruschev memoirs [?]
           -Dien Bien Phu
                -French

Kissinger left at 10:00 am.

     Retention of something

Sanchez left at an unknown time before 10:02 am.