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Conversation: 801-004

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Start Date: 17-Oct-1972 8:36 AM

End Date: 17-Oct-1972 9:59 AM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Haig, Alexander M., Jr.Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")Bull, Stephen B.White House operatorGibson, Andrew E.

Recording Device: Oval Office

801-004a.mp3

801-004b.mp3

NARA Description:

On October 17, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon, Alexander M. Haig, Jr., H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, Stephen B. Bull, White House operator, and Andrew E. Gibson met in the Oval Office of the White House at an unknown time between 8:36 am and 9:59 am. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 801-004 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 801-4

Date: October 17, 1972
Time: Unknown between 8:36 am and 9:59 am
Location: Oval Office


The President met with Alexander M. Haig, Jr.

         Greetings

H.R. (“Bob”) Haldeman entered at 8:37 am.

         Vietnam Negotiations
             -Henry A. Kissinger’s trip to Paris
             -William H. Sullivan
                 -Participation in negotiations
                      -The President’s view
                           -W[illiam] Averell Harriman
                      -Haig’s view
             -Possible bombing halt
             -1972 election
             -Kissinger’s previous meeting with Haldeman
                 -Possible trip to Hanoi
                 -Possible bombing halt
                      -Political aspects
                           -Effect on 1972 election
                           -Results of polling
                           -Kissinger’s political instincts
                                -The President’s view
                                    -Liberals
                      -Forthcoming message to Kissinger
                                       6
             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                              Tape Subject Log
                                (rev. Nov-03)

              -Agreement to end war
                   -Possible trip to Hanoi by Kissinger
    -Kissinger’s possible trip to Hanoi
         -North Vietnamese desire for visit
         -Kissinger’s desire to go
         -Necessity of successful agreement to end war
         -Interval between Kissinger’s trip and successful cease-fire
    -Nguyen Van Thieu
         -Resistance to settlement
              -Refusal to see Ellsworth F. Bunker
                   -Thieu’s meeting with advisors
              -Cease-fire
                   -Political issues in possible settlement
                   -Possible coercion by the Administration
                   -Possible delay of settlement
    -Kissinger’s possible trip to Hanoi
         -Thieu’s refusal to see Bunker
         -Haig’s view
              -Settlement
              -Thieu’s support for settlement
    -Settlement chances
         -1972 election
              -Potential for bombing after the election
    -Kissinger’s possible trip to Saigon
         -Public relations
         -Thieu’s view of Kissinger
              -Report of Haig's meeting with Thieu

US - Israel relations
    -Postponement of decision on US military aircraft
         -Jewish vote
              -Kissinger
         -Middle East settlement
         -1972 election
              -Kissinger’s political instincts
                   -The President’s view
              -Yitzak Rabin [?]
              -Max M. Fisher
              -Domestic Jewish action
                   -Soviet Jewry issue
                       -Rabin
         -Possible message to Rabin
                                       7
             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                              Tape Subject Log
                                (rev. Nov-03)

             -State Department
             -Defense Department
             -Perception of political motivation for aircraft deal

[South Korea]
    -Declaration of martial law
    -US military presence
        -The President’s view
             -Comparison of South Korea to South Vietnam
                 -Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.
        -Previous reduction
        -US supply
    -Negotiations with [North Korea]

Vietnam negotiations
    -Text of the proposed settlement
        -The President’s instructions
             -Haldeman
             -William P. Rogers’s access to the document
                  -No duplication or removal from the White House
                  -State Department
                       -Marshall Green
                       -Possible criticism of settlement
                            -Compared to previous agreements
                                -Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty [SALT]
                                -Berlin agreement
                                -Shanghai Communiqué
                                     -Hangchow
                  -Rogers’s previous conversation with Haldeman
                       -South Korea
                            -Chung Hee Park
    -Kissinger’s forthcoming trip to Saigon
        -Thieu
    -Kissinger’s schedule
        -Trips to Saigon, Washington, and Paris
             -1972 election
        -Possible trip to Hanoi
    -Possible bombing halt
        -The President’s view
    -Military situation in South Vietnam
        -US casualties
    -The President's foreign policy decisions
                            8
    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                    Tape Subject Log
                      (rev. Nov-03)

-Opposition
    -Intellectuals, media, educators, religious groups, business elite
-Support
    -Labor leaders, ethnics, farmers, military organizations, small
    businessmen, prisoner of war [POW] wives
    -POW families
         -Compared to other groups
              -Canada
              -Business elite
         -Husbands and sons in captivity
-National character
    -Lawyers, business people
    -Educated
    -Government bureaucracy and Cabinet members
    -The President’s November 3, 1969 speech
    -Cambodia, Laos, the President’s May 8, 1972 decision
    -The President’s November 3, 1969 speech
         -Reaction
         -Memorandum from Melvin R. Laird and Rogers
    -The President’s remarks during his meeting with the National League of
    Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia
         -Tad Szulc
              -New York Times
         -The President’s conversation with Ronald L. Ziegler
         -New York Times
         -Washington Post
    -Business
         -John J. McCloy
         -Donald McI. Kendall
    -Education's effect on US elite
         -Kissinger
         -White House staff
         -US upper class compared to upper class of Great Britain
         -US upper class compared to upper class of pre-World War II France
              -Young Winston film premiere
                   -Winston S. Churchill's grandson [Winston S. Churchill]
                   -Randolph Churchill, father of Winston S. Churchill [the
                   elder]
                       -Resignation as Chancellor of the Exchequer
                            -Possible publication of resignation letter
                                -London Times
                                   -Reaction by London Times editor
                                        9
              NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                              Tape Subject Log
                                (rev. Nov-03)

                                                     -Comparison to US newspapers

US newspapers
    -British newspapers
         -Support of government
              - [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain
              -Winston Churchill
    -Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News,
    -James S. Copley News Service
    -Paul Miller, Gannett News Service
    -Martin S. Hayden
         -Detroit News
    -New York Daily News
    -Orlando Sentinel
    -Omaha World Herald
         -Kissinger’s reaction to these newspapers
              -Georgetown

US elite’s view of the President
    -The President's relationship with lower classes
         - George Meany, Frank E. Fitzsimmons
         -Hispanic woman [Mrs. Nellie Davis]
    -The middle class as basis of US strength
         -The President’s view
              -Casualties from the Vietnam War
    -The elite’s linkage of the President to the middle class
    -Elite view of education and intelligence
         -Barry M. Goldwater, Joseph McCarthy

Haig’s forthcoming position as Vice Chief Staff of the Army
    -Quality of army personnel
         Racial composition of US army

The President’s viewing of Green Bay – Detroit football game, October 16, 1972
    -Running backs for Detroit, [Green Bay], Washington
        -Blacks
    -Quarterbacks
    -Blacks in football
        -University of Southern California [USC]
        -Haldeman’s view
        -The President’s view
                                              10
                        NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. Nov-03)

         Vietnam negotiations
             -Kissinger’s forthcoming trip to Saigon
             -Thieu
                  -The President’s previous meeting with Abrams
                  -Possible resistance to settlement
                      -Effect on relations with US
                           -1972 election
             -Possible delay of settlement
                  -Announcement
                      -Kissinger
                      -1972 election
                  -Effect of 1972 election on the negotiations
             -Kissinger
                  -Accomplishments
                      -People’s Republic of China [PRC]
                      -Soviet Union
                      -SALT
                  -Desire to finalize settlement
             -Settlement
                  -Haig’s forthcoming message to Kissinger

         The President's schedule
             -The President’s instructions to Haig
                 Haig’s contact with Rogers
                 -Forthcoming vetoes
                      -Water bill
                           -Forthcoming speech
                      -Social Security bill
                           -Postponement of foreign policy-related events
             -The President’s previous meeting with Abrams
                 -Abrams’s swearing-in as Army Chief of Staff
                      -Newspaper photograph
                 -Haig’s view

         Abrams’s schedule
             -Announcement

Haig left at 9:06 am.

         Haig
             -The President’s view
             -Haig’s previous meeting with Haldeman
                                               11
                      NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. Nov-03)


        The President’s schedule

The President left at an unknown time after 9:06 am.

        [Pause]

The President entered at an unknown time before 9:12 am.

        Vietnam negotiations
            -Kissinger
                -Haig’s previous meeting with Haldeman
                -The President’s previous meeting with Haig
                -Haig’s view
                     -Kissinger’s personal motivation to finalize the settlement
                          -Kissinger’s insecurity
                          -Haldeman’s notes
                               -Private file
                          -Timing of settlement
                               -1972 election
        Kissinger
            -Desire to finalize settlement before 1972 election
                - [Nancy S. Maginnes]
            -Kissinger’s previous meeting with Haldeman
                -Possible successor to Haig
                     -Gen. Brent G. Scowcroft
                          -Intellectual capacity
                               -Compared to Maj. Gen. James D. (“Don”) Hughes
                               -Compared to Haig
                          -Personality
                               -Haldeman’s view
                -Kissinger’s reaction to the meeting
                     -Implicit confirmation of role for Kissinger
                          -The President’s second term in office
            -Post-1972 election plans
                -Kissinger, Haldeman

Stephen B. Bull entered at an unknown time after 9:06 am.

        Telephone call to Ralph Marrinson

Bull left at an unknown time before 9:12 am.
                                              12
                      NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. Nov-03)


The President talked with the White House operator at 9:12 am.

[Conversation No. 801-4A]

[See Conversation No. 31-98]

[End of telephone conversation]

The President talked with Marrinson between 9:12 am and 9:13 am.

[Conversation No. 801-4B]

[See Conversation No. 31-99]

[End of telephone conversation]

        Vietnam negotiations
            -Kissinger
                -Importance of the President’s confidence
                     -Haig’s view
                     -The President's note to Kissinger
                          -1972 election
                          -The President’s statement of confidence
                -Haig’s view
            -Possible settlement
                -Risks
                     -Compared to the President’s meeting with POW wives
                -Thieu
                -Abrams
                     -Forthcoming trip to South Vietnam
                          -Role as advocate
                -Haig
                     -Fear of possible blood bath
                -Kissinger's trip to Saigon
                     -Thieu’s possible rejection of settlement
                     -Possible publication of settlement terms by North Vietnamese
                -The President’s view
                     -Thieu’s possible rejection of settlement
                     -Possible publication of settlement terms by North Vietnamese
                          -Kissinger’s possible briefings
                -South Vietnam
                                           13
                   NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                   Tape Subject Log
                                     (rev. Nov-03)

                   -US support
                       -Abrams’s view
                            -Comparison of South Vietnam with Europe
                       -South Korea
               -Rogers
                   -Possible changes to settlement
                       -State Department
                       -Kissinger

       The President's schedule
           -Possible radio address
               -Timing
                    -Ziegler
               -Tax issues
                    -John D. Ehrlichman
                    -William L. Safire
                         -Conversation with Ehrlichman
                    -Tax reform as an issue
                         -Senior citizens
                    -Ehrilchman
                         -John B. Connally
               -Paternalism [Philosophy of Government]
               -Forthcoming trip to Camp David


*****************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 6
[Personal returnable]
[Duration: 2m 45s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 6

*****************************************************************


       The President’s schedule
           -Revenue sharing bill signing ceremony
               -[Thomas] Hale Boggs's possible funeral
                                                14
                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. Nov-03)

*****************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 7
[Personal returnable]
[Duration: 27s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 7

*****************************************************************


       Boggs's death
          -Wiley Post, Will Rogers
               -Reminiscences
                    -The President
                        -Ziegler
                    -Haldeman
                        -Beverly Hills, California

       The President’s possible radio address
           -Tax reform
               -Ehrlichman
           -Charles W. Colson
               -Domestic Council

       The President’s schedule
           -Boggs's possible funeral
               -The President’s previous trip to Louisiana
                    -Allen J. Ellender’s funeral
           -Possible memorial service in Washington, DC

       Congressional relations
          -Conference reports
               -House of Representatives
          -Continuing resolution
          -Possible adjournment sine die
               -Lack of a quorum
                   -The President's water bill veto
                        -William E. Timmons
                   -Possibility of overriding the veto
                                            15
                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. Nov-03)

       Vice President Spiro T. Agnew’s possible appearance at event in Boston, October 31,
       1972
           -The President's previous conversation with John F. Collins
               -Liberal Republicans
               -Irish community in Boston
           -Thelma C. (“Pat”) Nixon’s possible attendance

       The President’s schedule
           -Revenue sharing bill signing ceremony
               -Guests
                    -Collins
                    -City manager of Lowell, Massachusetts [James L. Sullivan]
                    -Colson’s forthcoming conversation with Collins
                         -Philadelphia
                    -Mrs. Nixon’s schedule
                    -Colson’s forthcoming conversation with Collins


*****************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 8
[Personal returnable]
[Duration: 4m ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 8

*****************************************************************


       George Champion, Sr.
          -William F. (“Billy”) Graham
          -Possible Ambassadorial posts
               -Japan
               -Champion’s drinking
               -United Nations [UN]

       Graham
           -Communication with Haldeman
           -Schedule
               -Speaking engagements
           -Communication with Haldeman
                                           16
                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. Nov-03)

               -Haldeman’s expressions of the President’s gratitude
               -Graham’s suggestions

       Tricia Nixon Cox previous appearance at Ethel Waters’s dinner
           -Graham’s view
           -Tricia Nixon Cox’s speech
                -Speechwriters
                -The President’s view


*****************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10
[Personal returnable]
[Duration: 4m 5s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10

*****************************************************************


       The President's schedule
           -The President's previous meeting with the National League of Families of
           American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia
               -Public relations impact
                    -Radio reports, television [TV] coverage
                         -JoAnne (Horton) Haldeman’s view
                         -Network coverage
                             -National Broadcasting Corporation [NBC]
           -The President’s trip to Atlanta
               -TV coverage
                    -Billy and Ruth Mc C. (Bell) Graham
           -The President’s recent meeting with the National League of Families of American
           Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia
               -TV coverage
                    -The President’s tone
                    -Issues
                         -Vietnam
                         -Amnesty for draft evaders
                         -George S. McGovern
                                             17
                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. Nov-03)

        McGovern
           -Corruption issue
           -Previous speech in Los Angeles
               -Reaction to a fire marshal
           -Hecklers
               -McGovern’s reaction compared to the President’s
                    -The President’s trip to Liberty Island, New York, September 26, 1972
               -Haldeman’s hypothetical plan to place hecklers in McGovern crowds
                    -The President’s view

        Media and press relations
           -The President’s recent meeting with the National League of Families
                -Washington Post
                    - [Dwight L. Chapin] story
           - [Chapin] story

*****************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 11
[Personal returnable]
[Duration: 9m 42s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 11

*****************************************************************


        The President's schedule
            -The President's forthcoming meeting with representatives of foreign labor unions
                -Press coverage
                     -Writing pool
                     -Ziegler

Haldeman left at an unknown time before 9:59 am.