Conversation: 336-008Prev: 336-007 Next: 336-009
Start Date: 8-May-1972 1:15 PM
End Date: 8-May-1972 2:30 PM
Participants:Nixon, Richard M. (President); Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob"); Kissinger, Henry A.; White House operator; Rush, [David] Kenneth; White House operator; [Unknown person(s)];
Recording Device: Old Executive Office Building
Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 00:19:06
Full Tape Conversation End Time: 01:32:54
On May 8, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, Henry A. Kissinger, White House operator, [David] Kenneth Rush, White House operator, and unknown person(s) met in the President's office in the Old Executive Office Building from 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm. The Old Executive Office Building taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 336-008 of the White House Tapes.
Nixon Library Finding Aid:
Conversation No. 336-8 Date: May 8, 1972 Time: 1:15 - 2:30 pm Location: Executive Office Building The President met with H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman. [Discontinuities in the conversation appear in the original recording.] President’s schedule -A meeting -Time Vietnam -President’s policies -Veterans -Support -Opposition -President’s actions -John B. Connally -Blockade -Soviet summit -Possible cancellation -Seperability -Risks -Edward M. Kennedy -Hue -Television coverage -Nature of reports -Henry A. Kissinger -Leonid I. Brezhnev -Negotiations -Kissinger’s schedule 8 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -Paris trip -Collapse -Soviet Summit -Agreements -Timing of blockade -Possible South Vietname collapse -Melvin R. Laird -Senate -J. William Fulbright, John C. Stennis -Advice -Risks -South Vietnam collapse -Hue -South Vietnamese morale -Blockade and mining of Haiphong -South Vietnamese morale -Soviet summit -Timing -Possible South Vietnam collapse -Postponement -Timing -Negotiations -North Vietnam offensive -Political risks -Kennedy -Connally’s advice -President’s goals -Peace Abortion -President’s letter to Terence Cardinal Cooke -John D. Ehrlichman -Release -Circumstances -Review -Ehrlichman -John N. Mitchell -Patrick J. Buchanan -Haldeman’s advice -Mitchell -Ehrlichman -Committee to Re-elect the President [CRP] role 9 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -Ehrlichman’s advice -Issue of public release -Peter M. Flanigan -Ehrlichman -Buchanan -Public release -Nelson A. Rockefeller -New York legislation -Effect -Release -Ehrlichman’s explanation -Rockefeller -Abortion bill -Rockefeller’s veto -Release -Flanigan’s advice -Anti-abortion supporters -Rockefeller’s report -Demonstrations in Albany Henry A. Kissinger entered at 1:35 pm. German treaties -Call from Egon Bahr -Message from the President Anatoliy F. Dobrynin -Forthcoming meeting with Kissinger -[David] Kenneth Rush Vietnam -Blockade -Support -William P. Rogers -Timing -Rush Kissinger talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 1:35 and 2:10 pm. [Conversation No. 336-8A] [See Conversation No. 24-3] 10 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) [End of telephone conversation] Vietnam -Soviet summit -Impact of blockade -Haldeman’s view Kissinger talked with rush at an unknown time between 1:35 and 2:10 pm. [Conversation No. 336-8B] [See Conversation No. 24-4] [End of telephone conversation] Kissinger talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 1:35 and 2:10 pm. [Conversation No. 336-8C] Call To Alexander M. Haig, Jr. [End of telephone conversation] Vietnam -Blockade -Soviet summit -Possible cancellation -Risks -Hue collapse -Significance -South Vietnam collapse -Significance -Brezhnev -Summit agreements -World peace -Timing -Kissinger’s schedule -Camp David -Soviet summit -German treaty -President’s decision 11 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -Hue collapse -Timing -Significance -Timing -President’s decision -The President’s view An unknown person entered at an unknown time after 1:35 pm. Delivery of lunch The unknown person left at an unknown time before 2:10 pm. Vietnam -Blockade -President’s decision -Timing -German Treaty -Failure to act -Meaning -The President’s view -Timing -Negotiations -Delay in decision -Possible South Vietnam collapse -Possible US defeat -Laird’s view -Soviet interpretation -North Vietnam offensive -Kissinger’s view -Hue -Objectives -Saigon -Soviet summit -Probability of military setbacks -Kissinger’s view -Kontum -Press reporting -The President’s view -Probability of Kontum collapse -Rogers -Connally’s advice 12 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -US bargaining position -Public opinion -Soviet Summit -US bombing -Hanoi -Haiphong -Cancellation possibility -Bombing -Duration -Kisssinger’s view -South Vietnam collapse -Impact -Cancellation -Impact on forthcoming election -Importance -Impact on US loss in Southeast Asia -Soviet prestige -North Vietnam offensive -Tanks -Laird -Numbers and size -US tanks in South Vietnam -Laird -Soviet summit -President’s decision to blockade -Air strikes -Hanoi, Haipong -Risk of South Vietnam collapse -Blockade and mining -Effect on North Vietnam strategy -Duration -Impact on North Vietnam -Impact on Soviets -Soviet summit -Possible cancellation -Likelihood -Kissinger’s view -Lyndon B. Johnson -Air strikes -Connally’s advice -Effectiveness -Blockade 13 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -Effectiveness -South Vietnam survival -Comparison with bombing -South Vietnam defeat -Consequences for US -Connally’s view -Rogers’s view -Haldeman’s view -Domestic public opinion -Haiphong -Consequences for the President -Forthcoming presidential campaign -Blockade -President’s purpose -Prisoners of war [POWs] -Laird’s view -President’s forthcoming speech -Numbers -US withdrawal -Impact on North Vietnam -President’s final decision -President’s forthcoming speech -Democratic Caucus -Kissinger briefing -President’s meeting with Michael J. Mansfield -Resolution to end the war -Delay -Soviet summit -President’s meeting with Congressional leaders -Fulbright, Stennis -Attendees -Fulbright -Allen J. Ellender -Timing -Attendees -Possible Congressional response -Kissinger’s view -Senate request -Blockade decision -Haldeman’s opinion -Comparison with Cambodia -Briefing of Congressmen 14 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -Rogers -Laird -Kissinger -President’s speech -Notification of Congressional leaders -Mansfield -Handling -President’s manner -Haldeman’s view -Rogers -Fulbright -Comparison with President’s Cambodian announcement -Timing -Reasons -Legal aspects of blockade -Haig -Rogers -Attendees -Appropriations Committee -Armed Services Committee -The President’s view -Ellender -Appropriations Committee -Armed Services Committee -George H. Mahon -Telephone call -A previous dinner attended by Kissinger -Thomas W. Braden -Frank F. Church -Fulbright -President’s terms -The President’s view -Blockade -Ceasefire -POWs -US withdrawal -Cabinet meeting -Kissinger’s view -Rogers -President’s appearance -Cabinet Room -Television speech 15 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -President’s remarks -Position -Support for the President’s decision to blockade -Haldeman’s view -Rogers Haldeman left at 2:10 pm. Kissinger talked with Haig at 2:10 pm. [Conversation No. 336-8D] -Notification of blockade decision -Haldeman -Laird -Washington Special Action Group [WSAG] [End of telephone conversation] -President’s decision -Kissinger’s view -President’s forthcoming speech -Soviet weapons -Deletions and additions -Draft -Rose Mary Woods -Civilian casualties -Delivery on television -Time -Comparison to John F. Kennedy’s Cuban missile crisis speech -Length -Announcement -Escalation -US peace offers -Rejection by North Vietnam -Wording -US troops in Vietnam -Numbers -Withdrawal -Number -Wording -Soviet weapons 16 NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF Tape Subject Log (rev. Nov-01) Conv. No. 336-8 (cont.) -Delivery to North Vietnam -US aid to South Vietnam -Wording -Implementation of blockade -Communications -Soviet aid to North Vietnam -Surrender -Hanoi -Saigon -Draft -Woods’s suggestion for the conclusion -President’s letter to Brezhnev -Dobrynin -Kissinger’s review -Woods -Completion Vietnam -President’s forthcoming speech on the blockade -Military action -Ceasefire -Extent -Supervision -Extent -Outcome -Previous National Security Council [NSC] meeting -Outcome -Laird -Position -Rogers -Support for the President -Public opinion -President’s decision Kissinger left at 2:30 pm.