Richard Nixon, John Connally
White House Telephone
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Download Audio Files:
Richmond. School Desegregation. Economy.
The operator connects the call.
President Nixon: Hello?
John Connally∇: Good morning, sir.
President Nixon: How was Richmond?
Connally: Just great.
President Nixon: Yeah, give me a little--got a minute?
Connally: Yes, sir.
President Nixon: Give me a little run down on their attitudes and so forth.
Connally: Mr. President, they couldn’t have been nicer. They said they had the largest crowd that anyone had ever seen in the hotel.
President Nixon: Oh, I’m sure of that.
Connally: They had the tables on the stage, they had tables in the balcony.
President Nixon: My gosh.
Connally: [with President Nixon acknowledging] It was a very excellent affair. We had a very small reception before we went in. We had a--I met with the directors of the Chamber after the speech was over. They were very, very kind to me, but it was a very enthusastic group. I talked about political affairs, and of course the Governor [Linwood Holton] was not there, he was sick, but the Lt. Governor, [Henry] Howell was there, the Attorney General was there, Congressman [David] Satterfield was there, Mrs. [Jinks] Holton, the Governor’s wife was there, and Nellie [Connally] and all the ladies sat down at the table in front of us and had a great time.
President Nixon: Isn't that good?
Connally: They think you’re in awfully good shape. They don’t--I talked to--
President Nixon: Did the subject, John, of that terrible Richmond decision come up?
Connally: Oh, they--
President Nixon: I hope, if you could--I hope that you made it clear I didn’t appoint that judge.
President Nixon: I don’t want to blame [Lyndon] Johnson, but that son of a gun is no good.
Connally: Mr. President, I just made a crack at one point without getting into it in my speech. I just said that I didn’t think that we--that you believed in a government where a bureaucrat from Washington or a federal judge ought to tell the people how to run their business.
President Nixon: [Laughs] what happened?
Connally: And my God, they just came unglued.
President Nixon: [Laughs].
Connally: They just came--I didn't make any reference to any issue or anything else. I just said that you didn’t think that the bureaucrat in Washington or even a federal judge ought to dictate to people the course of their life and what they ought to do. And they just came--and just wild applause. Wild, sustained applause.
President Nixon: That's good. No, that’s the way to get it across. You dont have to spell it out, do you?
Connally: No, no, and, you know, I didn’t refer to any issue, no names, no nothing. Just as a general proposition.
President Nixon: That’s right. That's great.
Connally: And . . . But they recieved it exceedingly well, I thought. Well, they all said that.
President Nixon: Good. Good.
Connally: There was no question about. It was--
Approximately 10 seconds excised by NARA.
President Nixon: --of course they love [Justice Lewis] Powell.
Connally: And they like Powell. That was a very popular appointment, his partner [Robert] Buford is the incoming President of the Chamber.
President Nixon: Oh, great.
Connally: And he was there [unclear].
President Nixon: Gosh, I’m glad you did this.
Connally: Bob Buford. There were about 800, 900 people there and they turned them away, they turned away I don’t know how many, but a hundred or so requests for additional tickets, they just couldn’t accommodate then. And they all said--Mrs. Holton, the wife of the Governor, told Nellie that she had never seen a crowd like that in the hotel for any occaision. And so it was a good turnout.
President Nixon: Well, if it wasn’t too much of a darn burden the more you can hit those audiences, John, is just terrific, you know.
Connally: Well, I’m going to Pittsburgh this coming week.
President Nixon: Great. What’s your forum there?
Connally: It’s the Pittsburgh Chamber [of Commerce].
President Nixon: Oh good. Good. Well, you see, the Chamber, you see, [unclear] they’re in main street business.
Connally: That's right.
Presidnet Nixon: They got lawyers and doctors.
Connally: That's right.
President Nixon: And also they’re always covered, aren’t they?
Connally: That’s right, they’re covered and it's all across the board, you get them big and little, all you know, young and old, and men and women.
President Nixon: Yeah.
Connally: So it’s good forum.
President Nixon: Good.
Approximately 17 seconds excised by NARA.
President Nixon: Incidentally, I was going to tell you that when I--I just took [Maurice] Stans∇, [Peter] Peterson∇, and [Peter] Flannigan out and annouced, you know, the change of the guard.
Connally: Yes, sir.
President Nixon: But in presenting Peterson I said that Secretary Connally and I had discussed the matter and that he felt as I did that the best qualified man in this very, very important field would be Peterson. So, I thought it was good to get that--
Connally: That's great.
President Nixon: I just wanted you to know that’s the way I put it. And Pete liked it that way too, so it shows them where it is.
[with Connally acknowledging] The other thing I was going to ask you was this: I was thinking after our meeting, if there was some way you could reach bankers. Now, you know, we can talk all we want about--I mean, George Shultz∇, when I talked to him afterwards, I said, you know, about this M-1 thing, he said it was very significant that Arthur [Burns] admitted that M-1 had not moved up enough and that he was having trouble with [Alfred] Hayes of the New York [Federal Reserve] Bank. Well, and that he asked if we could do something about [Andrew] Brimmer, we’re going to try to do something about Brimmer but we can’t let Arthur have the--name the successor and so forth. But my point is that apart from that, bankers are a panicky, timid bunch of people. Is there--I was wondering if a speech by you to bankers or a meeting with a bankers or something could maybe have some effect. I don’t know how much rhetoric does with these [unclear].
Connally: Well, a lot does. I met with a bunch of them yesterday morning, Mr. President.
President Nixon: In a private meeting?
Connally: About 30 of them, yes sir.
President Nixon: Well, that’s good. What did you tell them?
Connally: 35 of them. They’re not all--this particular meeting had to do with the refinancing. But they're not all that flooded with money, and I don’t like to argue with Arthur when we get in front of you. But they're not flooded with--and they're looking yet for loans. They’re pretty well loaned up. And it depends on what part of the country you’re in, but —
President Nixon: Well, then, all right, then let’s get the money out.
Connally: There’s no reason why we can’t have the money out.
President Nixon: We’re goign to get the [Andrew] Brimmer one. I put a high priority. I told Shultz to get a hold of [William] Rogers∇ and say we goddamn it had to have appointment for him if he’ll take it, and then let’s get another man on that board. That’s what we need.
Connally: I’ll get Bill Camp working on these bankers. Frankly he’s got as much influence or more, than anybody.
President Nixon: Yeah.
Connally: And they like him, and I’ll get him to do it, and I’ll do it. We all have daily contact with them.
President Nixon: Can I suggest this: that if with the bankers, John, for the bankers, you feel that I could be helpful at some point in a small group. I don’t know, I understand, I’ll do it but it would have to be totally off the record, of course, because getting up and telling bankers to loan money is like telling people to buy stock.
Connally: Mr. President, I don’t think they're any problem. These bankers have got their interest rates down. They’re not complaining about anything. They are uncertain because frankly they don’t think the Fed—if they’ve got one complaint they don’t think the Fed is not going to keep this easy money policy.
President Nixon: Well, by golly, that's--
Connally: They think they're going to turn it around. That’s what they’re concern is.
President Nixon: All right, we’ll get at that. [Unclear] program.
Connally: And so what I’m trying to show them is that we’re going to continue to have this type of easy money policy for some time to come. That’s their concern. They have two concerns. One, they’re afraid the Fed is going to tighten upon the money supply, and number two they’re afraid of inflation.
President Nixon: Yeah.
Connally: They’re afraid we’re going to turn this thing loose. The only two fears they have and--
President Nixon: When you see output per man-hour, John, going up as it is and the other things, I think the inflation thing for a while is going to be--there are going to be other controlling forces in addition to our wage price board.
Connally: I agree.
President Nixon: That output per man-hour figure yesterday was a hell of a good one.
Connally: Excellent. Sure was.
President Nixon: Yeah. What is the--can I ask you one othe thing: Did you get [Richard] Paget, by any chance, talk to him?
Connally: He called me this morning. Unfortunately I was up on the Hill--
President Nixon: I see.
Connally: At a meeting, and I’ve got a call into him now. He’s going to call back this afternoon. Yes, I talked to him day before yest--
President Nixon: Oh, you did talk to him? Good.
Connally: [with President Nixon acknowledging] I talked to him about 30 minutes after you talked to me. He’s extremely flattered, extremely interested. He said he had a problem. He sold his company, as you know, First National City [Bank], and immediately after that they hit on hard times because of the general business conditions.
President Nixon: Oh, boy.
Connally: And he was pulling them out on the long road back and didn’t want to run out and leave them. And I said, "Well, hell, they," I said—
President Nixon: The road’s going to be better now anyway.
Connally: Sure. And so he wanted 48 hours and he’s calling me back this morning. So I’ll have something for you this afternoon on that.
President Nixon: Yeah. The other thing is, keep your eyes open for, you know, other people here in this, like that.
President Nixon: I mean, this--When we get an appointment that we can make, why let’s get our friends in it.
President Nixon: I mean, not only our friends, but there are so many good men. We always seem to sort of come up with the same, you know, tired people.
President Nixon: And golly--and there are guys just itching to do things that we don't know about.
Connally: There sure are. There sure are.
President Nixon: The trouble is, you know, a guy is really successful and everything he doesn’t want to root himself up and go over to Bonn.
Connally: There are not many of us--
President Nixon: Yeah. [Unclear] have to be so goddamn silly, isn’t that right? [both laugh] Well, I’ll tell you, after you go down and do that--catch that marlin you’ll feel better.
President Nixon: OK, John.
Connally: All right, sir.
President Nixon: Thank you.