President Nixon wanted to "cash out" the Food Stamps program--in other words, to give recipients cash they could spend as they chose instead of stamps that they had to spend on food. One group strongly opposed giving recipients the option of spending the money on something other than food--the agriculture lobby. Agriculture Secretary Clifford M. Hardin sided with the farmers. That morning the President's top domestic policy aide had held a White House strategy session to determine how the administration would work with Congress to pass welfare reforms.
Today's Washington Post obituary cites this conversation. Some other conversations about or including Hardin are available here and here.