Tuesday, April 6, 1971 - 12:14pm - 12:17pm
Richard Nixon, Clifford Hardin, Claude Gifford
White House Telephone



President Nixon: Hello?

White House Operator: Secretary [Clifford] Hardin.

President Nixon: Hi, Cliff?

Clifford Hardin: Yes, Mr. President.

President Nixon: I just made a decision that I think will please you—

Hardin: Good.

President Nixon: [laughing] —and I . . . and as a result of it, I know that you can now go out and have a chance to sell our rural revenue sharing. The extension service—

Hardin: Yes.

President Nixon: We—I made the decision that we will follow your recommendation, the maintenance of effort, you know, that sort of—whatever it is that is required to . . . I think you know what the—

Hardin: Yeah, the three sentences that need to go in.

President Nixon: Yeah . . . Yeah . . . Yeah.

Hardin: Well, I'm sorry I had to push so hard, but—

President Nixon: Well, I understand. I understand. Well, I—as a matter of fact, John Connally and I talked a little about it in California, and—because you know how strong he was about this and that and the other thing—and I just told him, I said, “No, the Department of Agriculture will be tough enough, but the extension service we just cannot, cannot, you know—that damn thing is, it's so part of the American ethic that we just can't screw it up.”

Hardin: Right.

President Nixon: So we've—but I just wanted you to know that I just told [John] Ehrlichman and [George] Shultz that's the way it's to be, so it's done.

Hardin: Well, thank you very much.

President Nixon: And when you hear it from them I just hope you carry it out, but I appreciate it. I know you had to argue for it, and you were right, and we pushed it out.

Hardin: Well, on that basis—

President Nixon: And you get the—and you get the—

Hardin: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Good. And you get the word to the other, to the people in the department that you and I chatted about the thing and that I, frankly—that this is a good idea, too, the farmers, that I overruled the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] staff and I stood for the secretary of agriculture. Fair enough?

Hardin: Yes, sir. Say, Mr. President, there's a man I think you know in here with me now: Claude Gifford of the Farm Journal.

President Nixon: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Hardin: Well, if we don't one or the other of us stutter in the next ten minutes, he's going to come to work with us.

President Nixon: Oh that's wonderful, wonderful. Well, just don't—listen, you don't stutter ever.

Hardin: I try not to.

President Nixon: That's right. That's right. You're always fast with the words.

Hardin: Well, [unclear].

President Nixon: Well he's a great, great guy. Just tell him I'm just delighted and we're—we'll be delighted to have him.

Hardin: You wouldn't say a word to him, would you?

President Nixon: Sure I would. Sure I would. Put him right on.

Hardin: I didn't arrange this either, Claude. [Chuckles.]

President Nixon: That's right.

Claude Gifford: Hello.

President Nixon: Hello. I just wanted you to know that Cliff had told me that he's trying to use his wiles to get you to come help us, and I'm—I couldn't endorse it more. It'd be a wonderful asset to the administration to have you with us. We need not only your support, but more, your know-how. You know your way around, you know the farm community, and it would just be a great help to us.

Gifford: Well, I appreciate that very much.

President Nixon: And we'll—we look forward to working with you. I just gave Cliff some good news he'll tell you about, about the extension service, so that'll make your job a little easier. [Laughs.]

Gifford: Fine, fine, fine.

President Nixon: OK.

Gifford: All right.

President Nixon: Tell the farmers not to give up on us. We're—it's going to come out all right.

Gifford: I'm sure it will. I'm sure it will.

President Nixon: Yeah . . . yeah. All right, fine.

Gifford: All right. Thank you.

President Nixon: OK, bye.

Hardin: Thank you Mr. President.

President Nixon: You betcha. You betcha. Bye.

NARA Excision
Category: Personal Returnable
Duration: 24s

Hardin: Well, this is a great day, Mr. President.

President Nixon: Fine. You go ahead now. And the thing—just . . . you work out the words, but I've made the general ruling. I just . . . I didn't read the . . . you know, I don't know how to dot the i's and cross the—I just said “All right, fellows, look we're going to—” Well, do what you want on this thing, so let's work it out.

Hardin: Well, they're all . . . the words are all prepared.

President Nixon: All right, fine.

Hardin: Bye.

President Nixon: Bye.

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.