Monday, April 26, 1971 - 8:11pm - 8:12pm
Richard Nixon, James Buckley
White House Telephone


President Nixon: Hello?
Operator: Senator [James L.] Buckley [R-New York], sir. There you are.
President Nixon: Hello?
James Buckley: Mr. President?
President Nixon: I don't want to bother you at your dinner, but I just wanted say that I thought you made exactly the right ruling when you were presiding over the Senate today.1
Buckley: Well, thank you very much.
President Nixon: I think you had to do it. I mean these people were apparently really out of control, huh?
Buckley: They were out to make a spectacle, and I don't know what you can do except draw the line.
President Nixon: Right. And you—the—did they finally clear the galleries? What happened?
Buckley: They cleared two of the galleries and then readmitted the people who weren't the troublemakers.
President Nixon: That's all right.
Buckley: So I think the point was made. Then there was another group, which had witnessed this, who started a sort of a whimpering, whining, not yelling—
President Nixon: Yeah.
Buckley: —obscenities, and there came a point where I had to draw the line on that one.
President Nixon: Sure.
Buckley: And then they went out and of course made their noises, crying and wailing.
President Nixon: Yeah.
Buckley: But then that was it.
President Nixon: Good, good. Well, just stay firm on it. We'll-¬
Buckley: OK.
President Nixon: We'll try to avoid a confrontation. But on the other hand you can't allow them to disrupt the business of the Senate.
Buckley: No. No. And the lot of them parking in the halls outside of my office and other people's, and I don't know where you would draw the line there.
President Nixon: Yeah.
Buckley: But it's an experience.
President Nixon: Yeah. Well, you know, it's never dull, you know. Once you run for the Senate from New York, you really catch a lot of hell, don't you?
Buckley: More than I realized.
President Nixon: OK, fine. Well, have a good time tonight.
Buckley: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
President Nixon: Bye.
Buckley: Bye.
1 When antiwar demonstrators of the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice started shouting, Buckley had the Senate galleries cleared. (↑)

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