Monday, February 22, 1971 - 3:09pm - 3:50pm
Richard Nixon, John Ehrlichman, George Shultz
Oval Office

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. The President's top domestic policy aide held a White House strategy session to determine how the administration would work with Congress to pass welfare reforms. 

President Nixon: [c00:52:15] Well, sit down. Let’s see what you have for me today.

John D. Ehrlichman: Well, on the face of it, not much. We had a wrap-up meeting this morning on welfare reform. [We] had Labor, Agriculture, HEW, others in to make sure that all this testimony that’s going to go on this week was in line. And, briefly summarized, [Wilbur] Mills may try to separate out Social Security and put it through right away and hold welfare back.1 There’s a very respectable view that Mills doesn’t want any welfare bill at all. There are those who disagree with that. 

President Nixon: I don’t think he wants it. My view is that he doesn’t, because I think he’s going to play his plan politically now. I think he played it that way last year. Is that your . . ? That's the theory. 

Ehrlichman: Well, that, plus the fact that it’s not very palatable to him to see Long and the others sitting over there in the Senate ready to criticize whatever it is that he sends over there.2

President Nixon: Oh, yeah.

Ehrlichman: And he’s got a position of leadership that’s enhanced in the House now which he doesn’t like to jeopardize.

President Nixon: You mean, enhanced by opposing the other—

Ehrlichman: Well, now, he’s the one of the big three in the House through the change—

President Nixon: Oh.

Ehrlichman: —in the Speaker and so on.3 He has a very dominant role in the House. And he’s more and more exercising his muscle. And he’s [unclear] Dick Cook, and I put a lot of weight in Dick’s view of things. Mills is not anxious to let Long and the Senate Finance Committee wash out off a welfare bill that he sends over there, [unclear] liberals or conservatives, so that he’s going to be very slow about sending it over. [HEW Secretary] Elliot [Richardson] feels that Mills will try and couple welfare reform and a substitute for revenue sharing, probably federalizing welfare, and send them over.

President Nixon: And Social Security.

Ehrlichman: And not Social Security. He suspects that he will try and slip it off.

President Nixon: Have it go separate. 

George P. Shultz: I'd say that in view of the congressional people—as distinct from Elliot, who I've been—if he does that, then he’ll have an awful hard time getting that very expensive piece of legislation through the House unless he gets a lot of support from here.

Ehrlichman: Right.

President Nixon: It’s a bill that [unclear] welfare reform—

Ehrlichman: —and federalize—

President Nixon: —welfare reform?

Ehrlichman: A tougher welfare version, that is, tougher work requirements—

President Nixon: Yes.

Ehrlichman: —and so forth—

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ehrlichman: —and send it over—

President Nixon: And hit revenue sharing?

Ehrlichman: —and a form of welfare sharing, so to speak.4

President Nixon: Our people behind it?

Ehrlichman: [Unclear] Dick Cooke and other congressional relations people think that Mills could not get that through the House without [unclear] support.

President Nixon: Why—why not? [Unclear.]

Ehrlichman: Well, just because there—there’s—

President Nixon: Democrats wouldn’t take it?

Ehrlichman: —pretty strong sentiment against welfare sharing. It disadvantages so many states—

President Nixon: Oh, yeah. That’s finally getting through, is it?

Ehrlichman: Well, I don’t know, but that’s their sense of it this morning. I don’t think they’ve counted any noses. It looks rather premature.

President Nixon: Well, it ought to get through state by state.

Ehrlichman: We talked about cashing out Food Stamps.5 We talked about public service employment. We talked about tough work requirements.6 Well, we just went through the whole—the whole litany of issues.

President Nixon: How’d it all come out?

Ehrlichman: I think there’s a pretty general consensus. They understand that you want tougher work requirements. They—

President Nixon: Only way to get it through.

Ehrlichman: Right. They are going to hang with not cashing out Food Stamps or—putting it this way—we’ll do all the technical work to assist them in cashing out Food Stamps, but because of Hardin’s very strong opposition, Veneman will put his tongue in cheek and say we don’t have a position on that.

President Nixon: Well, I have.

Ehrlichman: Well, I know you have, but your Secretary of Agriculture is opposed. 

President Nixon: Why?

Ehrlichman: He's testified--he thinks the farmers will oppose it and that’d kill welfare reform.

President Nixon: He really thinks that?

Ehrlichman: That’s what he says. And there’s disagreement among the departments on whether that’s an accurate reflection or not.

President Nixon: I can’t believe it is.

Ehrlichman: But I have side arrangement with Veneman on this.

President Nixon: In other words, let it roll through.

Ehrlichman: Right.

President Nixon: Cash it out.

Ehrlichman: Right.

President Nixon: Exactly. Good.

Ehrlichman: The—

President Nixon: Is Veneman doing well?

Ehrlichman: I think he is.

Shultz: I think he’s doing very well.

Ehrlichman: The Ways and Means Committee people like him, trust him, and—

President Nixon: [Unclear.]

Ehrlichman: Oh, I think so. I think so. Yeah.

President Nixon: OK.

Ehrlichman: Incidentally, Richardson’s going to replace Egeberg. I don't know if he talked to you about that. 

President Nixon: Going to replace him. He ought to. 

Ehrlichman: Yeah. Uh—

President Nixon: Blunderbuss?7

Ehrlichman: Yeah.

President Nixon: That’s what I figured.

Ehrlichman: Let’s see, what else did—

President Nixon: [Unclear.]

Ehrlichman: No. He’s got a couple of prospects. One of them’s got a great Italian name.8 It’s—

Shultz: I suppose the other thing we talked about was the public service employment—

Ehrlichman: Yeah.

Shultz: —aspect of welfare reform. That is a department recommendation to have a fairly substantial program of public service employment for welfare people, and to use this plus our special revenue sharing—

President Nixon: That’ll be our—that’ll be our alternative to their—

Shultz: That’s the Labor Department’s view of how to protect—

President Nixon: It’s an alternative to the—

Shultz: This Nelson effort.9

President Nixon: Huh?

Shultz: This Nelson effort that’s going on now.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Shultz: Plus with respect to special revenue sharing, which has a large budget attached to it.10

President Nixon: For manpower training.

Shultz: Yes, for manpower training. But even in the welfare reform we’re sticking to the concept of these jobs being as much transition jobs as possible—

President Nixon: Good.

Shultz: —from the welfare job into a regular job.

Ehrlichman: Strong incentives.11 [c00:58:34]

[End of Excerpt]

President Nixon: [c01:15:00] But I think it’s the the right decision with regard to this, George, [unclear] reasoning [unclear] either this or you go all the way—wage and price controls. And that’s what the likes of Arthur [Burns] and the rest are not willing to face up to. I am. I’m perfectly willing to face up to. If we have a situation where inflation psychology is so serious that you cannot stop it, that the market forces will not work any longer in this country, then we’ll have to have wage and price controls. And I mean with teeth. But this idea that you’d set up a wage-price board [and] men of good will will sit around a table and work it out is bunk. It’s not going to work. It just doesn’t—it hasn’t worked for wage-price controls. I'd have a hell of a time working it, too. You know, I realize that and I don't like the rest of the effect on the economy. But, uh, and this is almost fatalistic about it. See what I mean, John?

Ehrlichman: Yeah.

President Nixon: Do you feel that way?

Shultz: Well, I—

President Nixon: [Unclear.] How about you, John? You’ve heard this argument. 

Ehrlichman: Well, I—

President Nixon: I know the reasons to do it—for cosmetic reasons, good God, but this is too early for cosmetics. If we were doing it [unclear]--

Ehrlichman: I don’t know.

President Nixon: —months from now, maybe.

Ehrlichman: I don’t know what happens next and I think that’s the thing that concerns me. I’d like to feel that I could see what the alternatives were at the next step. If they did this, we’d do that. And it looks to me like it’s much too fluid at the next step to start--

President Nixon: Well, some things may be happening. Some things may be happening in here. I have a feeling that we--I think this thing will have some effect on the steel [labor contract] negotiations, that even the Davis-Bacon . . . . 

Shultz: Secretary Connally is going to testify tomorrow on a wage-price control bill.

President Nixon: Oh, is he?

Shultz: We had a brief conversation in here, I guess—

President Nixon: Yeah?

Shultz: —Thursday—or Friday at the end of the Quadriad meeting with you.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Shultz: And I get from that and your comments that our best posture is to be willing to have those if Congress wants them, but we’re not asking for it. We’re waiting—

President Nixon: Yeah, not asking for it. 

Shultz: If they want to do it, go ahead. But we're not, certainly not, going to push on it.

President Nixon: Basically, they’ll kick it to us anyway. Doesn’t that sound like a—

Shultz: That’s what I think we ought to do.

President Nixon: Yeah, because we have to realize that people in the country don’t understand and they'd be for it and so forth and so on. We’re not asking for it. Part of this is a power trip. There’s not any question. You think he’s got enough guidance on it?12

Shultz: Well, I think I’ll—perhaps I’ll call him and just—

President Nixon: Yeah.

Shultz: —reinforce this.

President Nixon: Would you also—when’s he testifying?

Shultz: Tomorrow. I don’t know whether it’s the morning or the afternoon. 

President Nixon: I think it’s morning.

Shultz: Well, he’s doing an awful lot of testifying up there these days. 

Ehrlichman: Sure is. 

President Nixon: [Unclear.] Would you also tell him what we’ve done on that? Tell him in the greatest of privacy, what we’re considering on the construction trades, Davis-Bacon.13 [unclear]. Bring him over here and talk to him a little this afternoon.

Shultz: Yes, sir.

President Nixon: Good.

Shultz: I think he deals with these things with great skill.

President Nixon: Yeah. If you would call him in and say on the wage-price board and also on the wage—on Arthur Burns’s suggestion . . . now that’s a thing they’ll try to pin—well, no, this is on the legislation. But if he says, “What about the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board’s suggestion that we have a wage--

Ehrlichman: [unclear] stabilization--

Shultz: A wage stabilization board of some kind.

President Nixon: If he’s asked about that, I think he should [unclear] give him—give him the same disdain that Arthur gives everything we suggest. [Unclear] I don’t want him to get into a direct fight about it. That isn’t a good idea. But maybe to just say, “Well, that’s a matter that has—we—we have considered and the President hasn’t as yet been convinced that this is something that will work. He isn’t about to put anything that won’t work.” How’s that? “And that, uh, we’re—but he’s—his mind is open. He’s considering all these things. As his action later today on construction indicates, he will act. As his actions [on] oil and steel indicated, he will act where—but he doesn’t believe . . . .” Let’s see, if we talk about—if they ask about jawboning, “He doesn’t believe in jawboning without teeth. He doesn’t believe in any action unless it will work. [On the] wage-price thing, I think you have to consider whether or not that sort of thing will work even with—in—not Arthur’s suggestion, but the law—will work in peacetime. And whether it should. And for that reason we have not asked for it. We have doubts, grave doubts about the thing. However, if the Congress proceeds to give that authority, we will not object to receiving the authority as one of the tools that could eventually be used.”

Shultz: [Unclear] I'll pass that along to him—the gist of our conversation—and say that you've suggested I pass it along and that if he had some questions or things that he wanted to clarify with you personally, why, you’d be glad to talk with him on the phone or —

President Nixon: Yeah.

Shultz: —otherwise.

President Nixon: Or—yeah, fine, fine. Tell him I know he’s prepared for this, but I would just as soon that he stay just as far away from it as he could.

Shultz: Yeah.

President Nixon: And keep just as loose as he could. [c08034]

End of Excerpt 

President Nixon: [C01:20:47] One other thing I wanted to be sure that we understood: You know, I want to be sure that [Housing and Urban Development Secretary George] Romney, you know, and also Justice, that's [unclear] running over there, [unclear] they follow up on that, you know, that that they not indicate any administration division on what we have said about this housing thing. You know, I was extremely clear on that and it is our position, you know? Now, it may be that they want to go a hell of a lot further than that and I, as I said, I have the Blackjack case open.14 They're out yelling about it. But why is it—why? I know it isn’t George and I know it isn’t [Attorney General John] Mitchell. Is it these people down the line?

Ehrlichman: Sam Jackson made a speech, I noticed, the other day, when I was [unclear]—

President Nixon: And what’s he want us to do?

Ehrlichman: —and he’s talking about the fact that the factories are all in the suburbs, so we’ve got to get the workers out in the suburbs.15

President Nixon: So?

Ehrlichman: So—

President Nixon: What’s he want us to do about it?

Ehrlichman: Well, uh—

President Nixon: Build public housing projects in Beverly Hills?

Ehrlichman: Well, that’s the theory. And—

President Nixon: I’m not going to do it.

Ehrlichman: I’d say that your problem’s in Justice now. You know, Leonard will be Commish. 16

President Nixon: I know. Well, understand on the housing thing, there isn’t any way to win on it with regard to—

Ehrlichman: And we—

President Nixon: —except this: that I think we—I think we understand we’ve bitten every bullet there is in the civil rights area. We cannot bite this one.

Ehrlichman: Yeah.

President Nixon: Do you agree?

Ehrlichman: I agree. I am going to try and get this worked around into a reflection of the plight of the small homeowner in these suburbs, because I think we have to personalize this now.

President Nixon: Yeah, but you may—

Ehrlichman: The property values—

President Nixon: What would happen to him?

Ehrlichman: Yeah. In other words—

President Nixon: The small homeowner wouldn’t be affected.

Ehrlichman: Oh, he is. He’s—

President Nixon: How?

Ehrlichman: He’s—no, no, no. If you put one of these projects next to—

President Nixon: Oh. A public housing project

Ehrlichman: Yeah.

President Nixon: I see.

Ehrlichman: And his property values go down. He doesn’t have any way to get them back. He doesn’t—

President Nixon: Even the small homeowner?

Ehrlichman: Oh, sure. And percentage-wise—

President Nixon: I see.

Ehrlichman: —the value of his home goes off much faster, [in a] much more complex, more damaging fashion than a middle-range house.

President Nixon: Those are the people that I see, and so the small homeowner—

Ehrlichman: When one of these projects moves in the field out behind his platte and you get the people coming in there who park their junk automobiles and throw their mattresses in the backyard and all the kinds of things that you get, you just can’t get your money out of one of these marginal plattes, single-bedroom residence plattes, and these are the guys who are hurt by this. And the location decisions for these projects—these public housing units—has to be very carefully done.

President Nixon: Well, as I understand, they’re working it out. Under the law there is no requirement that the public housing project be put anyplace—

Ehrlichman: Well—

President Nixon: —except—

Ehrlichman: Yeah, that’s right. And what—

President Nixon: —except—

Ehrlichman: —really is the thing we’re saying by "forced integration" is that the federal government will not impel a location which is selected by a non-profit corporation or a public housing authority--

President Nixon: Mm-hmm.

Ehrlichman: We’re not going to use the coercive elements--

President Nixon: That's right. 

Ehrlichman: --of HUD money to compel that location where it is resisted by the town provided that it is not solely for—

President Nixon: Race.

Ehrlichman: —reasons of race. 17 [01:24:23c]

President Nixon: Right. Provided, in other words, it’s because of economic or other reasons—

Ehrlichman: That’s it.

President Nixon: —rather than race.

Ehrlichman: That’s it. And that—

President Nixon: Well, isn’t that always the case, for Christ’s sake? Well, how could it be for reasons of race?

Ehrlichman: It isn’t.

President Nixon: Is Blackjack related to--

Ehrlichman: Up in our part of the country, the housing projects that are being put out in the county are basically not black. They’re low-class white and Indians.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ehrlichman: And they just don’t know how to flush the toilets and they throw their garbage in the backyard, and the place is just, you know—

President Nixon: Ruined.

Ehrlichman: Lousy neighbors. And that runs property values down.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ehrlichman: There’s a way to do this, and it is to say that Prince George’s County or Fairfax County or one of these places has to have low- to moderate-income housing in it, and it’s up to them to find a good place for it.

President Nixon: Yeah, yeah.

Ehrlichman: It’s got to be on public transportation. It’s got to have sewer and water.

President Nixon: That’s what Romney’s plan is, as I understand it. 

Ehrlichman: That’s what his plan is. And what we say is, this is now a question for local decision. You put it in the best place in your county you can. And you can’t discriminate against this. 

President Nixon: How can the federal power be used otherwise? How could it be used if we wanted to?

Ehrlichman: We don’t have any federal power to compel—

President Nixon: Well, when you say there should not be coercion [unclear] coercion. What do you—what—how do you coerce, if you wanted to? How are we coercing?

Ehrlichman: We’re coercing by saying in Blackjack, Missouri, where, for instance, we might say, “Look, a Baptist church has decided they want it here, and you’ve zoned it out of existence, now you don’t get any more sewer and water money for your whole town.”

President Nixon: Oh, I see. Never, never [unclear].

Ehrlichman: Well, that’s the game they’re playing.

President Nixon: Now that’s not going to be done. No. That's the problem. That's the problem. Now, they do it—see, they do it because they’re black, no. But goddamn it [unclear]—

Shultz: The President said this—I’m thinking of this point about the jobs that are out on the outer ring—that people with income can buy a house on the market.18

President Nixon: That's true.

Shultz: And the government will see to it that fair housing laws are enforced—

President Nixon: Sure.

Shultz: —that people are not discriminated against and that [unclear] activity--

Ehrlichman: The President has said that in the March 24 statement.19 [01:26:40c]

  • 1. While the administration advocated a 6 percent increase in Social Security benefits, the House Ways and Means chairman favored 10 percent. Marjorie Hunter, "Mills Sees 10 Percent Pension Rise Instead of 6 Percent Asked by Nixon," New York Times , 3 February 1971, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed 14 December 2010).
  • 2. Russell B. Long [D-Louisiana] chaired the Senate Finance Committee.
  • 3. House Democrats had elected a new Speaker following the mid-term elections, Carl Albert of Oklahoma. Albert's selection was uncontroversial, but there was a four-way race to take his place as Majority Leader that was won by Hale Boggs of Louisiana, the candidate with Mills' support.
  • 4. Earlier in the month, Mills had proposed "welfare sharing" as an alternative to Nixon's "revenue sharing" idea. "Where Mr. Nixon's unconditional distribution of billions of dollars would be made on the basis of population, with a slight reward for local tax effort, Mr. Mills and the others seeking alternatives want something that would more precisely match the distribution to the need. Where the President's proposal would establish a precedent for a long-lasting and increasing Federal obligation, the underwriting of more welfare costs or some other variant would keep the expenditures within the bounds of existing programs and Congressional controls. Where Mr. Nixon wishes to offer the states the enticing prospect of a ritual by which 'we tax, you spend,' Mr. Mills and many of his colleagues insist on preserving the principle that whatever level of government collects tax revenues ought to be responsible and accountable for how they are spent." Max Frankel, "Mills and Revenue Plan; Ways and Means Chief Counters as Nixon Maneuvers on Fund Sharing," New York Times, 4 February 1971, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed 23 June 2011).
  • 5. The administration's proposal would have permitted states to replace coupons for food purchases with cash grants.
  • 6. A perrenial welfare reform proposal, later dubbed "workfare," would require that able-bodied welfare recipients perform government work.
  • 7. Assistant Health, Education and Welfare Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs Roger O. Egeberg had a stormy reign as the Nixon administration's top health official. Six months after taking the job, Egeberg told the New York Times that the White House was openly ignoring him. "I just can't get through to Ehrlichman," he said. "The White House doesn't appreciate, doesn't know what is going on in the health field." Richard D. Lyons, "Some Officials of H.E.W. Say Health Part of the Department Is in Trouble," New York Times, 26 May 1970, http://nytimes.com (accessed 4 January 2011). Replacing Egeberg proved challenging. Previously, Egeberg had made headlines by publicly declaring the laws against marijuana "completely out of proportion" to the drug's potency and by storming out of a meeting in response to criticism of his minority recruiting practices as dean of the college of medicine at the University of Southern California yelling, "Don't point your finger at me. Don't make me mad.""Laws on Marijuana Decried by Egeberg," New York Times, 3 September 1969; "Egeberg Walks Out on Health Meeting," New York Times, 6 November 1969, http://nytimes.com (accessed 3 January 2011).
  • 8. Nixon's plans to build a New Republican Majority depended on realigning the voting patterns of American Catholics, sometimes referred to as "ethnics." Italian Americans were one targeted group. The administration tried to recruit Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, the dean of New York State University Medical School at Stony Brook, but he ultimately declined. "Stony Brook Dean Called Choice for Egeberg's Post," New York Times, 16 March 1971; "Stony Brook Dean Spurns H.E.W. Post," New York Times, 20 April 1971, http://nytimes.com (accessed 4 January 2011).
  • 9. Chairman Gaylord A. Nelson [D-Wisconsin] of the Senate Employment, Manpower and Poverty subcommittee had included provisions for state and local governments to use federal funds to provide public service jobs to the unemployed, but Nixon had vetoed his bill in December 1970. Gaylord Nelson, "Manpower Bill: A Baffling Veto," New York Times, 5 January 1971, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed 11 January 2011).
  • 10. Nixon's program distinguished between general revenue sharing, which granted state and local governments federal funds to use as they saw fit, and special revenue sharing, which required that the funds be used to achieve federally set goals, such as manpower, education and law enforcement. Special revenue sharing was especially controversial because the White House wanted the funding for it to come from dismantling existing federal programs. James M. Naughton, "Nixon, in a Shift, Asks Public Jobs for Unemployed," New York Times, 5 March 1971, http://www.proquest.com/ (accessed 11 January 2011).
  • 11. The White House proposal to fund manpower, including public service jobs, through special revenue sharing included a restriction prohibiting anyone from receiving "federally funded training, counseling, subsidies or job for more than two years."
  • 12. Treasury Secretary John B. Connally was going to testify at a February 23 House Banking Committee hearing in favor of legislation to extending for two more years the President's authority to set wage and price controls, a reversal of the administration's previous opposition.
  • 13. During his testimony the next day, Connally revealed only that the President was about to announce action to fight inflation, not specifying that the step would suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act.
  • 14. The Blackjack case posed a tricky political problem for the White House. Methodist groups wanted to build a non-profit townhouse project in Blackjack, Missouri. To qualify for federal housing funds, the townhouse project would serve moderate-income tenants of any race. The largely white suburb in a state where racial segregation had been the law until passage of federal civil rights legislation reacted quickly and drastically. In 1970, after the Methodists set up a non-profit corporation for the townhouse project, Blackjack incorporated itself as a city and passed a zoning law that limited development at the proposed site to three houses per acre, thereby blocking the townhouse project. Nixon's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, George W. Romney, called Blackjack's move a "blatant violation of the Constitution and the law." HUD requested that the Justice Department sue Blackjack to stop it from interfering with the townhouse project. Peter Braestrup, "HUD Asks Suit Against Racial Zoning," 11 November 1970; B. Drummond Ayres, Jr., "Bulldozers Turn Up Soil and Ill Will in a Suburb of St. Louis," New York Times, 18 January 1971; http://www.proquest.com (accessed 22 February 2011).
  • 15. "Over 70 percent of all new industrial plants have been located in the suburbs for the last 10 years but much of the work force is still confined to central cities that are losing industrial jobs," said Samuel C. Jackson, assistant secretary of HUD for metropolitan planning. Since transportation to the suburban jobs is either inadequate or too expensive, many blue-collar workers are denied good jobs." Norman Kempster, "Restrictive Zoning in Suburbs Rapped by HUD's Jackson," Washington Post, 20 February 1971, http://www.proquest.com (accessed 22 February 2011).
  • 16. Jerris Leonard ran the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. His appointment in the first days of the Nixon administration drew immediate criticism from civil rights groups in his home state of Wisconsin for his membership in a whites-only organization, the Milwaukee Eagles Club. He then quietly quit two other all-white groups, the Milwaukee Athletic Club and the Madison Club. A Republican state senator who mounted an unsuccessful U.S. Senate race in 1968, Leonard took on the political task of defending the Nixon administration's civil rights record against critics. In 1969 he publicly suggested that Clifford L. Alexander Jr, a Democrat on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, resign.
  • 17. "I believe that forced integration of the suburbs is not in the national interest," the President declared at a 10 December 1970 news conference. "Transcript of the President's News Conference on Foreign and Domestic Matters," New York Times, 11 December 1970, http://www.proquest.com (accessed 23 March 2011).
  • 18. "First, this administration will enforce the law of the land, which provides for open housing. Open cities, open suburbs, open neighborhoods are now a right for every American," Nixon said at his previous news conference. While it would not use "federal power, federal coercion or federal money to force economic integration of neighborhoods," the administration would "try to give every American, and particularly Americans in minority groups, black Americans, for example, a greater opportunity to exercise [that] right. A right, for example, to live in any neighborhood means nothing unless you have got a job or a position which pays you enough to afford the house." "Transcript of the President's News Conference on Foreign and Domestic Matters," New York Times, 18 February 1971, http://www.proquest.com (accessed 28 March 2011).
  • 19. Ehrlichman refers to the President's 24 March 1970, statement distinguishing between de facto and de jure segregation.

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