Use copy reference number: 79103_a_0002625
Scope and Content Note
David Susskind interviews Vice President Nixon about foreign affairs, domestic affairs, and politics. In the first section,
the men discuss a variety of topics. First is the U2 plane incident. Nixon believes America ought to conduct surveillance
because the Soviet Union is not an open society; that the Soviet Union does not grant the diplomatic access America does to
her. The men then consider if the actions of America put its allies in danger. Nixon points to the Paris conference, starting
the following day, as an indication of where each country's policies are. Other topics of much discussion are on testing,
disarmament--with Nixon again bring up the difficulty of running an open society and upholding an agreement with the Soviet
Union--and nuclear proliferation. On communist China, Nixon believes there is tension between the Soviet Union and Mao. The
discussion focuses on how China fits into nuclear proliferation, and why/when the United Nations should or should not admit
communist China into the body. Nixon believes China violates the preamble clause of members being peaceful nations and that
its admission would start the communization of the entire Southeast Asia area. On Latin America, Nixon believes anti-American
sentiments have improved since his return from that region, saying there are far greater pro-American feelings than anti-American
feelings. Indeed, he believes most people around the world prefer the American way over the communist way.
The men cover a variety of topics on the domestic front as well. Beginning, Nixon defines what he means by progressive conservatism,
arguing it is not a contradiction in terms. Nixon does not view safety-net programs, such as social security, as a welfare-state
within the country--he believes government should offer services whenever the private sector does not want to, or cannot,
provide those services. Meanwhile, he believes the private sector is more efficient than the federal government, qualifying
with the private sector is not always absolutely efficient. On education, Nixon believes the federal government needs to step
in, but only in certain ways, in order to ensure a high quality system. Regarding taxes, he says one cannot make any promises,
because the economic future is never known. Nixon offers his thoughts on the Landrum Griffin Act and how organized labor should
operate. He does not believe the civil rights movement should be viewed as a question of legality, but as a question of morality.
Similarly, he analyzes the recent civil rights bill that Congress passed; he believes the bill would have been stronger were
it not for Southern Democrats. Other topics include federalism, socialized medicine, the 1960 campaign, the late Senator McCarthy,
foreign aid, and a bill to help areas in the Industrial Belt.
Discussing politics, Susskind asks why the Republican Party is not the majority party, how Nixon intends to rally Democrats
to him, the relationship of big business and the GOP, and what it takes to be President of the United States. Earlier in the
program, Nixon states that he and Eisenhower share the same ideas on policy, and he hopes the era of selecting the vice president
to balance the ticket is over.