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September 20, 1988

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Diary Entry - 09/20/1988

Tuesday, September 20, 1988

View the President's Schedule

First topic—Canada Free Trade Bill passed Sen. last night. Sad news—Deaver is to be sentenced Fri. Just rcvd. news Emperor Hirohito (Japan) may not last out the week. If he dies I will attend the funeral—but according to their custom that comes 35 days after death. Feelers have come about a 1 on 1 meeting in Europe between a top level man from Iran & one of those from Wash. My feeling is that we should say such a meeting could only take place if our hostages are released.

Dan Crippen joined us at this point & I met with a half dozen Cong. leaders—both partys. We discussed appropriation bills. I made it plain I wanted them all on my desk before Oct. 1. If it happens it will be first time since 1948.

After this meeting we had a bill signing of the Labor-H.H.S.-ED. appropriation bill. Now 7 to go.

N.S.C.—Lenhart came in to tell me about a Soviet proposal. They want a free standing agreement—an exchange of letters while we continue negotiating on START. We’d agree on how many warheads we could put on existing missiles. It presents some problems.

Japanese Crown Prince has been named acting Emperor. There is a dead lock in Lebanon on the Presidential selection. Syria is holding out for their candidate.

New Cabinet in Haiti—all but 1 are civilians. Armed fighting has broken out between Azerbaijan & the Armenians. Ortega is coming to N.Y. for U.N. opening. He says he’ll visit Wash. New leader at U.N. has come down to a choice between Argentinas foreign minister & Dame Nita Barrow of Barbados. I favor the lady.

Then an address at E.O.B. to 150 top leaders of “Jaycees.” Very well received.

Back to lunch in the study—a photo with Silvio Conte & a Rabbi. Then Geo. S. came in for 10 minutes. He doesn’t agree with me about asking for our hostages before we have meeting with Iranians. An N.S.P.G. meeting to discuss Middle East.

Then over to East Room for swearing in of Lauro Cavazos new Sec. of Ed. His family—10 of their children plus mates of some & 1 grandchild—plus a room full of citizens plus members of Cong. Cong. photo time with some guests—like Strawberry Queen of W. Va.

Got my sneeze shot & then a lengthy taping session & upstairs to exercise, shower & dinner. Phoned P.M. Mulroney to tell him about Sen. approving the Canada Free Trade bill.