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November 18, 1983
Usual Staff & N.S.C. meetings. At the latter, said a thank you to Pete Daily who is going back to civilian life after 2 yrs. as Ambas. to Ireland. He was a good one. Paul Laxalt came in. As Chairman of a sub-committee he has worked to get a compromise on the Commerce, Labor & Justice appropriation bill. Result is $731 mil. above what I requested but it’s $300 mil. below what the House wanted. I’m afraid I’ll have to sign but I’m mad. Not mad at Paul, he did all that could be done but the Dems. cut or reduced a number of items we really need & loaded up spending on things we wanted cut. Leaders of Nat. Attorney Gen’ls. org. came by. They’ve been very helpful on our efforts to get a crime pckg. through Cong. They thanked us for a number of things Justice has done to help them at the State level. George Shultz & I had a talk mainly about setting up a little in house group of experts on the Soviet U. to help us in setting up some channels. I feel the Soviets are so defense minded, so paranoid about being attacked that without being in any way soft on them we ought to tell them no one here has any intention of doing anything like that. What the h--l have they got that anyone would want. George is going on ABC right after it’s big Nuclear bomb film Sunday night. We know it’s “anti-nuke” propaganda but we’re going to take it over & say it shows why we must keep on doing what we’re doing. A most sobering experience with Cap W. & Gen. Vessey in the situation room—a briefing on our complete plan in the event of a nuclear attack. The Chiefs have been working on it for 2 yrs. in reply to my request in Oct. 1981. Word received Sen. has confirmed Bill Clark as Sec. of Interior. The House has passed the I.M.F. bill & the debt ceiling. I’m going up on the hill to see them off on their recess later in the day—Signals changed, they phoned their farewell.