From the world's press

The Daily Telegraph
London, Monday, December 28, 1998

Women a pain in the neck, say Nixon tapes

by Hugo Gurdon In Washington

RICHARD NIXON thought that women in government were "a pain in the neck" and probably not "worth the effort", according to tapes involved in a £129 million ($213 million) dispute.

The president conceded that they eventually became "competent", but he was less sanguine about !he abili-ties of racial minorities.

"With blacks, you look the other way," he said, "The same with Mexicans; you've got to look the other way. You've got to find one who's honest."

Mr Nixon's tape-recorded conversations are at the centre of an ownership battle between the former president's estate and the American government, which seized them in 1974 when he left office because of the Watergate scandal.

The Justice Department argues that Mr Nixon said such politically incorrect things that, had he been alive, he would have demanded excisions, rendering the tapes less valuable than the £129 million that his estate claims they are worth.

The Nixon estate says that it does not matter what might have happened: that the tapes, containing much incendiary material, will not be edited, thus retaining their value.

On the tapes Mr Nixon accuses President Kennedy of having "murdered" President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.

He also refers to his cabinet as "a bunch of god-damned cowards" and says that his military top brass are "a bunch of greedy bastards".

The case continues this week.  

© The Daily Telegraph, 1998

December 28, 1998
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