Mr. LIMAN: Did Colonel North tell you in the car that there was going to be a shredding party that weekend?

Mr. McFARLANE: On that occasion or another that I am closing on here.

Mr. LIMAN: Did he not tell you that before you went to see the Attorney General?

Mr. McFARLANE: Well, again, I believe it was during that car ride, but I'm not certain that it was, as compared to a meeting that was in my office on Sunday morning.

Mr. LIMAN: What did he tell you about a shredding party?

Mr. McFARLANE: Just that there had to be done. I think I will encompass that by the time I get through. It is taking perhaps a little too long. But I did go to Mr. Meese's office. I spent about 2 hours with him. His associate, Mr. Cooper, was taking notes. Mr. Meese asked the questions. They were oriented toward how the Iranian initiative had gotten started and so forth. And finally after that was completed, his secretary came in and told me that I had a call from my wife, it was kind of urgent, and Mr. Meese and Mr. Cooper started to leave the room and I said, "Wait a moment, Ed," and I told him that while I was pleased to take on the full responsibility for this and had the night before, that I wanted him to know that the President had been supportive of this from the very first and was foursquare behind it.

Mr. LIMAN: By this you are talking about the Iranian arms sales?


Mr. LIMAN: And the effort to get the hostages?

Mr. McFARLANE: That is correct.

Mr. LIMAN: You are not talking about the diversion?


Mr. LIMAN: You didn't tell Mr. Meese about the diversion?


Mr. LIMAN: Did you tell Mr. Meese during this meeting, the first part of the meeting, that the November shipment involved oil drilling equipment?

Mr. McFARLANE: I don't recall. He was asking all the questions. I believe that I told him that it was ambiguous, that there had been reports of Israel believing that oil drilling equipment was perhaps more effective, but that ultimately I learned.

Mr. LIMAN: You told him in that meeting that you knew it was Hawk parts?

Mr. McFARLANE: Well, his notes will say one way or another. I just don't remember today.

Mr. LIMAN: Well, as you sit here today, were you trying to hold anything back from Meese?

Mr. McFARLANE: I don't think so. He was asking the questions.

Mr. LIMAN: Why didn't you tell him about the diversion?

Mr. McFARLANE: As I say, he was asking the questions. Perhaps It was something that I should have told him. We discussed it two days later.

Mr. LIMAN: Why don't you continue. You have now had your meeting with Attorney General Meese.

Mr. McFARLANE: And he closed by saying that he was glad to learn what I had said about the President's approval of the Iranian initiative, and that from a practical point of view that made the President's position more legally sound for as early as he made the decision to approve these sales, the subsequent actions would be justified.

Mr. LIMAN: Did he tell you the President's approval, if given orally, was the equivalent of a finding?

Mr. McFARLANE: Well, I interpreted it that way, and it may be my error, but he said in so many words that his predecessor, Attorney General William French Smith, had made a determination several years ago that a President's decision on matters like this, however oral, is just as official an act from the point of view of law, and that's the way I interpreted it.