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Full text of "Pentagon Papers"

Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316, By: NWD Date: 201 1 



VI.A Settlement of the Conflict (6 Vols.) 
Negotiations, 1965-67: The Public Record 







Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 33 
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 201 




Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
NND Project Number: NND 63316, By: NWD Date: 201 1 



PART VI- A. 



NEGOTIATIONS 1^65 - 19o7 



THE PUBLIC RECORD 






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Sec D&f ( lfr * x "*~ 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 

1. Public Attempts Toward a Negotiated End to Conflict 

in Vietnam 1 

* 

November I963 - September I96U 1 

February 1965 - June I965 2 

July I965 - December I965 11 

February 1966 - June 1966 . 18 

July 1966 - December I966 2k 

January I967 - May 1967. '• * • • h2 

July 1967 - September 1967 . . . 6k 

2. Chronological Details of Publicly Disclosed U.S. and 

Third- Party Vietnam Peace Efforts (The 27 Initia- 
tives ) . . . . . . \ . . . . 68 

3 . Summary of Negotiation Points . . . . 77 















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1. PUBLIC ATTEMPTS TOWARD A NEGOTIATED END 



TO CONFLICT IN VIETNAM 



November 1963 : FRANCE proposed talks leading toward the establishment 
of a neutral, independent South Vietnam- According to the New York 
Times of 9 March 19&5, Hanoi was then willing to discuss the establish- 
ment of a coalition, neutralist government in Saigon, But the US rejec- 
tion of de Gaulle's proposal is as understandable as Hanoi's interest. 
Diem had just been assassinated, the political and military situations 
were chaotic. 



20 May I96H : FRANCE proposed the 1^-nation Laos Peace Conference of 

1962 be reconvened in Geneva to discuss events in Southeast Asia, The 

US and UK turned down this offer; Russia, Poland, Cambodia, India and 
Communist China accepted. 

May 196** : THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL considered a Cambodian complaint of 
South Vietnamese armed incursions into Cambodian territory. The United 
States and South Vietnam suggested a UN- sponsored peacekeeping or ob- 
servation group be created to stabilize conditions in the border area, 
A Mission of the Security Council visited Cambodia and South Vietnam and 
reported such a group might prove useful. Hanoi and Peking cozidemned 
this UN involvement in the Vietnam situation. 



July I9 6U: U THANT called for reconvention of the 195^ Geneva Conference 
The US declined to participate - 



August 1904- : THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL, spurred and supported by the US, 
invited Hanoi to join in discussions of the Gulf of Tonkin incident 
and/or other matters. Forth Vietnam's foreign minister restated his 
government's position that fhe UN had no competence to deal with the 
Vietnam situation and said any decisions taken by the Council would be 
considered "null and void." 



September 19&- 

NORTH VIETNAM relayed an offer through U THANT to meet with US 
officials in Rangoon to discuss ways of ending hostilities in South 
Vietnam, The US waited until late November — after the presidential 
elections — to reject the offer. 



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U THAHT continued to try to arrange a cease-fire on any terms the 
US might want to propose (including extension of a truce line through 
both Vietnam and Laos). The Administration did not pick up this offi- 
cer .i' 

ERIC SEVAKEID commented on these peace feelers on 28 July 1965 
(CBS Radio London) and again in Look Magazine , 15 November 1965* The 
New York Herald Tribune of 10 August 1965 also speculated on the story, 
Official acknowledgement did not come until IT November at a press 
conference. State Department spokesman Robert McCloskey said we had 
refused to talk with Hanoi because "we did not believe North Vietnam 
was prepared for serious talks." Dean Rusk elaborated on this a week 
later during a 26 November news conference. Mr. Rusk explained that 
in the autumn of 19$^ it seemed. clear "beyond a peradventure of doubt 
that Hanoi was not prepared to discuss peace in Southeast Asia based 
upon the agreements of 195U and 1962 and looking toward the lifting of 
aggression against South Vietnam." 



February 1965 

INDIAN PRESIDENT SHASTRI asked Russian and American leaders to 
discuss the problems of Southeast Asia; the Indian foreign ministry 
suggested the Geneva Conference be reconvened. 

PRESIDENT DE GAULLE, reportedly at Hanoi's urging, suggested a 
new Geneva Meeting to discuss -the future of both Southeast Asia and 
the United Nations. The Soviet Union and Bulgaria supported the French 
idea; there were indications of Communist China's willingness to attend 
such a conference. (Yet on 19 February, Chen Yi reportedly said there 
would be no negotiations until the US withdrew from South Vietnam; he 
ridiculed the US insistence that a cease-fire come first.) 

HANOI said (25 February 1965) negotiations would be considered if 
American troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam. (Drew Middleton 
reported US withdrawal was not a prerequisite to talks if eventual evac- 
uation of US military forces from South Vietnam would be stipulated in 
a final settlement. / Hfew York Tames , March 1965 J 

The US suggested the French had been given no mandate to act as 
mediator and said it was not interested in a return to the conference 
table at this time- The New York Times (IT February) reported both 
President Johnson and Vice President -Humphrey publicly indicated they 



1/ 




According to UN sources, the US did not see an active role for 

U Thant until 19^5 > ^ken Assistant Secretary H- Cleveland suggested 

his "good offices" be used to secure a settlement- 






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aw no alternative now but to support South Vietnam militarily- Offi- 
cials 1 private reply to appeals for negotiations was "when and with . 
whom? 

U THANT called for international negotiations on Vietnam, within 
or without the UN; he suggested preliminaries to a Geneva- style Con- 
ference might include "interlinked dialogues" among those directly in- 
volved in the war or an informal, seven- nation conference of the US, 
USSR, Britain, France, Communist China, North and South Vietnam (or, 
all 195*4- Geneva participants except Laos and Cambodia). 

Initial US response was negative. The White House said there were 
"no authorized negotiations underway with Mr. Thant or any other govern- 
ment" ( New York Times , 25 February 1965). Dean Rusk said the US would 
agree to no conference until after North Vietnam stopped sending men 
and arms into South Vietnam; he. insisted a peace settlement had to 
ensure the "security and independence" of South Vietnam- (press Con- 
ference, 25 February 1965).^/ 

On 10 March the US formally rejected U Thant r s repeated proposal 
for a seven-power conference insisting there could be no negotiations 
until North Vietnamese aggression stopped. SOUTH VIETNAM deferred a 
direct answer, asking U Thant for clarification. 

North Vietnam first apparently notified U Thant that it would be 
receptive to informal negotiations, then showed little interest in the 
proposal. The National Liberation Front refused to negotiate as long 
as US forces remained in South Vietnam (Ne w York Times, 9 March 1965)- 

The military situation in South Vietnam continued to deteriorate 
in February and March 1965* On 7 February, guerrillas attacked an 
American outpost at Pleiku, killing eight men and wounding 62. This 
was followed by Viet Cong raids on a military barracks at Qui Nhon, 
villages, government buildings, roads. Terrorism in rural and urban 
areas increased. The US retaliated to Pleiku as it had to the Tonkin 
Gulf incident by bombing military targets in North Vietnam. It was 
announced that limited air attacks against northern military installa- 
tions would continue. Adlai Stevenson explained the. objectives of the 



£/ 



On 29 February, the State Department white paper "Aggression from 
the North" was published, documenting Hanoi ! s control and support 
of the National Liberation Front, infiltration of North Vietnamese 
Army regulars into South Vietnam - some ^00 NVA troops were said to 
be part of the 1^-0,000 estimated enemy force - and other evidence 
of foreign aggression. 



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bombing in a 7 February letter to the President of the UN Security 
Council to "arrest, reinforcement of the Viet Cong by infiltrators 
from North Vietnam, to bolster the morale of the South Vietnamese 
and support their war effort, to resist systematic and continuing 
aggression, to help bring about a negotiated settlement to the con- 
flict. 



st 



On 6 March, two Marine Corps battalions (3^500 men) were sent to 
South Vietnam for a "limited 11 support mission. North Vietnam called 
Marine Corps landings and bcmbings in the North an open declaration 



o war • 



Peking (13 March 19^5 ) said the deployment of more US troops 
blocked a political settlement to the Vietnam situation, charged the 
US planned a "Korea -type" war and said China was not afraid of any 
US bombing of her land. Jenmin Jib Pao (peop le's Daily ) called the 
ICC an instrument of the US. Five days later, the newspaper called 
US talk of peaceful settlement "flagrant shameless blackmail" and 
said North Vietnam would not be bullied. The Chinese position that 
US troops must withdraw prior to talks was emphasized. 



March 1965 

P0L4ND, CANADA and INDIA called for an expanded international 
peace-keeping agency. They ma£e no headway. 

PRESIDENT JOHNSON, at a 13 March press conference, barred nego- 
tiations until North Vietnam halted aggression and said there had 
been no such sign to date. He conceded a change in US strategy and 
tactics, but not in basic policy. 

PAKISTANI PRESIDENT AYUB KHAN visited Peking (4-8 March) and 
urged Chinese leaders to accept a negotiated settlement. He made no 
progress . 

On 17 March, Foreign Ministers GR0MXK0 and STEWART met in London 
to discuss a UK appeal of 20 February that Britain and the USSR work 
together as Geneva Co- Chairmen to find a common ground for negotia- 
tions. The US supported the British proposal; for some weeks it 
appeared that Russia would agree to it. But in April, Stewart an- 
nounced the UK alone would canvass opinions of countries represented 
at Geneva because the USSR had declined to participate. Moscow felt 
it was not her position to arrange an international conference and as 
long as US air attacks on North Vietnam continued, any conference would 
be impossible anyway. 



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Communist China (6 April) rebuffed the UK effort, attacked Britain's 
dirty role as an accomplice of US aggression" and renewed her opposition 
to any talks before the US had pulled out of South Vietnam. J/ 

April 1965 

On 1 April, diplomats of unnamed NON-ALIGNED NATIONS reported the 
DRV had indicated a willingness to agree to a new Geneva Conference with- 
out demanding prior withdrawal of US troops or other pre-conditions. 
They reported the North Vietnamese felt bombing attacks damaged their 
prestige and had to be answered by counter-blows (apparently in South 
Vietnam) . The report indicated Hanoi wanted to avoid direct USSR or 
Chinese intervention on their soil and said the Russian offer of volun- 
teers had been turned down. 

LABOUR MP WILLIAM WARBEY, in a letter to The Times of London, 
1 April 1965* reported on a March meeting with Ho Chi Minh and Pham Van 
Dong. Warbey said they indicated only one pre-condition to negotiations 
on which North Vietnam would insist: cessation of the bcmbing. He said 
Hanoi seemed willing to accept an autonomous regime in South Vietnam if 
it "genuinely represents all major sections of the southern population, " 
and that both governments should have the right to "enjoy econonic, 
cultural and fraternal relations" with countries of their own choice, 

PRESIDENT JOHNSON said the US had no information that North Vietnam 
was "ready and willing" to negotiate under "productive conditions"; he 
said bombing would continue and stressed US eagerness for an honorable 
settlement. 



3/ 



Jenmin Jih Pao announced on 25 March that Communist China was ready 
to int erven e with men and material if the Viet Cong wanted it, said 
the USSR would not be allowed to demonstrate more militancy than 
China and charged the US could not stop the South Vietnamese from 
fighting by escalating the war. (A Brezhnev statement of 2k March 
that the Soviet Union would send volunteers to Vietnam probably in- 
spired Peking's blast.) The next day, Chou En-lai rejected de Gaulle's 
February call for a five-power Paris Conference and repeated his warn- 
ing that intensification of the war could not force North and South 
Vietnam into negotiations. Chou said the US was violating the 
Geneva agreements and felt Britain and the USSR should ask the US to 
halt aggression. In a subsequent statement reportedly delivered to 
U Thant by Algerian diplomat Bouattoura, Chou said the US must talk 
directly with the NLF, not with Communist China or North Vietnam. 






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17 NON-ALIGNED NATIONS meeting in Belgrade appealed for a peaceful 
solution in Vietnam through negotiations without pre-conditions (l April). 

The US (8 April) welcomed the appeal,, expressed agreement with the 
principles and readiness "for unconditional discussions." The US note 
went on to say the war should end by ensuring the independence of South 
Vietnam, that the "basic cause of the conflict, . -is the attack by North 
Vietnam on the independent nation of South Vietnam, " that we "seek only 
the security and peace of South Vietnam and we threaten no regime" in 
"answering the plea of South Vietnam" for assistance. 

Hanoi rejected the 17- nation appeal on 20 April, terming inappro- 
priate any approach other than one based on the Four Points enunciated 
by Premier Pham Van Dong on 8 April. Demands for US withdrawal and 
enactment of the NLP program of internal affairs were repeated. Z/ 

PRESIDENT JOHNSON first made public the US negotiating position in 
a 7 April speech at Johns Hopkins University. The Administration's 
attitude toward negotiations had been private until this time -- the 
official policy stance had been "secret."^/ President Johnson's state- 
ment included these points: 

-- The "first reality" is that "North Vietnam has attacked the 



h/ 

— ' Pham Van Dong did not clearly demand prior US withdrawal nor recog- 
nition of the NLF, He did demand recognition of the NLF Program, a 
broad call for civil rights independence, freedom, neutrality and 
so on. 

The DRV Four Points: 

1. The basic rights of the Vietnamese people to peace, independence, 
unity and territorial integrity must be recognized; the US must 
withdraw troops, dismantle all military bases in South Vietnam 
and cease acts of war against North Vietnam; 

2. Pending the peaceful reunification of Vietnam and while the 
country is still temporarily divided into two zones, military 
provisions of the 195^- Geneva agreements must be strictly re- 
spected. Thus there can be no foreign military bases, troops or 
military personnel in either Nprth or South Vietnam. 

3* The internal affairs of South Vietnam must be settled by the South 
Vietnamese people themselves in accordance with the program of the 
National Liberation Front of South Vietnam and free from foreign 
interference. 

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independent nation of South Vietnam". Seme South Vietnamese 
are participating in the attack on their own government hut 
"trained men and supplies , orders and arms flow in a constant 
stream from north to south. This support is the heartbeat of 
the war . ,! 

— The US is there "because we have a promise to keep" and to 
strengthen world order. To leave Vietnam to its fate would 
shake world confidence in the value of an America's word. 
"The result would be increased unrest and instability, and 
even wider war." 

— The US is prepared to enter into "unconditional discussions" 
with the other governments concerned in the Vietnam problem. 

— Our objective in Vietnam is the "independence of South Viet- 
nam and its freedom from attack." 

— We want nothing for ourselves but will not withdraw "under the 
cloak of a meaningless aggression." 

South Vietnam should be free from outside interference, tied 
to no alliance, a military base for no other country. 

Allied reaction: France welcomed Johnson's proposals — with 
reservations. Britain, Australia, Italy, Japan and Indonesia supported 
them. U Thant called the speech "f orward looking and generous." 

Opposition reaction: MAI VAN BO, senior Hanoi diplomat in Paris 
said negotiations in the present situation would amount to surrender, 
that any settlement must involve an end to US aggression, withdrawal of 
US forces and recognition of Vietnam's right to settle her own problems. 
He said Johnson cannot "buy" Hanoi with an aid project. Bo also rejected 
the 17 non-aligned nations plea. (New York Times, 10 April) 



kj (Continued) 



5/ 



h. Peaceful reunification of Vietnam is to be settled by the Viet- 
namese people alone, free from foreign interference. 

But the public call for "unconditional discussions" did not represent , 
a major change of policy according to Dean Rusk (25 November 19&5j 
Press Conference). Mr. Rusk said we have consistently welccmed 
"discussions without conditions, without pre-conditions", adding 
"there has never been any lack of opportunity to bring this matter 
of peace to the conference table if the other side is prepared to 
stop trying to impose their will by force on South Vietnam." 






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The National Liberation Front rejected the Baltimore proposals. 
The President had labeled Hanoi the principal antagonist, termed support 
frail North Vietnam the heartbeat of the war and offered to negotiate 
with other "governments" concerned in the conflict, statements interpre- 
ted as proof of US refusal to deal with the Front. 

Peking called Johnson's offer a "trick. . .full of lies and decep- 
tions" designed to induce the Viet Gong to disarm while the US prepared 
for war. Conditions proposed by the US were called "completely unaccept- 
able" the aid offer an attempt to T *buy over the Vietnamese people.? 

Pravda (ll April) called Johnson's offer "noisy propaganda" which 
changed neither US policy nor US determination to continue aggression 
in Vietnam. 



Also in April 1965 

U THAMF was reportedly eager to visit various foreign (mainly 
Southeast Asian) capitals to explore prospects for a negotiated settle- 
ment. Hanoi refused to meet with U Thant, terming any UN injection into 
the Vietnam issue "inappropriate". 

Peking's Jenmin Jih Pao agreed: "The Vietnam question has nothing 
to do with the United Nations... no meddling by the UN is called for nor 
will it be tolerated. 



. * 






British statesman PATRICK GORDON-WAEKER visited several Southeast 
Asian nations to talk about an end to war. Hanoi and Peking refused 
to meet with him. 

Jenmin Jih Pao (13 April) lauded a statement attributed to Ho Chi 
Minh in the Japanese Communist Party publication, Akahata , which called 
for the withdrawal of US forces as a condition for any settlement and 
called US talk of negotiations "meaningless". But on 1*4- April, North 
Vietnam asked the US to recognize its Four Points as a basis for an 
international conference. Prior US withdrawal was not made a condition 
for negotiations. 

On 18 April, BREZHNEV and LE DUAN, First Secretary of the Vietnam 
Workers Party, in a communique reporting on recent Moscow talks, said 
the Soviet Union would send volunteers if North Vietnam requested them 
and if the US intensified aggression^ The communique demanded an end 
to the bombing, withdrawal of US forces and declared the NIF the only 
legitimate representative of the Vietnamese people. 



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PRESIDENT JOHNSON (l? April) rejected proposals that he suspend 
bombings over North Vietnam to enhance peace prospects. He said he 
would willingly hold "unconditional discussions" with any government 
immediately, but warned North Vietnam and the NIJ? that there is no 
"human power capable of forcing ud ! from Vietnam and said the US aim 
to make South Vietnam free was unchanged. The next day, propaganda 
leaflets dropped over North Vietnam carried excerpts from the Presi- 
dent's Johns Hopkins speech as well as a Saigon statement rejecting • 
recognition of the Rational Liberation Front. 

The INDIAN GOVERNMEIW suggested both sides cease fire and an Afro- 
Asian force be created to police the borders which would not change 
until the Vietnamese people elected to do so. The US expressed inter- 
est in the proposal and discussed it with the Indians. Hanoi and Peking 
rejected it. 

A CONFERENCE on CAMBODIA was discussed seriously in April. The US 
was interested, thinking it might lead to talks on Vietnam; Moscow and 
Saigon showed seme interest initially. But Sihanouk announced he would 
not participate in any conference convened as a pretext to discuss 
Vietnam and saw no need for the US, Thailand or South Vietnam to attend. 
China also opposed the idea — and it died. On 3 May, Cambodia broke 
diplomatic relations with the US. 



May 1 965 

TITO and NASSER urged an end to US air raids and negotiations to 
end the conflict. FRANCE and RUSSIA called for an end to foreign inter- 
vention. U THAMT felt the situation was worsening and asked for peace 
talks. SAIGON began a diplomatic offensive to garner support for both 
war and peace from non-aligned nations (although on 29 April, Premier 
Ky had called for an immediate invasion of the DRV by South Vietnamese 
forces). ALGERIA and the UAR advocated Hanoi's acceptance of US pro- 
posals. Calling again for unconditional peace talks on 13 May, 
PRESIDENT JOHNSON charged China f s opposition to a political solution 
-- which would be in Hanoi's* interest -- was meant only to discredit 
American ability to prevent Communist^ Chinese domination of Asia. 

From 13 to 17 May : US bombing of North Vietnam was halted (five 
days, 20 hours) . At the time it was known that some US effort to find 
a way out of the conflict was underway but few details were revealed. 
In an editorial of 30 December 19^5, however, the New York Times re- 
ported Secretary Rusk had sent a message to Hanoi through the North 
Vietnamese Embassy in Moscow, explaining the bombing suspension could 
or would be extended if there were "significant reductions" in Communist 



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armed attacks in South Vietnam. A permanent end" to the bombing, it 
was said, could come only through a permanent end to armed attacks by 
Viet Cong units in South Vietnam. 

One day before air attacks were resumed, Hanoi reportedly asked 
the French Government to tell the US that Hanoi would negotiate on, the 
basis of the Four Points — without demanding prior withdrawal of US 
forces. ( Hew York Times , 19 November 1965; State Department Press . 
Conference, 17 November 1965) Apparently, France was given a letter 
from Rusk to Hanoi, but never relayed it. Sources in both the State 
Department and French Government say the North Vietnamese message was 
not transmitted before bombing was resumed, that Hanoi's word got 
through a few hours after air action had been resumed. Other sources 
say the "harsh reaction" by Hanoi to the US offer was "fully known 
before the air operations were resumed." France maintains that bomb- 
ing could have been halted again after Hanoi's message became available. 

On 18 May (the day bombing resumed) Hanoi Radio broadcast a DRV 
Foreign Ministry statement calling the bombing pause a "trick" meant 
to "cover up (America's) extremely dangerous acts intensifying the war 
in Vietnam. , .and to deceive world opinion." 

June 1965 

* 
t 

The CANADIAN representative on the ICC discussed prospects for 
peace with a North Vietnamese Representative. According to the 
Canadian Foreign Minister's report, prospects were not good. 

The BRITISH COMMONWEALTH PR3ME MINISTERS meeting in London (17-25 
June) formulated a plan — and a four-nation mission (Britain, Ghana, 
Nigeria j Trinidad-Tobago) -- to visit countries involved in the war and 
"explore the circumstances in which a conference might be held to end 
the fighting in Vietnam. " Prime Minister Wilson said their objectives 
were to achieve: (l) a suspension of air attacks on North Vietnam; 
(2) a halt in North Vietnam's movement of military forces and material 
to South Vietnam; and (3) a- total cease fire. 

Washington and Saigon reacted favorably to the proposal and wel- 
comed any visit frcm the Commonwealth Mission. 

The NLF rejected a Commonwealth visit on 27 June. Hanoi refused 
to admit the representatives on 1 July. Hanoi Radio said North Viet- 
nam's leaders doubted the goodwill of the group, considering it "only j 
a repetition of Iyndon Johnson's peace negotiations swindle. 11 Peking 



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called Prime Minister Wilson a "nitwit for making trouble for himself ff 
and refused to meet with the mission (25 June), Moscow at first seemed 
receptive, then rejected the Commonwealth idea on 2k June 1965. Kosygin 
said he would conduct no negotiations or efforts to get them started; 
he suggested the British delegation consult directly with Hanoi or the 
NLF.-' 



July I965 

HAROLD DAVIES, a junior left-wing Minister of the British Govern- 
ment, visited Hanoi in July (9-13) to discuss the Commonwealth Ministers 
plan. Wilson reported (15 July) that Mr, Da vies had been unsuccessful 
and that part of Hanoi's disinterest stemmed from what Davies termed a 
conviction among the leaders that victory was imminent: to leave the 
battlefield for a conference table would be senseless, 

DEAN RUSK, on a Voice of America broadcast of h July, said the US 
had asked through intermediaries, "What would be stopped if we stopped 
the bombings,. .we've never had a reply. . ." 

In mid-July, Governor HARRIMAN and Premier KOSYGIN held "informal" 
talks about Vietnam in Moscow. Results were not announced. (Harriman, 
interviewed on television during August, said the Soviet Union and 
Yugoslavia believed North Vietnam would negotiate if the US halted air 
raids. Harriman said he saw no sign this was Hanoi's position and 
urged the US to stand firm. Harriman said the USSR wanted an end to 
the war but did not want to seem "soft" in Communist China's eyes. 
Tito was said to be sympathetic to the US position. Harriman added both 
the USSR and Yugoslavia would retain the division of Vietnam at the 17th 
Parallel. /^ "New York Times , 8 August_7 

On 28 July PRESIDENT JOHNSON announced an additional 50,000 men - 
would be committed to Vietnam, raising the total to 125,000 men. Also 
on 28 July, President Johnson asked U Thant to employ all his "resources - 
energy and immense prestige" in finding a way to "halt aggression and 
bring peace in Vietnam. " He asked UN members, singly or jointly, to try 
to "bring to the table all governments involved, in an attempt to halt 
all aggression and evolve a peaceful solution." 

On 30 July, ARTHUR GOLDBERG wrote to the UN Security Council. He 
emphasized the Council's particular responsibility to persist in the 



6/ 

- Patrick Gordon Walker urged the US to negotiate with the NLF a month 

later; the Administration reportedly held Hanoi responsible for the 

war and was unmoved by pleas to deal with the Front. 



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search for peace, said the US was ready — as always — to collaborate 
unconditionally with members of the Security Council in searching for 

an acceptable formula to restore peace and security in Southeast Asia, 
He said the US hoped the Council "somehow finds the means to respond 
effectively to the challenge raised by the state of affairs" in that 
area. On 11 August, the Soviet Union rejected any participation in UN 
efforts to exert influence in Vietnam. Hanoi, Peking and the HLF 
f llowed suit, revoicing opposition to any UN intervention in the 
Vietnam situation. 



A ^ust 1965 



NASSER reportedly sounded Communist China and North Vietnam on 
prospects of negotiations. Also reportedly, China and the Viet Cong 
were confident of victory and barred talks; North Vietnam was allegedly 
willing to talk at one time, then announced firm opposition to the idea, 

SHASTRI and OBOTE (Uganda); NASSER and TOURE (Guinea) urged all- 
out peace efforts, an international conference and cessation of the 
bombing. 

An INDIAN- YUGOSLAV communique called for a conference of parties 
concerned in Vietnam — including the NLF -- and a cessation of bomb- 
ing while efforts to find peace in the UN continued. 
j 

Hhan Dan condemned the communique, leveled heavy criticism at 
Tito and said UN efforts to find peace would fail. 

LeMonde (l4 August) quoted an interview with Ho Chi Minh at which 
he ruled out negotiations until the US gave tangible proof that it 
accepted the Four Points as a basis for negotiations. 

DEAN RUSK (22 August) said the US would agree to a pact restoring 
the military balance called for in the 195^ Geneva agreements; he sug- 
gested this would involve the withdrawal of North Vietnamese forces 
from below the 17th Parallel and a halt to infiltration. Rusk indi- 
cated the US might be willing to end direct military involvement and 
make other concessions. Rusk also said the US made regular soundings 
to see if — or how — North Vietnam would respond to a new halt in 
bombing. 

On 26 August it was reported that the US had offered to exchange 
moves showing a desire to curb the war in "unpublicized and indirect 
approaches to North Vietnam. " The US suggested Hanoi withdraw all or 



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part of the 325th Division in exchange for a cut in US military action, 
including a cut in air raids against North Vietnam. Hanoi reportedly 
received these offers with an interest not previously shorn, (u Thaht 
apparently tried contacting North Vietnam and China through Algeria; 
Algerian Minister Bouteflika reportedly conferred with the DRV, NLF 
and Peking representatives in Algiers.) 

LORD BROCKWAY, British Labour Peer, met with the North Vietnamese 
Ambassador and the NLF representative in Moscow, (2^ August). Accord- 
ing to Brockway, they had never insisted on total US withdrawal as a 
condition for peace, were prepared to make concessions beyond the 
Geneva Accords and would insist on NLF inclusion in any Vietnam con- 
ference. The US was "interested but suspicious" of reports that slight 
shifts in position were evident at the Brockway meetings; the State 
Department asked for a confidential account and appraisal of the talks. 

Hanoi and the National Liberation Front denied Lord Brockway 's 
statanents. DRV Ambassador Van Tran So did say "contacts" had been 
made in Algiers, but that they were not officially from the US Govern- 
ment. 



November 196j5 

Nhan Dan rejected Tito's call for a halt in US bombing of North 
Vietnam, implementation of the Geneva Accords and an invitation to 
the NLF to peace talks. Tito *and Sihanouk had exchanged letters in 
August 1965; Sihanouk agreed with Tito's basic proposals but added 
"first of all, the US occupations and attacking forces must be with- 
drawn... or at least there must be a formal agreement on the principle 
of evacuation before negotiations." (VNA, l4 November)* 

HO CHI MINH, in reply to a letter from eight American Nobel Peace 
Prize winners, called US peace statements "but deceitful talk" because 
the US policy is "to negotiate from a position of strength..." He said 
the Four Points were the "most correct way to a peaceful settlement." 
(VNA, 17 November) 

11 November to 1$ December : The LA PIRA-FANFANI HOTIATIVE. 
According to reports released after the fact, Girgio La Pira, former 
Mayor of Florence, and another Italian emissary, met with Ho Chi Minh 
and Pham Van Dang in Hanoi on 11 November. They emerged with the im- 
pression that the two conditions required by Hanoi for any peace talks 
were: (l) a total cease fire in both North and South Vietnam, without 
prior evacuation of US troops; (2) recognition and acceptance of the 
195^ Geneva Agreements as the basis for negotiations. The North 



L 



^Vietnam (North) News "Agency 



13 






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i 



Vietnamese leaders consistently maintained the Pour Points vere an 
accurate embodiment of the Geneva Agreements. 

Italian Foreign Minister Fanfani relayed this information to 
President Johnson in a letter of 20 November 1965. Two weeks later 
(h December) Rusk replied to Minister Fanfani. His letter raised 
some questions about the Italian version of Hanoi's offer, disagreed 
that the Four Points were an "authentic interpretation" of the Geneva 

Accords and asked Fanfani for further clarification. 

1 

Fanfani replied on 13 December, saying his government had asked 
for such clarification on 8 December, that Hanoi's response would be 
given the US as soon as it arrived. 

But on the same day, US air attacks struck closer than before to 
Hanoi and Haiphong. From 13 to 15 December, major industrial targets 
were hit for the first time Including the Uongbi thermal power plant 
ill- miles from Haiphong. 

US Government sources publicly confirmed reports that Hanoi had 
relayed an offer to hold talks leading to negotiations through two 
Italian intermediaries on 17 December. It was also confirmed that no 
talks had been held.I/ 

North Vietnam denied issuing peace feelers, called such reports 
"sheer groundless fabrications" and reiterated that the Four Points 
were the only basis for settlement of the Vietnam problem. 

December 1965 

UN sources said the DRV showed no interest in peace talks pro- 
posed by U Thant but that the US was receptive. U Thant said he had 
had no direct contacts with the parties involved for some time. ( New York Times 9 
1 December) 

USSR FOREIGN MINISTER GR0MYK0 told Britain's Michael Stewart 
(3 December) that peace talks on Vietnam would be conditioned on a 
cessation of US bombing of North Vietnam and the withdrawal of US 



1/ 



Secretary Rusk, in a 26 November press conference, had said Hanoi 
had indicated it would not consider ending aggression against South 
Vietnam, that unconditional talks would be acceptable to the US but 
there was now no sign of Hanoi's willingness to compromise. Rusk 
said the bombing might stop if the DRV would halt some of its war 
activities. 



ik 



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« 



troops. Whether troop withdrawal had to be prior to talks or a result 
of talks was left vague by Grorayko. 

HO CHI MENU said Johnson's offer of unconditional talks was in- 
sincere and "absolutely unacceptable/ 1 Ho ridiculed charges of Worth 
Vietnamese aggression and denied that pressure from Peking prevented 
Hanoi from holding peace talks. (2k November TV interview (in English) 
with British Journalist Felix Greene , made public 7 December) 

■ 

Mr, Rusk ruled out compromise with the Viet Cong saying there 
could be no political or territorial gain for them as part of a peace 
settlement, ( New York Times , 8 December) 

The UK proposed a 12 -nation appeal be made to North Vietnam to stop 
fighting and negotiate a peace, Britain separately called on the Soviet 
Union to sign and circulate such a message among nations represented at 
the 1954 Geneva Conference as well as those on the International Control 
Commission, ( New York Times 3 9 December) 

Hanoi Radio announced, "The DRV Government categorically rejects 
all British plans and proposals made under the pretense of peace* Once 
again the DRV Ministry of Foreign Affairs solemnly reaffirms that the 
four-point stand of the DRV Government is the only basis for a correct 
settlement of the Vietnamese problem; any solution contrary to this 
stand is null and void and unable to bring about genuine peace in Viet-, 
nam." (VNA, 17 December) 

■ 

* 

A one-day Christmas truce in ground and air action was 
observed on 25 December, The next day, fighting in 
South Vietnam resumed, but the halt in bombing contin- 
ued. 

POPE PAUL VI had appealed publicly for a Christmas holiday truce 
and efforts by all sides were made to move toward negotiations. On 
19 December , a private appeal was sent to Hanoi. Ho Chi Mirth's reply 
of 28 December charged U,S, leaders "want war and not peace." He said 
talk about "unconditional negotiations" is a "maneuver to cover up" 
plans for further "war intensification and extension." The Pope's 
message of 1 January 1966 to Moscow, Peking, Hanoi and Saigon, asking 
for an end to conflict met with similarly unsuccessful results. 

The concentrated U.S. peace drive began on 29 December. Air action 
over North Vietnam, halted at Christmas, was suspended until 31 January 
(36 days, 15 hours). Governors HARRB1A.N and WILLIAMS, Ambassador 
GOLDBERG and three other representatives were dispatched to 3^ capi- 
tals; the U.S. position was discussed with some 115 governments. Hanoi 
was contacted indirectly. The far-flung public effort failed. 



15 



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In a letter to world leaders (2^ January), HO CHI MIHH repeated 
earlier criticisms of the U.S. peace drive (a "noisy propaganda drive/' 
an effort to fool public opinion) and termed Johnson's State of the 
Union statement that the U.S. will not withdraw from Vietnam "an im- . 
pudent threat." He said the DRV's Four Points were the basis for 
negotiations. And a fifth point was made: Ho said the U.S. must 
recognize the National Liberation Front as the "sole genuine repre- 
sentative of the South Vietnamese people and engage in negotiations 
with it." (Ho's letter was released on 28 January. On 12 January 1966, 
Quan Doi Mian Dan had declared it "absurd" that "other proposals" -- 
like the U.S. Ik Points — be discussed. If the U.S. accepts the Geneva 
Agreements, it should accept the Four Points which are the "sum and 
substance" of Geneva.) 

ALEXANDER SHELEPIN, Secretary of the Communist Party Central Com- 
mittee, headed a five-man mission to Hanoi (7 to 12 January 1966). 
The result: increased Soviet aid to North Vietnam, (Unremitting 
Chinese attacks on USSR "peace plots" during and after Shelepin's 
visit may indicate Shelepin discussed - and urged - a negotiated end 
to the war while in North Vietnam. ) 

The NLF rejected U.S. peace offers made through intermediaries, 
according to a 13 January report carried by the official Algerian news 
agency. The report followed a meeting between President Boumedienne 
and the NLF representative in Algiers. However, a Viet Cong source 
in Algiers reportedly hinted that Hanoi might drop the demand for with- 
drawal of U.S. troops prior to talks if the U.S. agreed to talk directly 
to the NLF. The source said there could be no change in the NLF posi- 
tion until the U.S. granted it *of f icial recognition. Some Front diffi- 
culty with Hanoi was indicated, according to American journalists. 

U THANT suggested (20 January) that all elements of the South 
Vietnamese people -- presumably including the Viet Cong — should be 
represented in a postwar government. DEAR RUSK (21 January) said he 
could not report on "any positive and encouraging response (from the 
other side) to the hopes of .. .mankind" for negotiations to end the 
war in Vietnam. Rejecting U Thant's proposal to promise, or to con- 
cede the possibility in postwar government to the NLF, Rusk said the 
issue must be decided in free elections. 

Japanese PREMIER SATO urged (25 January) an international confer- 
ence be held and appointed M. Yokoyama his special emissary in a peace 
drive. Sato said the recent mission of Foreign Minister Shiina to 
Moscow, to secure Soviet support for efforts to begin negotiations, had 
failed. 

■ 

On 31 January, PRESIDENT JOHNSON ordered the renewal of air attacks 
against North Vietnam. He said efforts of U.S. allies had been rebuffed 



16 









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and efforts of neutral nations had come to nothing during the 37-day 
pause; he said "our own private approaches have all been in vain/' 
Johnson called Ko Chi Minh's letter of 2k January the answer to peace 
efforts, adding that the North Vietnamese "persist in aggression... 
insist on the surrender of South Vietnam to communism" and that 
there is no readiness or willingness to talk, no readiness for 
peace in that regime today." 

AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG, in a letter to Security Council President 
Seydoux of 31 January, summarized the U.S. position on negotiations 
and requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider 
the Vietnam situation. Goldberg said the U.S. was ready to talk 
without prior conditions, ready to withdraw troops as soor as South 
Vietnam is free of outside interference. He asked the Council to 
seek an international conference to end the war — making a cease- 
fire the first order of business — and establish a permanent peace 
in Southeast Asia. Goldberg said the U.S. would help in all appro- 
priate ways, including artibration or mediation. 8/ 



8/ Rusk said (ll February) the U.S. had not sought UN action earlier 
for fear debate would interfere with private moves. President 



17 









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February 19 66 

On 1 February, HO CHI MUSH wrote French President de Gaulle, asking 
for his help in preventing any "new perfidious US maneuver/: The follow- 
ing day, the North Vietnam foreign ministry formally rejected — as it 
had several times in the past — any UK interference in the Vietnam situ- 
ation. The resumption of bombing raids against North Vietnam revealed 
the "hypocrisy 11 of Johnson's peace drive, according to a message delivered 

to ICC members in Hanoi. 

i 

The NLF said any UN decision on Vietnam would be null and void on 
3 February, 

Governor HARRIMAN said the US would agree to NLF participation in 
negotiations as an independent group. He stressed the US refusal to 
accept the Front as a government delegation- (New York Times, 7 February) 

During early February, the Senate Foreign Relations Com- 
mittee opened hearings on Vietnam: high level US and 
Vietnamese leaders met at Honolulu (the conference stressed 
pacification, economic, social and other non-military prob- 
lems). At the conclusion of the conference, both Ky and 
Thieu said they refused to recognize or negotiate with the 
NLF; they showed little eagerness to meet with Hanoi but 
reportedly tried not to disassociate themselves from the 

US stand, 

* 

NKRUMAH and NASSER met in Cairo (15 February) in a new effort to 
initiate peace talks. Nkrumah then visited Rangoon^ Peking, Hanoi and 
Moscow, urging negotiations. He was unsuccessful.—' 

HANOI (15 February) rejected a Somali -proposal of January 1966 that 
an Asian-African committee explore possibilities for peace. Hanoi called 
this interference in internal affairs. 



8/ (Continued) 

Matsui summarized the results of the Council's work on 26 February. 
He said there was "a degree of cauinon feeling among many members of 
the Council" that (l) there is general and grave concern over the 
continuation of hostilities and a strong desire for a peaceful solu- 
tion and (2) a termination of the conflict should be sought through 
negotiations in an appropriate forum in order to work out the imple- 
mentation of the Geneva Accords. The letter stated it was Matsui *s 
understanding that the Council remained seized of the Vietnam prob- 
lem. But the Council accomplished nothing. 

ZJ He was less successful at home. A coup executed by Ghanian military 
officers ousted Nkrumah from the Presidency in late February. 



18 






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PRESIDEKff DE GAULLE (l6 February), in his reply to Ho Chi Minh's 
letter of 1 February, offered to play a role in settling the war when- 
ever feasible. He did not think it feasible at that time, De Gaulle 
said a return to-and implementation of -the Geneva Accords was the only 
possible solution to conflict. He urged creation of a representative 
government in Saigon. U Thant supported de Gaulle's proposals; the 
US was silent. 

A North Vietnamese reply to U Thant 's peace efforts was reported 
by the New York Times on IT February. It first appeared that Hanoi 
had posed three conditions for talks: (l) a new pause in bombing raids 
against North Vietnam; (2) an end to US escalation of the ground war in 
South Vietnam; (3) NIF representation at a peace conference. The note 
indicated the US need not announce a halt in escalation publicly. 

UN sources said (l8 February) that the conditions were U Thant' s, 
not Hanoi's; officials denied any knowledge of new or changed points 
issued by North Vietnam. 

20 February; Senator Robert F. Kennedy suggested a US 
offer to the Viet Cong of a share of power in South 
Vietnam would be the best hope for an eventual accord. 
Vice President Humphrey, George Ball and He George 
Bundy scored Kennedy's suggestion. 

PRIME MINISTER WILSON and PREMIER KOSYGIN met in Moscow, 22-21* 
February. Wilson urged a reconvening of the Geneva conference; Kosygin 
urged a return to the Geneva Accords and US acceptance of Hanoi's peace 
terms. The Russians insisted North Vietnam and the US — not the USSR 
and Britain — must arrange a conference. 

British LORD CHALFONT met with Li Chang, a North Vietnamese envoy 
to Moscow at the same time. Li Chang reportedly pledged to clarify 
Hanoi's peace terms. Wilson later said Britain had succeeded in "getting 
a line open 11 to Hanoi — apparently through Lord Chalfont — but Hanoi 
said Wilson had distorted the facts. 



March I966 

Ho Chi Minh reportedly rejected a proposal from HO IAN PRESIDENT 
RADHAKRISHNAN that an Asian or African peace-keeping force be created 
to replace American troops in South Vietnam ( New York Times , k March). 
A similar proposal from President Radhakrishnan in April 19^5 had also 
been rejected: the DRV Foreign Ministry told the Indian Consul General 
in Hanoi on 5 May 1965 that the idea to create an Afro-Asian force to 
supervise the 17th Parallel was unacceptable. 



19 






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During the winter and early spring of 1966, the Sino- 
Soviet dispute became more and more vitriolic. Jenmin 
Jih Pao (7 March) charged that Russian leaders were 
determined to lead Vietnamese communists to the 
conference table to bring about another "Munich." 
Hamburg Welt published a purported secret letter from 
the USSR to all Communist Party units, charging Peking 
with trying to prolong the war for their own national 
interests, Peking hotly denied this -- as well as 
reports of (Russian) difficulty sending aid through 
China to Vietnam. Chinese Party leaders spurned USSR 
pleas for united action, refused to attend the USSR 
Party Congress and repeated charges of USSR-US colla- 
boration in a "plot" to arrange peace talks. 



Canadian CHESTER RONNING met with leaders in Saigon and Hanoi in 
early March. Commenting on the mission, Ronning said he saw a major 
role for the ICC in arranging peace talks but that India and Poland did 
hot feel the time was ripe for successful initiatives. ( Hew York Times , 
17 March) 



April 1966 

U THANT said he would advocate UN Security Council involvement in 
the Vietnam situation if Worth Vietnam and Communist China could — or 
would — present their side of the issue, Thant noted their reluctance 
to do so. He called for a unified Vietnam and neutralization of the 
area guaranteed by the big powers, including the U.S. and China. Thant 
reiterated his three point proposal (cessation of U.S. bombing of North 
Vietnam; a scaling down of all military activity in South Vietnam; a 
willingness of all parties to the conflict to meet with each other to 
discuss peace). 

On 18 April 1966, SENATOR MANSFIELD proposed the U.S., Hanoi and 
"elements in South Vietnam" meet at a peace conference (of foreign 
ministers or higher officials) in some Asian country. The Administra- 
tion supported and agreed with Mansfield's suggestion. 

Radio Hanoi (23 April) called this a ,! new peace trick," part of 
America's "two-faced" policy of talking peace while escalating war. 
Nhan Dan said the U.S. must recognize the NLF as the genuine and only 
representative of the South Vietnamese people and accept the DRV Four 
Points, the only correct basis to settle the Vietnam problem. Radio 
Moscow said U.S. actions in Vietnam belied Washington's professed desire 
for peace; Peking denounced the Mansfield move in similar but more 
vitriolic terms. 



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DRV PREMIER PHAM VAN DONG, addressing the Third National Assembly 
in Hanoi (22-26 April), reportedly said the US had never officially 
announced its recognition of the four points and it objected to the 
third point. "To object to the third point is to object to the whole 
four-point stand, " according to Dong. He demanded the US prove its 
recognition of Hanoi's position by actual deeds, which might include 
cessation of bombing "definitively and unconditionally" as well as 
cessation of "all other acts of war against the DRVi 



■l I! 



HO CHI MINH reportedly told the Assembly the "only correct solution 
to end this war" was contained in his 2k January letter to world leaders, 
Cairo's Al Musawar (28 April) quoted an interview with Ho Chi Minh in 
which Ho expressed similar views. He did not specify whether recogni- 
tion of the NLF would exclude the Saigon government from peace talks, 
however. 

Canadian PRIME MINISTER PEARSON proposed a cease-fire and gradual 
troop withdrawal as steps toward peace (29 April). The cease-fire would 
be the "first part of a wider pattern of peace negotiations without 
prior conditions- As negotiations progressed, "equivalent and phased 
withdrawals from South Vietnam by North Vietnam and by the forces of 
other governments could take place under international supervision... 
(with) concurrent arrangements to ensure that the people of South 
Vietnam were enabled... to choose their own form of government and that 
the withdrawal of troops would not simply create a political vacuum in 
which terrorism and coercion could continue..." Pearson suggested 
working through the Geneva Conference and International Control Com- 
mission would be most appropriate. 

The US and South Vietnam backed Pearson's suggestions. 

A New Delhi dispatch of k May referred to Eastern European sources 
who said no immediate prospects of success for Pearson's initiative 
were evident in Hanoi. Previous Canadian efforts to organize a new 
Geneva Conference through the ICC had "equally failed" to receive the 
accord of all parties concerned. The report noted Ronning's March visit 
to Hanoi, saying. .. "the results of his mission are unknown but nothing 
has reached New Delhi that indicates any change in the "position of the 
parties concerned.'" Agence France-Presse(3 May) reported the Chinese 
Foreign Minister said Pearson f s initiative "...is an old American maneu- 
ver which does not merit comment J"" 



Danish PRIME MINISTER KRAG urged the US to seek a peaceful solution 
in Vietnam through negotiations with the Viet Cong and others involved 
in the conflict; he recommended a transitional government be composed of 
all elements in South Vietnam. (Washington Post, 29 April) 






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.'■ 






May 1966 

■ 

In a joint communique issued 22 May 1966,, GUINEA and ALGERIA 
called for an end to US bombing of Worth Vietnam and strict respect 
for the Geneva Agreements as a means toward a peaceful settlement in 
Vietnam, 

THE NETHERLANDS 1 FOREIGN MINISTER LUNS announced his government 
will use every opportunity to contribute to a peaceful solution to 
the war but that eveiy effort should also be made to prevent further 
escalation of the conflict. Luns said the first step toward a cease- 
fire and prevention of further escalation should be a reciprocal 
decrease in acts of war. Luns said The Netherlands would favor a 
bombing halt if there were concrete indications this might induce 
Hanoi to be willing to negotiate. (New York Times. 20 May) 

U THANT, speaking before the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of 
America Convention on 2k May, said peace can be restored only "by 
a return to the Geneva Agreements, . .and. . .as a preparatory measure 
it would be necessary to start scaling down military operations and 
to agree to discussions which include the actual combatants. Per- 
haps,,, it will still be possible to arrive at an agreement between 
all powers concerned.! 1 U Thant said the five major powers — includ- 
ing Communist China — were among those powers concerned. He added, 
"the solution lies in the hands of those who have the power and the 
responsibility to decide..." not the United Nations. ( New York Times , 
' 25 May) 



June 1966 

Newsweek Magazine , on 6 June, reported Communist diplomats in 
Washington as saying North Vietnam had made a move toward initiation 
of peace talks using ROMANIAN intermediaries. (A high-level Romanian 
delegation visited Hanoi frcra 5-H May and stopped in Peking and Moscow 
later in the month.) Le Duan reportedly told Romanian official BODNARAS 
that the DRV would not come. to a peace table "on its knees" but was 
interested in exploring a peaceful settlement. 

Le Monde (31 May) reported an "important UN personality" had hinted 
the Romanian government was trying to persuade Peking to accept negotia- 
tions on Vietnam with the United States. The article said the Romanians 
had taken soundings in Peking and would continue to work toward agree- 
ment even though they had little hope of success. 



22 






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An Agence France-Presse report of 11 June mentio.npd an 

atmosphere of optimism in Hanoi that the DRV tcould win 

peace on its terms. "Informed sources 11 reportedly said 

all of North Vietnam's allies except China desired an 

end to conflict. The forthcoming visit of Jean Sainteny 

may provide an opening for peace moves, according to the 

report. And Pham Van Dong reportedly said Vietnam is in b f 

favor of neutralization but feels the time is not ripe | 

for this solution. 

In early June, Canadian AMBASSADOR ROOTING told the Canadian Par- ' 

liament he had tried to persuade Hanoi to make a "corresponding move" 
in response to a US cessation of bombing, but had received a negative 
response. Agence France-Presse (22 June) reported 'Veil- informed 
sources in Hanoi" said North Vietnam had rejected US proposals trans- 
mitted by Ronning. Agence France-Presse said this conformed with DRV 
hard-line policies and objectives of resistance and victory. These 
sources did not feel Hanoi was "intransigent", however, although nego- 
tiations at this time were rejected, negotiations at another time were 
not impossible. 

An optimistic interpretation of the Ronning Mission in the Wash - 
ington Post (26 June) held that "informed Canadians" feel Ronning came 
back with a "speck of hope, with a possible opening, with something 
more than nothing". But the article added, in terms of hard substance 
the Ronning visit produced no change and yielded no suggestion of an 
acceptable basis for peace talks. Offsetting this report, George Ball 
said flatly the Ronning Mission produced "no encouragement that the 
North Vietnamese are prepared to come to the conference table." Robert 
McCloskey, speaking for the State Department on 23 June, said neither 
oral reports nor public statements indicated any change in the basic 
elements of Hanoi's position. "No acceptable basis for talks has yet 
been found. " And Dean Rusk told the SEATO Conference in Canberra, 
Australia: "There would be peace when Hanoi gave up its intention... 
(to),,. seize South Vietnam by force...! see no prospect of peace at 
the present moment." ( Washington Post , 2f June 1966) 

French official JEAN SA INTENT visited Hanoi and Peking (June to 
early July 1966) in an attempt to find some basis for a conference. 
A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement of 2^ June said the "French 
official" then in Peking had not succeeded in talking with Chinese 
officials. Agence France-Presse reported from Hanoi that Sainteny 
had "friendly conversations" with Ho Chi Minh and Pham Van Dong, but 
did not know results of the talks. Sainteny told Paris Match he j' 

thought Hanoi would reduce aid to the Viet Cong if the US 'kade a 
gesture." (Reuters, 26 July) And in September, Drew Middleton re- I 
ported Sainteny had said it was his impression that the DRV "might 



23 



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accept the opening of negotiations providing the US commits itself to 
withdrawing its forces according to specified schedules/ 1 Sainteny 
added he thought a US acceptance of U Thant's proposals would elicit 
a favorable reaction from North Vietnam and the KIP. ( Hew York Times , 
26 September 19 66) 

On 30 June, fuel depots near Hanoi >and Haiphong were bombed; on 
y June, PRESIDENT JOHNSON spoke in Des Moines and Qnaha of the US 
desire to meet with North Vietnam, to discuss a means to end the con- 
flict in Vietnam. Peking called his statements ''more US war blackmail." 
(New China News Agency, 1 July 1966) The bombings were said to have 
amoved all restraints on the Chinese." ( people's Liberation Army 
EM ily , 19 July) 

Hanoi called the bombings "criminal acts of aggression, " a new 
step in escalating the war" and an exposure of the "deceit fulness of 
US talk about peace." (VM, 30 June) NLF Central Committee President 
Nguyen Huu Tho termed the bombings an "act of suicide. . .another fren- 

ied step of escalation." Moscow called the air attacks a "particularly 
dangerous action" which demonstrated the US commitment to escalation 
pnd proved US talk of peace to be "mere emptly verbiage." ( Tass , 3 June) 

July 1966 

During June and July it was frequently speculated that private 
efforts were underway to arrange a peace conference. The New York Times 
(l July) said hints of a new British peace move were borne out by the 
announcement of Wilson's August trip to Moscow and reported the peace 
effort would be related to Britain's role as Geneva co-chairman 

The French magazine Enterprise reported that during a brief personal 
visit to Peking, Ho Chi Minh had told the Chinese, "If there are no new 
developments, we will have to come to terms (with the US) toward the 
middle of 1967." Ho reportedly asked both China and the USSR for 
"approval," to explore the possibility of a negotiated settlement. 
Enterprise said, "contrary to Peking, Moscow did not answer no." 
( Enter prise, 7 July 1966; Washington Post, 6 July 1966) 

According to Seymour Topping, senior American officials felt another 
diplomatic approach will be made to persuade Hanoi to negotiate, probably 
after the furor over bombing raids against Hanoi and Haiphong fuel depots 
had subsided. ( New York Times , 6 July) 

President Johnson said diplomatic reports indicated the opposition 
no longer really expected a military victory in South Vietnam but added 
he was "aware of the dangers of speculation" — that this might make the 



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L 



opposition more amenable to cease-fire talks, ( New York Tiines , 6 July) 
But U Thant said he knew of no recent developments likely to lead to a 
peace conference, ■ ( New York Times , 6 July) And George Ball cautioned 
that it may be "quite a long time' 1 before the changed attitude in Hanoi 
is translated into a political decision which could lead to an end to 
war. A Washington Post report (T July) said Mr. Ball was trying to keep 
President Johnson's optimism within bounds and noted that other officials 
f Lt Hanoi was trying to build the kind of public morale necessary for 
prolonged conflict. 

* 

Indian PRIME MINISTER GANDHI made a detailed proposal for negotia- 
t ;>ns within the framework of the Geneva Agreements on 7 July, She 
then visited Cairo, Belgrade and Moscow to discuss Vietnam and other 
issues. Mrs. Gandhi called on the UK and the USSR to immediately con- 
vene a meeting of the Geneva Conference and appealed for an immediate 
end to bombing in North Vietnam followed by a "cessation of hostilities 
as well as of hostile movements and actions on all sides throughout 
Vietnam." She said the ICC would have to safeguard a standstill mili- 
tary arrangement, suggested the Geneva Conference might guarantee the 
independence and territorial integrity of a neutral Vietnam and neigh- 
boring Laos and Cambodia .}£*/ 

The State Department welcomed this initiative, stated American sup- 
port for "...the reconvening of the Geneva Conference to bring about a 
settlement on the basis of the Geneva Accords of 195^ and 1962" and said 
a "cessation of hostilities in both North and South Vietnam could b§ the 
first order of business" at a new conference. South Vietnam also reacted 
favorably. 

■ 

TITO and NASSER supported the Gandhi proposal. PRIME MINISTER 
WILSON welcomed it, but added, "I would not feel that we ought to insist 
on a cease-fire as a pre-condition." (London Reuters, 7 July) 



10/ 

— f The Gandhi- Kosygin communique issued at the end of Mrs. Gandhi's 

Moscow visit expressed concern at the dangerous situation in South- 
east Asia, noted the intensification of hostilities in Vietnam and 
the extension of air raids to the vicinity of Haiphong and Hanoi. 
The communique called for an immediate end to bombings and said a 
"solution to the problem can be found only within the framework of 
the 195^ Geneva Agreements," Asked at a 29 July New Delhi press 
conference why communiques issued after her talks with Nasser and 
Tito (and Kosygin) had not supported her Vietnam proposals, Mrs. 
Gandhi said Hanoi had specifically asked the UAR and Yugoslavia not 
to discuss anything until bombing was stopped. A New York Times 
reporter (Lucas) said her statements confirmed a shift in position 
on Vietnam to one closer to the Soviet stand: that cessation of the 
bombing must precede negotiations. (New York Times, 20 July) 



25 












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N 



According to a Prague report, "responsible (Soviet) quarters" 
believe d"talks with Wilson on Vietnam would be senseless" given his* 
present attitude. (London Reuters, 7 July) 

Hanoi dismissed each point in the Gandhi proposal as imposing 
unacceptable obligations on North Vietnam- ( Quan Doi Nhan Dan , 19 July) 
Any bargaining or concessions granted in exchange for a US halt in bomb- 
ing was rejected. There is "no alternative Tt to the four point and five { 
point stands, said the article. j 

Chou En-lai and Foreign Minister Chen Yi berated the Gandhi pro- 
posal. Chou called it "rendering service to the US"; Chen Yi denounced 
this new evidence of US- Soviet collusion — now aided by "Indian re- 
actionaries" — and stressed the will of the Vietnamese people to fight 
and the Chinese readiness to help them. (New China News Agency, 
10 July)ii' Recent peace efforts by the USSR, Britain, ICC and India 
were termed a "new Munich plot" by Peking on 11 July. (New China News 
Agency) - ; 

A 19 September report in Blitz, a left-wing Indian weekly, said 
the Indian proposals had received "a good reception" but had not been J 

adopted because Cairo, Belgrade and Moscow had felt the initiative l 

should come from Hanoi. 

Following PRIME MINISTER WILSON 1 s trip to Moscow, the Soviet 
Foreign Ministry issued this statement: "The British Government con- 
tinues to proceed from support of the American aggression. . .although 
it disassociates itself f rom the American bombings of the suburbs of 

11/ 

— Jenmin Jih Pao (10 July) wrote: "The people should and can only 
rely on themselves to make revolution and wage people's war in 
their own country, since these are their own affairs. No outside 
aid can replace their struggle..." This is a bit different from 
Chen Yi f s pledge of willingness to assist the Vietnamese people 
wage war. On 16 July, Ho Chi Minh spoke in Hanoi reaf finning North 
Vietnam's determination to continue "until final victory." He said 
the DRV four points and the NLF's five point stand were the only 
basis for settlement and denounced the US "peace talk swindle*" 
Quasi-mobilization of reserve units was ordered the same day. 
Peking praised this speech: Chou En-lai premised China would take 
"any necessary action" to support Vietnam. (VNA, NCNA, 19 July) 

Pravda also noted Ho's speech, reiterated Soviet support for Hanoi 
and said there was "only one way to solve the Vietnam problem": US 
cessation of all acts of war and withdrawal of all forces. (20 July) 



26 









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Hanoi and Haiphong. , . .The Soviet Government, on the other hand, proceeds 
from support of the Vietnamese people's just struggle ... strongly condemns 
the U.S. criminal actions in Vietnam and believes that the solution of 
the Vietnamese question must be based on the well-known proposals (of 
the) DRV and the NFLSV." ( Tass , 18 July) 

A 20 July GW proclamation described Saigon's position. It said 
South Vietnam is prepared to cease all military activity if the Com- 
r nists, with the approval of North Vietnam, halt their expansionist 
ambitions supported by aims. This requires that Hanoi (i) withdraw 
troops and political cadres operating covertly in the South; (2) dis- 
solve the so-called NLF and cease all military activity and sabotage 
£ d renounce all subversion in the South; (3) respect the spirit of the 
Qeneva Accords to allow the population of the South freely to determine . 
its own fate according to democratic principles. Bombing of the DRV 
would be halted if these conditions are met and effectively guaranteed. 12/ 



Japanese PREMIER SATO, during a visit from Soviet FOREIGN MINISTER 
GR0MYK0, said Japan was ready to hold an international conference on a 
peaceful settlement in Vietnam and indicated he would seek Gromyko's 
help in instigating a peace move. (Tokyo. Kyodo , 21 July) But 
Qromyko rejected Sato's appeal, saying, "The Soviet Union is not a 
country involved in the Vietnam conflict; it is not intending to con- 
vene a conference on its own accord." Tokyo's JiJi of 26 July reported 
Gromyko had urged Sato to press the United States to pull out of 
Vietnam because this was the only way to end the conflict. 

French newspaper Figaro (27 July) interviewed the Agence France - 
Presse Hanoi correspondent, Jean Raffaelli. Raffaelli said the DRV 
leadership foresaw a military victory in Vietnam. The recent mobiliza- 
tion indicated Hanoi had not exhausted her manpower, that there were 
still enough men to fight a war of ground resistance; he felt offers 
of foreign "volunteers" would be refused as long as possible because 
Hanoi did not want to internationalize the war. Raffaelli said U.S. 
bombing of oil depots (29, 30 June) made resistance the only course 



12/ But in U.S. News and World Report, 25 July, Premier Ky is quoted 
saying he thought an invasion of North Vietnam was needed to win 
the war: "Sooner or later, we, as free men, will have to face 
the Chinese Communists. And I think it's better to face them 
right now than in five or ten years . " Ky added, "We have no 
desire to invade North Vietnam because this is a war of self- 
defense" but if Hanoi "insists on continuing aggression" it 
must be "punished and its sanctuary destroyed." 



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4 



of action open to Worth Vietnam: capitulation was impossible and nego- 
tiations undesirable when they might appear dictated. The DRV leader- 
ship was said to be united in the desire to see a "Vietnamese Vietnam" 
and the North Vietnamese confident in their leaders. Raffaelli said' 
aid from communist countries had greatly increased and felt the nations 
with greatest influence in Hanoi were Russia, China, the UAR and France. 
(Raffaelli later said he thought Peking's influence was so dominant in 
. Hanoi that Russia could only act as a brake against China.) Although 
Hanoi was probably working toward peace, said Raffaelli, attainment of 
a favorable and tough position first was considered indispensable. 

In a written response to questions posed by Harrison Salisbury of 
the New York Times , Cambodia 1 s PRINCE SIHANOUK suggested the key to 
settlement lay with the Viet Cong, not China or Worth Viet -am. He said 
, the U.S. might well find that a means of resolving the conflict "...is 

perhaps within your hand's reach, not far from Saigon Itself." Sihanouk 
said the NLF might prove to be an appropriate partner for negotiating 
an end to the conflict because they had the largest popular support, 
best represented the aspirations of South Vietnam and were thus quali- 
fied to be an "interlocuteur valable" or valid participant in negotia- 
tions. Salisbury noted that de Gaulle's recognition of the Algerian 
Liberation Front as an "interlocuteur valable" had paved the way for 
the end to the war in Algeria. ( New York Times , k August) 

An emissary of Philippine FOREIGN MINISTER MARCOS reportedly 
interviewed Peking 1 s Foreign Minister Chen Yi in late July to discuss 
,the possibility of a Chinese call for an Asian peace conference. 
Chen Yi reportedly accepted Marcos' sincerity in desiring to end the 
war but said Hanoi had repeatedly told Peking that third party media- 
tion would be fruitless unless DRV and HLF conditions were met. The 
conditions reportedly included withdrawal of U.S. forces and "recogni- 
tion of the NFLSV's political personality." (Agence France -Pre sse, 
Singapore, 1 August) 

August 1966 

On 6 August, Foreign Ministers of Thailand, Malaysia and the 
Philippines (the Association of Southeast Asia, or ASA) called for 
Asian nations to join In a peace appeal directed to the leaders of 
all countries involved in the Vietnam conflict. Diplomatic notes were 
sent to 17 Asian countries following the public announcement of this 
Asian initiative. 

Hanoi immediately denounced the ASA appeal, calling it a "cheap 
farce staged by third-class henchmen of U.S. imperialism/ 1 The U.S. 
was charged with reviving the ASA "to cater for the U.S. aggression in 



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n 









Vietnam" and with "cynically playing the dirty peace fraud by means 
of their henchmen in ASA while stepping up their war activities in 
both Worth and South Vietnam... 11 ( Khan Dan , 8 August) Peking had 
scored the Asian conference idea in similar terms in a 7 August 
broadcast. The NIF, Cambodia and North Korea also refused to attend 
an Asian conference. 

The US, South Vietnam and Japan supported the Asian initiative; 

other invitees were rather lukewarm. No conference was held. 

* 

On 17 August, Le Monde reported on speculation that the United 
Nations would be the forum for new peace efforts. Rumors allegedly 
varied on the form of initiatives to be taken but neutral, especially 
Asian, nations were expected to play key roles. Certain Asian dele- 
gations were supposedly prepared to put forward resolutions calling 
for a cease-fire and negotiations in Vietnam; they were assured of 
support from U Thant and Afghanistan diplomat Pazhwak. Other rumors 
said U Thant himself had recently set up contacts to make one last 
try for peace in Vietnam before deciding whether to be a candidate 
for re-election as Secretary General. According to Le Monde , all 
these efforts, through non-aligned nations, were designed to achieve 
a — ^ ac ^° cease-fire or de-escalation which would be accepted un- 
officially by both Washington and Hanoi. 

September 1966 

1 

POPE PAUL VI, in a 19 September encyclical, issued a plea for 
peace in Vietnam; he restated this appeal at the UN General Assembly 
on h October. The US supported Papal efforts to encourage a con- 
ference and/or mediate between disputing parties. But Radio Hanoi 
termed "pathetic 11 the appeals for peace made by "certain religious 
circles which have always chorused the US imperalists r peace song." 
(VNA, 23 September) 

At a September meeting, French FOREIGN MINISTER COUVE de MURVILLE 
and Yugoslavia's PRESIDENT TITO agreed that peace talks could not begin 
until the US stopped increasing military pressure in South Vietnam and 
halted the bombing over North Vietnam. Tito disagreed with the French 
estimate that the US alone held the key to peace, however, and main- 
tained that China and North Vietnam — in that order — were equally 
at fault. Couve reportedly said China could not block negotiations if / 
Washington wanted them to begin. (Washington Post, 16 September 1966)— ' 






13/ 



Theodore Draper, and others, mention a background press briefing 
given by Couve de Murville in Paris during mid-September 1966. 
These points were made: 

— Hanoi and Peking were willing to negotiate in I96I+ and again 
in early 19^5, but Washington refused to talk. 



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• 






. 



13/ (Continued) ' 

— About 18 months earlier (April/May 1965) Hanoi asked France to 
tell Washington that actual withdrawal of US forces was not a 
pre-condition to negotiations. 

--■ France had reservations about acting as an intermediary (appar- 
ently during the May 1965 banbing pause), but had agreed to do 
so. At that time, the contents of a letter from Secretary Rusk 
to the DRV had not been conveyed to Hanoi because Rusk had not 

, specifically asked France to do so, Couve said the letter 

changed nothing, that it arrived toward the end of the session 
and that France thought sane points needed clarification. For 
example, Couve wondered what the US meant by canmunist evacua- 

\ tion of South Vietnam: just Worth Vietnamese regular army troops 

or all of those in South Vietnam fighting against the US? 

— The US wanted to pre- judge the outcome of negotiations by saying 
i it would evacuate South Vietnam when its objectives had been 

attained — or, when the rebellion had been quashed and Saigon 
preserved. Couve said in any settlement, neither the present 
government nor the present non-communist alignment could be 
maintained. He felt no one knew what government in South Viet- 
nam would be like if the US left except that it would be neither 
the Ky government nor that of Hanoi, He felt it would be can- 
munist but not North Vietnamese conmunism. 

— Because the DRV and WLF have no faith in US statements, they need 
firm evidence of US intentions -- such as a US declaration to 
withdraw unilaterally according to a timetable. Couve defended 
the DRV military position (the US could turn on and off its mili- 
tary machine at will; guerrillas could not stop and start fight- 
ing the same way). 

-- The US was not taking sufficient advantage of differences between 
Hanoi, Peking, and the Front. Peking was satisfied with the pre- 
sent situation, but Hanoi was not unalterably opposed to negotia- 
tions. Hanoi, said Couve, is also aware of the long-range threat 
to Vietnam posed by Communist China. This awareness explains 
DRV interest in a solution which includes a guarantee of Viet- 
namese neutrality. The NLP does not want to be taken over by 
Hanoi; it wants to maintain a separate status ^ at least for the 
foreseeable future. (See Draper's The Abuse of Power) 






30 



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Le Monde quoted a 19 September radio broadcast in which Couve 
de Murville said France has never proposed and "does not intend in 
the future in any way to propose her mediation between the govern- 
ments of the United States and North Vietnam" because France does 
not feel it would be useful. He said that because Communist China 
and North Vietnam do not belong to the United Nations , he did not see 
it possible to engage in discussions of Vietnam -- either in the 
Security Council or the General Assembly. 



On 22 September, AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG outlined U.S. peace proposals 
in a speech to the UN General Assembly- He said: "We are prepared to 
order a cessation of all bombing of North Vietnajn the moment we are 
assured, privately or otherwise, that this step will be answered 
promptly by a corresponding and appropriate de-escalation on the other 
side." Saying there need be no fear that the U.S. would establish mili- 
tary bases in Vietnam, Goldberg said "...the U.S. stands ready to with- 
draw its forces as others withdraw theirs." He asked if North Vietnam 
would be willing to agree to a "timed schedule for a supervised phased 
withdrawal of all external forces, including those of North Vietnam." 
On the question of Viet Cong representation in negotiations, Goldberg 
referred to President Johnson's statement that this "would not be an 
insurmountable problem." 

Radio Hanoi, 23 September, called "hypocritical" Goldberg's saying 
the U.S. was prepared to halt bombing because that was followed by 
the "slanderous statement" calling for a corresponding and appropriate 
de-escalation on the other side. The broadcast scored the U.S. for 
failing to reconcile itself "to NFLSV as the sole genuine representa- 
tive of the South Vietnamese people," to admit that "any question and 
solution concerning South Vietnam should be discussed with the NLF." 
Goldberg was accused of trying to secure UN intervention so the U.S. 
could continue its aggression against Vietnam. Pointing to several 
incidents (including Secretary McNamara's announcement of 22 September 
that the U.S. would invest $7 million more in new plane production), 
Hanoi claimed there was enough evidence "...to lay bare the real nature 
of the new U.S. peace negotiations proposal." On 2k September, Premier 
Pham Van Dong said: "The UN has absolutely no right whatsoever to in- 
tervene in the Vietnamese issue." If the U.S. wants peace, he said, 
it must "recognize the four-point stand of the DRV government and show 
its good will by acts, that is, to put a definite and unconditional 
end" to bombing and other acts of war against the DRV. And the U.S. 
"must recognize the NFLSV as their (South Vietnam's) inter locuteur to 
solve all questions in South Vietnam." 

Despite the seeming contradictions between U.S. and DRV 
stands, AFP's Raffaelli reported from Hanoi on 25 Sep- 
tember that observers there felt a "step toward peace 
has seldom seemed as feasible as today , following the 



31 






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proposals put forward by Goldberg and the reply "by Pham 
Van Dong. " Raf f aelli felt the two men confined them- 
selves to three key points: the four-point DRV stand, 
America!} raids over Worth Vietnam and representation for 
the NLF. He said Washington and Hanoi were still far 
apart on these points but at the same time, closer 
together than before -- particularly on the question 
i of NLF representation at peace talks. Eaff aelli also 
claimed ".*.Fham made a remarkable omission from the 
list of North Vietnam's conditions for peace. For the 
I first time, there was no mention of the demand that 
j American troops should be withdrawn from South Vietnam 

before negotiations can begin." 

; The NLF said Goldberg's proposals "brought forth no truly new factor" 
and "refuted the role of the NFLSV, which is the true and sole representa- 
tive of the ...South Vietnamese people." (Liberation Radio, 27 September)!^/ 

Peking interpreted Goldberg's speech as a new U.S. peace talk 
"swindle" in collusion with the "Soviet revisionist leading group." (NONA, 
25 September) Soviet Foreign Minister Gro:niyko ? addressing the General 
Assembly on 23 September, said Goldberg's speech meant there were still 
no signs "...testifying to the seriousness of the intention of V/ashington 
to seek for a settlement ... and to stop the aggression against the 
Vietnamese people." ( New York Times, 23 September) 

Couve de Murville, also at the UN, echoed French President De Gaulle's 
call for the U.S. to set up a .schedule for withdrawal of its forces from 
Vietnam in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to the war, ( New York 
Times, 28 September) 

October 1966 

In early October, U.S. bombing in the eastern part of the Demilitarized 
Zone was halted temporarily. On 11 October, the DRV Foreign Ministry 
called this a "deceitful maneuver and cunning trick." The spokesman 
claimed the U.S. intends "to use the International Commission to legalize 
their criminal acts" in the DMZ. Hanoi demanded all bombing raids and 
other military activities in the Vhole of the DMZ be halted by the U.S. 



ihf On 15 September, Saigon's Vietnam Press quoted President Thieu as 

saying negotiations with the DRV are not possible now "because Hanoi 
still believes that it will be victorious." He said the GVN "does 
not advocate invading the North but whenever the situation requires, 
we may send troops over the 17th parallel." Thieu did not mention 
the NLF. 



32 



• 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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<, 



Peking called the bombing cessation a "clumsy trick" designed to "put 
across (the) big swindle of inducement to peace talks by a cessation 
of bombing" and accused the Soviet Union of collusion in the swindle. 
Joining Hanoi in charging the US with trying to enlist the services 
of the ICC, Peking observed that "the US has already torn the Geneva 
Agreements to shreds ...Has it any more right to talk about supervision 
o- the International Commission? (NCNA, 13 October) 

i 

At a 13 October press conference, PRESIDENT JOHNSON said he would 
be interested in a bombing pause if assurances were given that it would 
b reciprocated. He noted the lack of reciprocation during two earlier 
pauses and said US troops could not be asked to "stand there with their 
liands in their pockets" unless there is seme sign that the other side 
would respond positively to a pause. (Ne w York Times , ik October) 

■ 

,- Bombing in the eastern DMZ was resumed on October l4. The follow- 
ing day, the Vietnam People T s Army high eemmand sent a message to the 
ICC calling attention to this fact, claimed that the US had continued 
to step up military activity in the DMZ and thus the "US announced sus- 
pension of the bombirg ...is but a swindle aimed at deceiving world 
opinion." The message demanded cessation of all air raids and other 
military activities in the DMZ, a halt to bombing of North Vietnam and 
to aggression in the south. 

Canadian EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER MARTIN said resumption of bomb- 
ing in the DMZ "has dashed immediate hopes of military disengagement" 
and that Canada regrets this action. He added Canada and India agreed 
on the potential role for the ICC as a channel to get negotiations 
started. ( Montreal Gazette , 21 October 1966) 

BRITISH SIX POINTS: UK Foreign Secretary George Brown said 
(6 October) that USSR Foreign Minister Gromyko had declined his invi- 
tation to join in reconvening the Geneva Conference and Britain had 
decided to act alone. A fairly detailed six point plan for negotiations 
was announced. 

First, Brown said a conference of parties to the war and other 
interested governments should meet as soon as possible. He saw no 
reason why the Viet Cong should not be represented and welcomed US 
assurances that this would not be an insurmountable problem. When the 
principle of holding a cpnference was accepted, but before it convened, 
US bombing should stop (to recommence only if the conference met, failed 
to accomplish anything and war resumed); both sides should de-escalate 
military activities; as soon as possible, a preliminary cease-fire 
should be declared. The conference could then begin to work for: a 



33 



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v 



permanent cease-fire; provisions for free elections and general amnesty 
for all; neutralization of North and South Vietnam; an agreement on a 
timetable for withdrawal of US and OTA troops from South Vietnam. All 
of this would be accomplished under international inspection and control* 
Finally, a strengthened ICC would have an international peace-keeping 
force at its disposal (as in Cyprus) to assure all that the final settle- 
ment was respected. 

■ 

Hanoi Sternly rebuffed" the plan, called it "a rehash of US oft- 
repeated blackmail/ 1 claimed the UK "simply tried to conform to the 
obdurate stand of the United States which has not yet reconciled itself 
with recognizing the HFLSV as the sole and legal representative of the 
people in South Vietnam," The 8 October Hhan Dan article said provisions 
for free elections and an international peace-keeping force ran completely 
counter to the 195^ agreements. 

The JSLP denunciation of Brown's proposal followed similar lines: 
"Along with Johnson 1 s and Goldberg's hypocritical utterances, Eisenhower's 
threat to use nuclear weapons and the absurd six-point Proposal of the 
British Foreign Secretary George Brown, the pathetic call for peace 
issued by the above-mentioned people can only serve the war policy of 
the United States." (Liberation Press Agency, 9 October) 

Peking scored the British plan ~ as well as the Vatican peace appeal 
and U Thant's three point proposal. The Chinese claimed Brown's plan 
shifted the "criminal responsibility for the constant escalation" from 
the US to the DRV, "the victim* of aggression, " that it called for NFLSV 
participation in negotiations as "an independent party. " Peking ridi- 
culed the call for a political settlement based on Geneva because "the 
Geneva Agreement has already been torn up by the United States." 
(NCKA, T October) 

Moscow said Brown's ideas were T *bare of any constructive proposals 
for settling the Vietnam problem" and linked them to earlier Goldberg 
statements. As for calling a new conference, the broadcast said "old 
decisions should be first carried out. The Americans must stop their 
aggression and all foreign troops must be withdrawn from South Vietnam." 
(Radio Moscow, 6 October) 

The US welcomed the British proposal for an immediate reconvening 
of the Geneva Conference on 11 October. Ambassador Goldberg said, "My 
government is prepared to discuss the constructive proposals of the 
Foreign Secretary as well as all other proposals." 



i 



3^ 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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V 



POLAND and the SOVIET UNION, in a communique issued l6 October, 
"resolutely (condemned) the US aggressive actions in Vietnam," de- , 
II manded implementation of the Geneva Accords, an unconditional and final 

I halt to US bombing over North Vietnam and an end to US armed interven- 

I tion in the south, withdrawal of all troops and dismantling of all mili- 

tary bases; recognition of the NFLSV (as the only true representative 
of the people of South Vietnam) and the possibility for the South Viet- 
namese to settle their own affairs themselves. 

Speaking before the UN General Assembly on 18 October, HUNGARIAN 
i FOREIGN MINISTER PETER said: "in the interests of negotiations and 

I ' peace, the bombing of North Vietnam should be stopped without delay 
I and without any threat of possible renewal. . .The withdrawbl of US mili- 

, tary bases and personnel should be properly guaranteed. .. (and) any 

I proposal that does not give due consideration to the program of the 

National Liberation Front is directed against the true interests of the 
people of South Vietnam. " A few days later, Peter gave a background 
briefing to the press in which he said the North Vietnamese could be 
expected to take any positive action toward negotiations as long as 
bcsabing of the DRV continued. If that stopped, he added, and "...the 
I occasion arising, the DRV would be prepared to honor the Geneva Agree- 

| ments, including the stipulations pertinent to the 17th degree of lati- 

tude." Peter claimed the NLF does not insist on presenting itself as 
the sole rightful representative of the Vietnamese people. And Peter 
reiterated a point made in his 18 October speech: withdrawal of US 
troops prior to negotiations is not required; adequate guarantees on 
eventual withdrawal are required. In response, AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG 
told the General Assembly (l8 October) the US had received much advice 
on the cessation of bombing but "would like to know privately or pub- 
licly what would happen if we followed it." Goldberg repeated the US 
offer to engage in "immediate discussions - through private informal 
channels or through more formal negotiations; " he added the US con- 
sidered principles underlying the Geneva Agreements as a basis for a 
peaceful and honorable settlement. 

ROMANIAN PREMIER MAURER said the US could end the var and create 
conditions for a cessation of the conflict by immediately and uncondi- 
tionally ending the bombing. (Bucharest AGERPRES, 28 October 1966) 

The MANILA CONFERENCE of nations contributing troops to Vietnam 
met) 2li-25 October. A communique declaring a determination to continue in 
the defense of South Vietnam as well as a commitment to work for a 
peaceful settlement was signed by Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, 
the Philippines, Thailand, South Vietnam and the United States. The 



35 



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Conference endorsed six essentials for peace presented by the GW: 

1. Cessation of aggression and externally supported terror; 

2. Preservation of the territorial integrity of South Vietnam; 

3- The partition of Vietnam will be respected until, by the free 
choice of all Vietnamese, reunification is achieved; 

k. When aggression has stopped the South Vietnamese people will 
move rapidly toward a reconciliation of all elements; 

5* As the military and subversive forces of North Vietnam are 
withdrawn, infiltration ceases and 'the level of the violence 
thus subsides,^ the people of South Vietnam will ask their 
allies to remove their forces and evacuate their installations, 
(participants said their forces shall be withdrawn as soon as 
possible - but no later than six months, after close consulta- 
tion - as the other side withdraws northward, ceases infiltra- 
tion and the "level of violence thus subsides "); 

6. Any eventual settlement must include effective international 
guarantees* 

Hanoi said the Manila Communique was a "demand for the Vietnamese 
people to lay down their arms and surrender, " that the US urged the 
"South Vietnamese people to stop their struggle for independence and 
freedom and the North Vietnamese "people cease supporting their southern 
compatriots." As it had during the weeks preceding Manila, Hanoi stressed 
the military complexion of the conference, claimed its real aim was to 
plan further escalation under the "camouflage" of seeking peace. 

The NLP called Manila a "conference of criminal leaders" and the 
peace proposals "insolent." A Liberation Radio broadcast on 26 October 
said Thieu and Ky had no right to say anything on behalf of the South 
Vietnamese, that only the NFLSV, "the only legal representative of the 
South Vietnamese people, can have a decisive voice." 

Peking said Manila was a "war council pure and simple" and the com- 
munique "smacked of gunpowder," (WCNA, 27 October) 



Radio Moscow called the pledge for troop withdrawal "nothing more 
than empty words" and added it "is linked with numerous conditions and 
reservations" which amount to demanding the capitulation of "the patri- 
otic forces of South Vietnam" before withdrawal of foreign troot>s will 






36 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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even be considered. Moscow said the communique contained not "even 
the shadow of a hint" that the US would halt bombing nor any mention 
of (US) recognition of the NLF. Manila seemed to confirm "the US 
aggressors are proceeding along the same dangerous course of continu- 
ing military adventures in Southeast Asia." (Moscow Radio, 26 October) 

A TRIPARTITE COMMUNIQUE was issued 2k October by INDIA, YUGOSLAVIA 
ari the UAR, after a New Delhi meeting. ' These countries voiced concern 
c sr the dangerous situation in Southeast Asia, called for an immediate 
and unconditional end to bombing of North Vietnam and asserted "the im- 
plementation of the Geneva Agreements of 195** and the withdrawal of all 
foreign troops would lead to peace." Nasser reportedly said if there 
w re North Vietnamese Army troops in South Vietnam, they would have to 
withdraw along with the Americans, Koreans and others. The Communique " 
said the NLF would have to participate as one of the main parties to 

any peace effort. 

• 

Hanoi and the NLF did not comment on either conference or communique 
Peking, however, accused Mrs. Gandhi and Tito of trying to "peddle the 
peace fraud. . .concocted by the US and the Soviet Union" and labeled the 
Vietnam statements "a reproduction of U Thant's three-point f r>eace 
proposal. f " 



Novem ber 19 66 

DRV Representative in Paris, MAI VAN BO, said (7 November) the US 
should recognize the four points, prove its good faith by ending the 
bombing and other "war actions against the DRV" and recognize the NLP 
as the spokesman to solve all the questions in South Vietnam." Bo said 
the Geneva Accords are the "most logical and sensible position for a 
correct solution of the Vietnam problem and are not subject to haggling. " 
The same line was taken by the NLF representative to the Albania Workers 1 
Party Congress on k November. 

In an interview between Wilfred Burchett and NLP Chief Nguyen Van Tho 
broadcast by Radio Havana (h November), Tho said the broad NLF program 
could encompass other political, religious and patriotic organizations 
in South Vietnam. All would have to accept the program, he added. Con- 
ditions for a "correct political solution" listed by Tho included: (l) the 
US must cease aggression, withdraw all troops and dismantle all bases; 
(2) the US must respect the right of the South Vietnamese to settle their 
problems themselves -- including reunification; (3) the NPLSV, "the sole 
genuine representative of the South Vietnamese people must have its 
decisive place and voice in any political solution concerning South 
Vietnam. " 



37 






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Both Belgrade Tanyug (l November) and Agence Franee-Presse 
Hanoi (3 November) noted reports that Hungarian FOREIGN MINISTER 
PETER had recently visited Hanoi. Some speculated Peter's mission • 
was to establish some basis for peace talks, 

Canada's PAUL MARTIN held talks in Warsaw in early November and 
met Soviet leaders in Moscow on 9 November. Martin later told the 
Canadian House of Commons he had suggested steps which might be taken 
"to lead us away from a military toward a political settlement. 11 



ii 



Canadian diplomat CHESTER RONNING, in a 12 November speech said 
North Vietnam will begin talks on no other basis but a cessation of 
the bombing. . .(which would )... pa ve the way for Russia to intervene 
and help provide a framework for negotiations, T1 Ronning said the US 
would eventually have to withdraw troops but that this was not a pre- 
condition to negotiations. 

a 

A Le Monde report on the Bulgarian Party Congress (15 November) 
indicated some shifts in the positions held by several delegations. 
Bulgaria reportedly wanted iimnediate negotiations with no ;o re- condi- 
tions about cessation of bombing. Several demarches with the US and 
Hanoi had been tried but failed, allegedly because of the determining 
influence of pro-Chinese elements in the DRV ruling circle. But other 
reports from Sofia reflected virtually no change in attitudes. 

French Parliamentarian J. DUHAMEL^ interviewed by Agence France- 
' Press e and Figaro , discussed his recent trip to Hanoi. Duhamel said 
he was convinced the US should stop bombing to "demonstrate their 
good faith when they speak of peace." He felt bombing stiffened 
Hanoi's determination to continue the war, said it did not frighten 
the North Vietnamese; transportation, although slowed, had not been 
interrupted. Duhamel felt America over-estimated Hanoi's war weari- 
ness. He quoted Pham Van Dong as saying, "We would like to make the 
United States understand that we will continue to fight as long as the 
US Government believes it can dominate us by force." And Duhamel said 
Nguyen Xuan Tran, Secretary General of the Vietnam Committee for Peace 
Movement had stated. "If we do not obtain the necessary pre-conditions, 
the US has the means of stepping up its aggression whereas we will have 
lost our fighting spirit." (Or: if negotiations are begun without clear 
pre-conditions it will be interpreted by the Vietnamese as a willingness 
to stop half-way.) (Agence Franee-Presse, 20 November; Figaro , 2^-25 
November) 

At the conclusion of Czechoslovakian President Novotny's visit to 
India, a conmunicjue issued by the two governments demanded an immediate 
end to the bombing of North Vietnam and asserted a peaceful solution 



38 



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should be sought within the 195'+ Geneva framework. The CZECH- HO IAN 
communique said the Vietnamese have the right to decide their own 
future without outside interference. (This was different from earlier 
statements from neutral and East European sources in two ways. No 
attempt was made to blame the US-direetly or by implication -for the 
situation in Vietnam. And the words "without pre-conditions" were 
omitted from the appeal to stop the bombings. ) 

December 1966 

Circumstantial reports filed from two to five months after the 
event are the available public record of the POLISH INITIATIVE of 
December 1966. Robert Estabrook wrote that US Ambassador Lodge and 
the Polish ICC representative Lewandowski met in the home of the 
Italian ambassador in Saigon, on December 2 and 3* ( Washington Post , 
3 February I967O The Italian Communist Party organ, L'Unita 
(9 May 1967) said ten points of discussion in possible negotiations 
had been drafted by Lewandowski and the Italian ambassador as an exer- 
cise in diplomatic style* (The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed this 
on 10 May 1967.) Lodge apparently felt the ten points had more than 
style: he forwarded them to Washington for immediate review. On about 
h December, Lodge asked Lewandowski to set up "contacts ,r with Hanoi, 
Polish FOREIGN MINISTER RAPACKI next sent word that Hanoi had approved 
the ten points for discussion and had agreed to unconditional talks on 
the ambassadorial level in Warsaw, (On 9 May, Belgrade Tanyug confirmed 
this outline of the peace efforts and said both sides had approved the 
ten points.) 

Before talks could begin, however, US bombing over North Vietnam 
suddenly intensified: targets very close to the heart of Hanoi were 
struck - for the first time. On 13 and ik December, a railroad yard 
six miles from Hanoi and a truck depot five miles from the city were 
hit. The bombing raids killed the chance for peace talks in Warsaw. 

On 2 February, President Johnson said he was not "aware of any 
serious effort" toward negotiations, that there were no "serious indi- 
cations." On 7 February, Prime Minister Wilson told the British House 
of Commons he knew of the December events and attributed failure to 
begin talks to "a very considerable two-way misunderstanding." Wilfred 
Burchett, writing from Hanoi, said talks were aborted by the bombings 
of December 13 and 1^. (Washington Post, 8 Februaiy 1967) 

A DRV statement of 15 December claimed the "frenzied bombings of 
Hanoi" exposed the US peace talk swindle as a move to "camouflage the 
new escalation of the criminal war of aggression." (VNA, 15 December) 



r 



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Peking denounced the raids as part of the "peace talk plot" of the US 
and the USSR. (NCNA, 15 December) And a Soviet Government statement 
called the bombings "new evil deeds" which will lead to "farther serious 
aggravation of the international situation." 



Canadian Secretary Martin said his government had been trying to 
promote the extension of the Christmas truce but that efforts had been 
r de more difficult by recent US bombing of the Hanoi area. (Canadian 
Broadcasting System, l6 December) 

POPE PAUL VI appealed for an extension of the then-announced 
C ristmas and New Year truces on 8 December. He hoped "...this truce 
becomes an armistice. . .the armistice, . .the occasion for sincere nego- 
tiations. . .which will lead to peace." U Thant endorsed the Pope's 
appeal; the White House said the US Government fully shares the desire 
of the Pope for a peaceful solution and "his suggestions have always 
received sympathetic consideration on our part, as will his most recent 
proposal." (8 December) 



The WLP reacted negatively. A Liberation Radio broadcast (10 Decem- 
ber) implied the Pope's proposal was meant to take advantage of the 
Front's original "humanitarian" offer for a Christmas cease-fire. Peking 
noted the Pope's call but commented that he has "always served US im- 
perialism in its peace talk swindles." (itfCKA, 15 December) Hanoi said 
nothing. 

In a 19 December letter to U Thant, AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG referred 
to Pope Paul's appeal and asked the Secretary General to take all possible 
steps "to bring about the necessary discussions" which could lead to a 
cease-fire. Goldberg said the US would cooperate fully with Thant in the 
attempt to start discussions promptly and end them successfully. 

Peking said the Goldberg letter was a virtual confession that the 
US was pursuing its "despicable scheme of forcing peace talks through 
bombing, " called it "undisguised and shameless blackmail" and criticized 
U Thant for again serving the US "peace talks fraud." There was no 
official comment from either Hanoi or the Front. However the Agence 
France-Presse correspondent in Hanoi reported on 22 December that the 
DRV was distrustful of any US peace proposal and specifically, Ambassa- 
dor Goldberg's letter to U Thant. The fact this proposal followed a 
week of bombing raids on Hanoi made the DRV think the US was using 
intimidation to force it to negotiate on US conditions. 

The official YUGOSLAV Party paper, Borba, saw a "ray of hope" in 
Goldberg's proposal and felt at last there might "be a change in the 
American point of view. " The paper said the best indication of US 






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goodwill would be an end to bombing of North Vietnam. (Belgrade Tanyug, 
20 December) 

Radio WARSAW (22 December) reported U Thant had undertaken a new 
-- and strictly private — mediation initiative. The commentary said 
it was rumored that U Thant had presented proposals to the NLF through 
the Algerian Ambassador to the UN; proposals included an extension of 
the cease-fire, NLF participation in talks, and others. 

U THANT replied to the Goldberg letter on 30 December. He stated 
his strong belief that his three point program, "of which the cessation 
of the bombing of North Vietnam is the first and essential part, is 
necessary to create the possibility of fruitful discussions leading to 
a just and honorable settlement of the problem of Vietnam on the basis 
of the Geneva Agreements of 195^* " He urged the US to stop the banbing 
"even without conditions." 

MAI VAN BO, on 5 January 1967> said his government "r ejects all 
intervention by the United Nations in the Vietnam affair for the good 
reason that this intervention would be contrary to the Geneva Agree- 
ments" of 195**-. The same day, Peking called U Thant "another lackey of 
US imperialism" and said his letter contained "the same stuff pulled 
out of Johnson 's portfolio." (NONA, 5 January) 



Pravda, discussing the letters and rumors of U Thant ! s new initia- 
I , tive, said if the US "unconditionally ceases the bombing of North Viet- 

nam and if all sides extend the New Year cease-fire" there "might follow 
some favorable developments." (TASS, 31 December) 

J MR. GOLDBERG then responded to U Thant r s letter. On 31 December, 

Goldberg wrote the US was willing to cease bombing North Vietnam "the 
moment there is an assurance, private or otherwise, that there would be 
a reciprocal response toward peace from North Vietnam." He noted that 
an end to the conflict cannot be attained by appeals for restraint by 
one side, welcomed the idea of an extended holiday cease-fire but re- 
gretted the "other parties oncerned have shown no interest so far in 
such a cease-fire." ( New York Times , 1 January 1967) -. 

■ 

British Foreign Secretary BROWN, on 30 December, proposed a three- 
day meeting of the US, DRV and GVN to arrange a cessation of hostilities. 
He offered to make facilities available in any suitable British territory 
and to help with preparatory work. Pope Paul VI welcomed the proposal; 
President Johnson said he was "delighted to have (Britain's) views and 
their suggestions." He added the US was "rather anxious to meet. . .anywhere, 
any time, that Hanoi is willing to come to a conference table." (l January 
196T press conference) Hanoi, again, called the British proposal a rehash 
of the "deceitful shopworn clamor of the US imperialists" condemned Brown's 
failure to include thfe NLF as a participant at the proposed conference and 
claimed the initiative ran counter to Britain's responsibilities as Geneva 



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Co-Chairman, (VNA, 3 January 1967) The NLF echoed Hanoi's feelings 
on h January; Peking called Brown's suggestion a "new trick of the 
great peace talk conspiracy... 11 (NCNA, 5 January 1967) 

January 19 67 

On 2 January 1967, New York Times man HARRISON SALISBURY interviewed 
PHAM VAN DONG in Hanoi. Dong stressed the four points were not to be 
considered as "conditions" for peace talks but as providing a ,f basis of 
settlement of the Vietnam problem. " He added that they were to be under- 
stood as "valid conclusions for discussion," or matters for discussion. 
The !t big question is to reach a settlement which can be enforced, " he 
said, adding it was up to Washington to make the first step. ( New York 
Times , 4, 8 January) 

The Vietnam News Agency clarified one part of Pham Van Dong's state- 
ment on 6 January, saying the Premier "actually told Mr. Salisbury 'the 
four-point stand of the DRV constitutes the basis of a settlement of the 
Vietnam problem. ' " 

On 5 January, MAI VAN BO said if the US stopped bombing his country 
"definitively and unconditionally, " Hanoi would "examine and study" 
American proposals for negotiations to end the war. He said the US tT must 
first recognize the NFLSV, which is the only authentic representative of 
the South Vietnamese people, to negotiate with them and settle all ques- 
tions of South Vietnam." He said, "Hanoi insists that the US recognize 
the four point program as a basis for a settlement of the Vietnam prob- 
lem and demonstrate its goodwill by stopping the bombing of NVN defini- 
tively and without conditions." 

New York Times, 6 January 

Tokyo's Akahata , 1 January, published Ho Chi Minh's written 
reply to questions submitted previously. Ho was quoted as 
saying "any measure to settle the Vietnam problem should be 
based on the DRV's four point proposal and the NFLSV's five- 
point proposal." Ho said the recent bombings and increased 
troop commitments were an intensification and expansion of 
the war indicating the fraudulent nature of US peace initia- 
tives. 

On 3 January, the German magazine Per Spiegel ran answers 
from Ho Chi Minh to another set of questions. Per Spiegel 
wrote the DRV president had said for peace to be "immediately 
established, " the US must withdraw her troops and those of 



42 



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■US satellites, stop bombing "unconditionally and forever" 
and respect the national rights of the Vietnamese people. 



U THAME, in a 10 January speech, described the National Liberation 
Front as an "independent entity analogous to the Liberation Front of 
Algeria. He said, "there will be no move toward peace so long as the 
bombing of North Vietnam is going on." Thant disputed the domino theory 
and said there were "basic differences" of approach, concept, even 
assessment, between himself and the United States. ( New York Times , 
11 January) 

The New York Times of 26 January reported diplomatic sources had 
said the US had quietly made informal but direct contacts with political 
representatives of the NLF. Contacts were probably in Cairo, perhaps 
other capitals as well. Sources reportedly said the discussions had 
failed to produce any tangible progress on significant issues and added 
they believed prisoner of war problems were among issues taken up in talks 

On 28 January, Australian journalist WILFRED BURCHETT reported on 
an interview with DRV Foreign Minister NGUYEN DUY TRINH. Burchett wrote 
Trinh appeared "conciliatory" that he had said the DRV four points were 
a basis for discussion — not demands or conditions. The four points 
were called the "basis for the most correct political solution to the 
Vietnam problem." Trinh said his government would talk "only after the 
unconditional cessation of US banbing" and other acts of war against 
. North Vietnam. He made no demand about the situation in South Vietnam, 
no demand that the US recognize the NIF, Burchett reported. And, accord- 
ing to Burchett, Trinh implied that the four points took precedence over 
the more hard-line, five-point stand of the NFLSV. Nhan Dan reiterated 
the Trinh proposals on 29 January. 

On 30 January, HUYNH TAN PHAT, vice president of the NLF Presidium 
said the Front "fully approves and supports this correct stand and atti- 
tude (Trinh r s statements) of good will..." But Phat did net mention 
Trinh 1 s references to talks; he differed from Trinh' s statement that the 
four points were the only correct basis for a Vietnam settlement by add- 
ing the NLF five points as part of that correct basis. By stressing the 
unity of North and South Vietnam and talking of familiar Front demands 
(withdrawal of US troops, recognition of the NLF, and so on) Phat pre- 
sented a less "conciliatory" stand. Some interpreters felt Phat implied 
a fear that Trinh had signified Hanoi's willingness to stop supporting 
the Front and to go it alone at peace talks with the US. They felt Phat, 
by reiterating long- familiar and fairly hard demands, tried to head-off 
such a move. (VNA, 31 January) 



Two other statements were pertinent to the Trinh interview. Speak- 
ing at a Phncm Penh press conference, DRV Representative to Cambodia 
Nguyen Thuy Vu said "if the US unconditionally ceases its bombing and 



■ 

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o- ■ . 

all other acts of war against North Vietnam, in such condition, there 
could be conversations between the DRV and the United States.' 1 DRV 
■ Ambassador to the UAR, NGUYEN XUAN, said if the US really wanted to 

hold talks or make direct contacts with North Vietnam it must uncon- 
ditionally stop its air raids and hostilities against the DRV. 
(London Reuters, 3 February; Cairo MEJNA, 1, 2 February) 

Feoruary I967 

■ 

• At a press conference, 2 February, PRESIDENT JOHNSON said "just 
a', lost any step" would be enough to warrant the suspension of US bomb- 
ing of North Vietnam. The President said bombing would stop if North 
Vietnam reduced its assistance to the South; "¥e are looking for a 
sign" that they are ready to do so. But he also said: "I am not aware 
of any serious effort that the other side has made, in my judgment, to 
bring the fighting to a stop and to stop the war." He reaffirmed the 
"deep interest of the United States in a prompt and peaceful settlement 
of all the problems in Southeast Asia." ( Washington Post , February 3) 

i A Nhan Dan "Commentator" article said President Johnson's press 
conference remarks showed "he still refused to end definitively and 
unconditionally the bombing of the DRV. . .but also arrogantly put con- 
ditions for the ending of the bcmbing." Commentator said the recent 
statements of Ho Chi Minh, Pham Van Dong and Nguyen Duy Trinh have won 
wide world support; the article called Trinh T s statement "full of good 
will," one which "corresponds to reason." Nhan Dan reaffirmed Trinh' s 
pronouncement that "only after the US ends definitively and uncondi- 
tionally the bombing and all other acts of war against the DRV can 
there be talks between the DRV and the United States." (VNA, 5 Febru- 
ary) 



Another "Commentator" article denounced the US for failing to 
"give up their sinister designs" even in the face of the "Vietnamese 
people's good will." It repeated Trinh f s statement on the possibility 
of talks if the bombing ceased and biased President Johnson's February 
2 press conference statements as a demonstration of "US obduracy." 

Burchett, writing from Hanoi on 6 February for Tokyo's Yomiuri 
said "Hanoi feels that it has opened the door with Nguyen Duy Trinh' s 
statement and that it is up to Washington to make the next move." He 
said "observers in Hanoi" stress any political settlement should be 
based on the DRV's four points and these points "contain important 
concessions which should make a face-saving American withdrawal possible." 
Burchett condemned President Johnson's statements of 2 February as a sign 



. 



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that "US peace offers are empty words" but concluded by saying "Hanoi 
is confident it has demonstrated its good will and is still hoping, 
despite Johnson's press conference remarks, that Washington will show 
some modicum of good will.* 

Soviet commentators emphasized the sincerity and significance of 
Trinh' s statement, A TASS report from Hanoi said "legitimate indigna- 
tion in Hanoi met President Johnson's statement of February 2 that he 
allegedly did not see any efforts by the DRV Government for the attain- 
ment of peace in Vietnam." TASS said the President "essentially ignored" 
Trinh 's statement, (TASS, k February) 

In The Washington Post of 8 February, Burchett reported that Foreign 
Minister Trinh said if the bombings cease completely, good and favorable 
conditions will be created for the talks, "President Johnson 

said he was only awaiting a sign. Well, he's had the sign ; "THMrt A'DPt. O* 

Indian FOREIGN MINISTER CHAGIA (8 February) issued a 
statement calling for an extension of the Tet cease-fire 
"indefinitely and unconditionally; " he appealed to the US 
to "stop bombing North Vietnam unconditionally and inde- 
finitely." Chagla said "the Government of India notes with 
satisfaction" Trinh 1 s statement on the possibility of 
negotiations once the bombing is stopped. ( New York Times, 
9 February) 

An Izvestiya comnfentator wrote, "The DRV has declared 
its readiness to start negotiations on a peaceful settle- 
ment of the conflict in Vietnam. " He said, the "termina- 
tion of American air raids on DRV territory would be a 
signal of a reverse process - limiting the scope of mili- 
tary operations and, finally, of their complete cessation." 
(TASS, 12 February) 

And in a 10 February speech, Poland's GOMULKA declared 
the first step toward a negotiated settlement in Vietnam 
should be the "unconditional cessation of bombing of North 
Vietnam, " ( Warsaw News Service , 10 February) 

A Burchett story for the Associated Press ran in the Washington 
Evening Star , 10 February. Burchett said Trinh' s statements to him 
revealed the DRV's four points are not preconditions to negotiations. 
He claimed the four points actually contained concessions when compared 
to the 195^ Geneva Agreements. The Geneva Agreements called for reuni- 
fication by 1956, whereas the four points "makes an important concession 
on the indefinite postponement of reunification." Burchett added the 



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"four points were specifically formulated to facilitate American dis- 
engagement." He said the Front's representative in Hanoi said that 
negotiations between Hanoi and the Ky Government are an impossibility, 
since the latter is considered as representing no national interests 
or any sections of the population. When asked by a Czech newsman 
about what would be discussed if talks between the DRV and the US 
actually take place, Burchett replied the talks would deal with the 
four points. He reiterated that the four points contain compromises 
which would "give the United States a face-saving way out of its own 
dilemma in Vietnam." (Prague Domestic Service, February 6, reported 
the Czech news radio talk with Burchett.) 

At the same time, Robert Estabrook reported for the Washington 
Post that an EASTERN EUROPEAN PLAN FOR SETTLEMENT was said to be 
acceptable to Hanoi. The first phase of the plan would include a 
cessation of bombing, and the formation of a caretaker government in 
the south composed of representatives of the Ky government, the Front 
and other groups including the Buddhists. Following internationally 
supervised elections in South Vietnam, a new government would be 
foimed to discuss future relationships with the United States, Ky and 
the NFLSV. Estabrook said the communist diplomat who told him of the 
plan said Hanoi is agreeable, but he saw seme difficulty obtaining 
the consent of the Front. ( Washington Post , February 3) 

[On 6 February, Paris radio reported the DRV delegate general in 
Paris had denied a Newsweek story that the North Vietnamese had passed 
a message to Senator Robert j. # Kennedy through the Quai d'Orsay. Both 
the Quai and the US Embassy in Paris also denied the story.) 

i 
- 

POPE PAUL VI appealed for negotiations and peace in messages sent 
to Washington, Hanoi and Saigon on 7 February. In his letter to Presi- 
dent Johnson, the Pope hoped the Tet Truce "may open finally the way 
to the negotiations for a just and stable peace, " and asked that "in 
these days of truce," efforts for peace be increased. President Johnson, 
replying 8 February, said he shared these wishes of the Pope, but added 
that the US could not "reduce military action unless the other side is 
willing to do likewise" and consider a "balanced reduction in military 
activity." ( Washington Post , 9 February) 

Ho Chi Minh's reply to Pope Paul condemned the US for the Mon- 
strous crimes" committed in Vietnam, for violating the Geneva 
agreements and for seriously menacing peace in Asia and the world. He 
said peace can be restored in Vietnam if the US ends "unconditionally 
and definitively the bombing and all other acts of war against the DRV, 
withdraws from South Vietnam all US and satellite troops, recognizes < 
the NFLSV and lets the Vietnamese people settle themselves their own J 
affairs." He asked the Pope to use his influence to urge the US to 
respect the rights of the Vietnamese people. ( New York Times , ih Feb- 
ruary) 



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jft truce honoring the Lunar New Year (Tet) went into 
effect on 8 February. A cease-fire in ground action in 
South Vietnam and cessation of bombing over North Viet- 
nam lasted through 13 February. During this time, SOVIET 
PREMIER KOSYGIN was in London for talks with PRIME 
MINISTER WILSON. 

On 8 February, KOSYGIN said the: 

"Soviet Government considers that now, as in 195*S 
Great Britain, jointly with the Soviet Union and other 
countries, could make her contribution to the settlement 
of the Vietnam question on the basis of the Geneva agree- 
ments, which must be observed by the United States of 
America." He continued, "...the first step in this 
direction should be an unconditional cessation of American 
bombing and all other aggressive acts against the DRV. " 
Kosygin observed that according to the DRV Foreign Minis- 

| ter, this step is necessary "to enable talks between the 

DRV and the US to take place, " and concluded that the 
"Soviet Union welcomes this statement (Trinh's statement) 
and regards it as an important and constructive proposal 
for ending the war. " In the question period following the 
speech, the Soviet Premier continued his strong praise and 
endorsement of Trinh ! s statement. ( New York Times , 

j 9 February)-^' 

In Kosygin-Wilson talks on l6 February, Kosygin reportedly said his 
government was willing to encourage North Vietnam to de-escalate if the 
US would cease for good its bombing of the DRV- 

DEAN RUSK said there had been some diminution of North Vietnamese 
support to South Vietnam recently, but not of a magnitude to carry 
"political consequences." Rusk demanded "elanentary reciprocity" from 
Hanoi. (9 February press conference) 

On 8 February, a letter frcm PRESIDENT JOHNSON was sent (via Moscow) 
to HO CHI MINH. Ho received it on 10 February and replied on 15 February. 
The correspondence was secret until 21 Mar (the time of the Guam Confer- 
ence) when Hanoi released both letters. The exchange ties in with the 









=5/ Some observers say the Soviet Union associated itself with this 

"one-point" negotiating position (stop the bombing) because it had 
something to do with bringing it about. Burchett feels many Soviet 
bloc countries had urged Hanoi to accept this view for over a year, 
but that Hanoi had refused because it would have looked like weak- 
ness to the US and would have invited intensification of bombing 
raids. 



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Tet Truce, Kosygin -Wilson . talks In London, appeals for negotiations 
from Pope Paul and U Thant and other moves.* 

PRESIDENT JOHHSON's letter to Ho CM Mirih stated the North Viet- 
namese demands for "direct bilateral talks with representatives of the 
US Government provided that we cease f unconditionally' and permanently 
our bombing operations against your country and all military actions 
against it." Johnson noted this position had been confirmed in the last 
days by "serious and responsible" parties. (Perhaps Kosygin) Bat the 
President said two reasons made this position unacceptable: a halt in 
the bombing would tell the world that discussions were going on and Im- 
pair the "privacy and secrecy" needed for talks; secondly, North Vietnam 
| [ could use a halt to "improve its military position" in South Vietnam. 

Apparently to offset these drawbacks, President Johnson offered an 
I alternative. He said, "I am prepared to order a cessation of bombing 

against your country and the stopping of further augmentation of US 
forces in South Vietnam as soon >as I am assured that infiltration into 
South Vietnam by land and by sea has stopped." ^ 

DEAN RUSK presented basically the same position at the 9 February 
press conference mentioned above. He said North Vietnam "...must not 
expect us to stop our military action by bombing while they continue 
their military action by invasion." It is evident, he continued, that 
there has been "a systematic campaign by the Communist side to bring 
about the unconditional and permanent cessation of the bombing of North 
Vietnam without any corresponding military action on their side in ex- 
change for the possibility of talks -- talks which are thus far formless 
and without content." The Secretary said "we have been trying in every 
way known to us to Invite and to engage in such talks, but unfortunately 
I cannot report to you today any tangible forward movement in this direc- 
tion." (Department of State Press Release, February 9) 

16/ Two questions are x>osed by critics: If a halt in bombing was unaccept- 
able because it would impair the secrecy apparently necessary for dis- 
cussions, would not a bombing halt plus a halt to North Vietnamese 
infiltration also impair secrecy? Would the world be more deceived 
by the US proposal than by Hanoi's? 

And: Is it possible that both sides could improve their military 
positions in South Vietnam with or without a bombiYig halt? It is 
argued that although North Vietnam might try by all means to improve 
its military position during a truce — as it did during Tet, accord- 
ing to US reports — Hanoi could not improve it so much as to change 
the balance of military power in South Vietnam. It is further argued 
that fewer American lives might be lost by risking an improvement in 
North Vietnam's military position to get negotiations started. 

*See "Addenda" for account of the Ashmore-Baggs mission to Hanoi (mid- 
January 1967), Ashmore letter to Ho Chi Mnh (4 February 196?)j» Ash- 
/■ more charge that* the Administration negated his peace feeler (September 

I967) and Assistant Secretary Bundy's comments on the episode. 

kQ 



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o 












In a speech at Howard University on February 10, AMBASSADOR 
GOLDBERG analyzed Hanoi's conditions for a Vietnam settlement and 
concluded that the most difficult aspects for the US were the DRV's 
demand that the internal affairs of the South be settled according 
to the program of the NFLSV, and Ho Chi Mirih's subsequent but related 
demand that the US recognize the Front as the "sole genuine 
representative" of the South Vietnamese people and engage in negotia- 
tions with it. He reiterated his September 22 pledge that the US is 
prepared to order a cessation of the bombing if assured of a reciprocal 
response from the other side and renewed the US commitment to partici- 
pate unconditionally in either private or public negotiations, 
( New York Times , February 11 ) 

The same day, U IHANT appealed for an extension of the Tet cease- 
fire and an end to the US bombing of North Vietnam as the first step 
toward the conference table to end the war. He reiterated his con- 
viction that adoption of his three-point plan would "bring about a 
favorable climate for peaceful talks between the parties." 
( New York Times , February 11 ) 

■ 

PEKING denounced Secretary Rusk's February 9 news conference and 
Ambassador Goldberg's Howard speech. Peking labeled Rusk's statement 
"bellicose" and designed to further the US policy of inducing "peace 
talks" by halting bombing, "a policy to subjugate the Vietnamese people/ 1 
It claimed Goldberg's speech pressed the DRV to back down from its 
"resolute and just four-point "stand" and surrender. Both broadcasts 
repeated the standard Chinese formula for settlement; withdrawal of US 
troops. (NCNA, 10, 11 February) 

Kosygin and Wilson asked for — and won — a two day extension of 
the Tet cease-fire and bombing halt on 10 February. (A DRV Foreign 
Ministry statement called this "a deceitful trick" and a "US ultimatum 
insolently requiring the Vietnamese people to accept negotiations under 
US terms,") Reportedly, messages were exchanged between Washington and 
Hanoi through London. On 13 Februry, the last day of the then six-day 
truce, Wilson gave Kosygin the final, formal US offer to Hanoi. The 
proposal offered an end to bombing in exchange for a cessation of North 
Vietnamese assistance to the NLF, according to British and French press 
reports. Kosygin relayed the proposal to Hanoi and allegedly recommended 
Hanoi accept it. Hanoi did not: whether the DRV rejected or simply 
refused to reply to the US note is not clear. 

Also on 13 February, bombing of North Vietnam resumed. President 
Johnson said North Vietnam had used the truce for a major resupply 
effort of their troops in South Vietnam. (Budapest News Service report 
from Hanoi (15 February) said foreign observers there were disappointed 
the US had resumed bombing because there had been hope that the "very 
positive proposal" made by the DRV "may make the Americans see reason.") 



>*9 















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On lU February, Ho Chi Minh's reply to the earlier Papal appeal for 
peace was released. Ho hewed closely to the NLF's (hard) terms for final 
settlement - not talks. There is little similarity between the tone of 
Ho Chi Mirih's letter and Foreign Minister Trinh 1 s "conciliatory" state- 
ment of two weeks before 



.for 
17/ 



Apparently, three days elapsed between Ho Chi Mirih ! s receiving 
President Johnson's letter and the US resumption of bombing. Bombing 
resumed two days before Ho T s 15 February reply to the President was 
made. In his letter. Ho demanded that to start negotiations, the US 
must halt bombing of North Vietnam; to restore peace, the US must stop ! 

bombing and other acts of war against North Vietnam, withdraw US and 
satellite troops from South Vietnam, recognize the NLFSV and permit the 
South Vietnamese to settle their own affairs themselves. Essentially, 
he repeated the original DRV four point and NLFSV five point stands* 

Prime Minister WILSON, describing the joint efforts for finding a 
Vietnam settlement exerted during the Kosygin visit, told the British 
public on February lh that "last weekend I believe peace was almost 
within our grasp: one single, simple act of trust could have achieved ] 

it*" He elaborated that "the gesture by North Vietnam, which would 
have cost them nothing in terms of security, or even face, could have 
set in motion events which could have led to peace." Wilson said that 
although they had failed in this instance, the UK and the, Soviet Union 
would continue to work together to assist in achieving a settlement, 
( New York Times , 15 February) 

HANOI, MOSCOW, PEKING and others were vocal in their criticism of 
US resumption of bombing over North Vietnam. A Mian Dan "Commentator" 
article blasted the US for its failure to respond to Trinh 's request 
"that the United States stop its air raids against North Vietnam, so as 
to create favorable conditions for talks between the two sides. 1 ' After 



17/ 



It was speculated that the NLF - closer to Peking's line than Hanoi 
- had won this round, that the Front had objected to Trinh's January 
statement and had followed Hanoi's lead unwillingly. When the 13 
February bombing resumption "proved" the NLF was right in asserting theft 
talks \rere impossible and that everything must be done to "rid South 
Vietnamese of US influence," pro-Chinese elements in the DRV leader- 
ship, together with the Front, established (or re-established) a 
dominant policy-making position. Had the US "seized" the opportunity 
offered by Trinh, would NLF dissent have been able to prevent negoti- ■ 
ations? Critics of Administration policy say no; supporters argue I 
Trinh offered no substantial opportunity. It is hard to tell. But 
the US actions seemed to have eliminated any chance of learning the 
answer to the question. 



• 



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listing US public statements concerning a desire for unconditional 
negotiations it added "but as soon as the DRV Government declared 
that the two sides could have a talk after the United States had 
stopped for good and unconditionally its bombing of North Vietnam, 
it (the US) immediately changed its language." The article asserted 
all US protestations of willingness to talk "are merely aimed at fool- 
ing the people of the world and the American people and covering up 
their escalation acts," A February 15 Nhan Dan editorial scored the 
I US for demanding a reciprocal act from the other side for a cessation 

of bombing* It asserted "by this it wanted to use military pressure 
to force people to talk with them." (VMA. 15 and l6 February) 



On 1 March, Mian Dan accused the US of "changing its tune," The 
article said in January, McNamara had said the US would be willing to 
stop the bombing "without any action on their part preceding it, with 
no firm guarantee as to what they would do, but with just sane general 
indication of how they would act." Yet when "...Trinh showed the DRV 
Government's goodwill to be ready to talk with the US on the condition 
that the latter stop definitively and unconditionally its bombing raids 
and other acts of war against the DRV, the Johnson clique immediately 
changed its tune and in response. * .escalated further." Mian Dan said 
Trinh had expressed this goodwill in the Burchett interview. It 
claimed the US was trying to force the 'Vietnamese people to hold 
negotiations under (US) conditions, " said this could not happen and 
asserted "the best alternative for the US is to recognize the four- 
point stand of the DRV Government." (VM, 1 March 1967) 

SOVIET press response to the bombing resumption was one of dis- 
appointment that the US failed to accept Trinh" s proposal. One item 
f criticized the Resident for ignoring the DRV's constructive proposals, 

I another reported on the critical disappointment expressed by various 

prominent American and foreign politicians. A story from Hanoi char- 
acterized as a deliberate lie the attempt by the US to justify the 
bcmbing on the grounds that Hanoi had showed no effort toward a peace- 
ful settlement. In this connection, it referred to Trinh f s statement, 
and a series of "other serious steps, 11 as well as to Ho Chi Minh f s 
reply to Pope Paul. Kosygin, Podgorny, and Brezhnev stressed the im- 
portance of Trinh T s statement in speeches given during early March* 
Kosygin called it "an extremely important peaceful initiative" and 
castigated the United States for failing to respond. He said the recent 
escalation showed the US is not interested in peace. Kosygin also 
accused the Chinese Communists of "disregarding" Trinh 1 s statement. 
Podgorny said the "Mao Tse-tung group is opposed to the proposal and... 
its designs in connection with the war in Vietnam do not correspond 
with the views of the DRV Government." (Moscow Radio, 6, 9> 10 March) » 



i 



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r 



c 



A February 17 Mian Dan commentary bitterly attacked British Prime 
Minister Wilson Tor his activities in support of the US in Vietnam and 
specifically for his speech of February it before Parliament. It 
accused the British statesman of declaring he would use his influence 
to try to check a new escalation in Vietnam, but of then supporting the 
"US air war of destruction against the DRV. " It declared the British 
were not discharging their responsibilities as co-chairman of the 
Geneva Conference and accused Wilson of "playing the role of a cheaply 
paid advertiser of the Johnson clique's peace negotiation farce." 
(VNA, February 17) 



Star 



date- 






A story in the British Communist P&rty daily, Morn in ^ 
lined Hanoi, reported a DRV Foreign Ministry spokesman declared his 
government is ready to start negotiations as soon as the US permanently 
halts its bombing of Worth Vietnam. The dispatch, signed by a British 
subject teaching English in Hanoi, said the spokesman, in an exclusive 
Interview, told her "let the bombing of the north stop definitively and 
talks could commence, without however any suggestion that Hanoi will 
budge one total (sic) from the four-point stand which is the only basis 
for a correct settlement.' 1 The Morning Star also quoted the MFLSV 
representative In Hanoi as stating the Front might soon form its own 
"provisional government." (Paris AFP, February 17) 

In the most lengthy and authoritative COMMUNIST CHINESE comment 
on the current Vietnam negotiations situation, People's Daily Observer 
said the present Vietnam situation is at a "critical juncture" with a 
"major new conspiracy attempting to stifle the Vietnamese people's... 
struggle." The article blasted the recent Kosygin visit to England as 
part of the plot to "promote the 'peace negotiations' fraud of the 
United States." Observer said a US cessation of bombing is not a solu- 
tion for the war and the only remedy for the Vietnam problem is a com- 
plete US pullout. It claimed the US had previously said if there were 
only a hint of an agreement to talk peace, the US would be able to stop 
the bombing, but "now they are clamoring for a 'reciprocal' principle." 
The article described the US military situation in Vietnam as desperate 
and concluded by pledging the support of the Chinese people to Vietnam. 
(NCNA, February 20 ) 

- 

INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CHAGLA said the US had hinted that even 
if there were "a whisper" from Hanoi of a positive response, the bomb- 
ing would be halted. Chagla said Hanoi's response was "more than a 
whisper... it was a shout, as loud as you can possibly expect from the 
other side." Chagla asserted the Trinh statement constituted a definite 
shift in the position of Hanoi and the Front since they no longer in- 
sisted on all the pre-conditions they had laid down earlier for going 
to the conference table. (Hindustan Times, February 20) 






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<^ 



c 



In a conversation with Hew York Times 1 reporters on February 22, 
MAI VAN BO said the recent Trinh statement on the possibility of nego- 
tiations was an important gesture of good will toward the United 
States, He repeated over and over again that the halt of US bombing 
had to be "permanent and unconditional" because any cessation which 
was not clearly labeled "permanent and unconditional" would leave the 
"threat of bombing" intact and thus would constitute an unacceptable 
interference with the negotiations. Asked how a distinction could be 
made between a temporary and a permanent halt to bombing, he replied 
the US would have to declare at the outset that the halt was "permanent 
and unconditional." Bo said the Trinh offer constituted a basic change 
in DRV policy and added that the US demonstrated bad faith in its 
response. He said the four points were "the most correct solution to 
the Vietnam problem, and that the DRV regarded the NFLSV as the only 
"authentic representative" of the South Vietnamese people; thus peace 
could only come about if the US settled South Vietnamese problems with 
the Front. In a speech on February 24, Cambodia's Prince SIHANOUK 
stated Mai Van Bo had asked him to clarify that "the only condition 
the DRV poses for eventual conversations between North Vietnam and the 
United States is a definitive and unconditional cessation of bombing 
of North Vietnam, because the North Vietnamese will not talk under 
duress. As for the American demand for reciprocity In de-escalation, 
Mai Van Bo gave me the following explanation: T it would be impossible 
for the Government of Hanoi to stop helping and aiding its brothers 
in the South who must liberate themselves from invasion and American 
occupation. 1 '" (New York Times, 23, 2k February) 



During a television interview on February 22, AMBASSADOR HARRIMAN 
said "there 1 s some indication that they f re (Hanoi) coming around to a 
point where they may be willing to talk, and it looks at the moment as 
if it's more apt to be private discussions rather than something that 
would be public." Asked whether the US would be prepared to accept 
the Front as an equal in negotiations, he replied that should there be 
a formal public peace conference, "we will not, of course, accept them 
as a government" but "they could cane with Hanoi." ( New York Times , 
February 23) 

In late February, Hanoi protested to the ICC about US artillery 
bombardment across the DMZ (called a "new and extremely serious step 
of war escalation"); on 1 March, Nhan Dan termed the Viet Cong attacks 
on Danang and movement of (North Vietnamese) guns south of the DMZ as 
"reasonable reciprocity" for the new escalation steps taken by the U.S. 
The NLFSV representative to the DRV (28 February) called the "Johnson 
clique's" talk of peace a "mere hoax" and said the real US aim was to 
"cling to South Vietnam at any cost and perpetually partition Vietnam. " 






53 



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Q 



( 



The envoy said the US "attitude is always to continue bombing 11 and 
intensify the war — as was done in response to the Front's "humane". 
Tet suspension of hostilities and the DRV f s "good will" as expressed 
by Trinh. The press conference ended with the Front representative 
extending "all-out support to the just stand and good will attitude 
of the DRV government . " 

Wilfred Burchett (28 February dispatch frcm Phnora Penh) said the 
statement "presumably was timed" to coincide with the arrival in Rangoon 
of a delegation from Hanoi. Burchett noted "for the first time at this 
level the NFLSV Central Committee says it entirely supports the correct 
position of North Vietnam." Burchett claimed the Danang shelling was 
designed to demonstrate that "escalation can be a two-way street" and 
concluded by saying that "implicit in commentaries in the Vietnamese 
press and evident in private conversation (are) emotions ranging from 
surprise to bitterness that what was considered a very independent 
gesture --to find an end to the thread which could lead to talks and 
concrete results — has been misinterpreted and the response has been 
the most violent steps of escalation since the decision to start bomb- 
ing was taken, " 

A DRV delegation to Rangoon headed by Colonel Ha Van Lau, Chief 
of the North Vietnamese Liaison Mission to the ICC, arrived 28 Febru- 
ary. U Thont was also there. Thant said he knew of the mission's 
arrival but declined comment when asked if it had come to meet with 
him. ( New York Times , February 28) On 2 March in Rangoon, however, 
U Thant said he had met with the DRV delegation as a private citizen, 
not as Secretary General of the UN, denied having received a message 
from Ho Chi Minh and said "it is difficult for anyone to be optimistic 
(about peace) for the moment." Speaking in New York the next day, 
U Thant said the key to peace rests with the US and unless the US stops 
bombing unconditionally the war will be "prolonged and bloody." He said 
he was more convinced than ever that the "cessation of bcmbing of North 
Vietnam alone will bring about useful and meaningful talks." As a 
result of talks in Rangoon, U Thant said he had concluded "peace is not 
yet in s ight . " 

Senator Kennedy recommended the US stop bombing to test 
DRV intentions in a 2 March Senate speech. He suggested 
a one week time limit be set, that an international group 
inspect borders and ports and report any further escala- 
tion. Mr. RUSK replied "there is no reason to believe 
at this time that Hanoi is interested in proposals for a 
mutual de-escalation such as those put forward by Senator 
Kennedy." (New York Times, 3 March) 



^ 















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March 1967 

■ ii 

r 

- * 

INDONESIA, on 6 March, announced it would send an ambassador to 
Hanoi to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Vietnam war. Foreign 
Minister Malik said he was confident the US would be willing to with- 
draw troops after achieving a bilateral agreement, that the DRV will 
be willing to negotiate after the US stops bombing the north. On 
15 March, however, Malik said "we do not want to be named mediator be- 
cause we do not want to be caught in a difficult situation." He said 
"our opinion and that of other Asian states is that the US must first 
stop bombing if peace negotiations are to be initiated because, of 
course, the other side does not want to negotiate if the US is still 
bcmbing them." 

Peking cited reports from Djakarta which reportedly revealed the 
US had "recently brought in the notorious Indonesian rightwing military 
regime... to help them put over their peace talks fraud." Radio Peking 
denounced Malik for his statement of belief that the US really seeks a 
peaceful settlement in Vietnam. (WCM, March 16) 

According to an APT report from Hanoi (March 9)* the NLF represen- 
tative there was pessimistic about chances for an early peace because 
he felt the US wanted to "settle the Vietnamese conflict by arms" and 
therefore, "we have no choice but to fight until final victory." He 
reportedly said the Vietcong would agree to the gradual withdrawal of 
US forces if a peaceful settlement is reached and spoke of a "transitional 
period" after the war during which there would be separate governments in 
North and South Vietnam. He said the NLF wanted a "neutral, national 
coalition of the broadest base representing the most diverse tendencies, 
...but all with one common objective: getting rid of the US aggressors." 

PRESIDENT JOHNSON made a major foreign policy speech in Nashville 
on 15 March. He said the US is "ready at any time for discussions of 
the Vietnam problem or any related matter, with any government or 
governments, if there is any reason to believe that these discussions 
will in any way seriously advance the cause of peace." He also stated 
"we also stand ready to advance toward a reduction of hostilities with- 
out prior agreement. The road to peace could go from deeds to discus- 
sions or it could start with discussions and go to deeds." He stressed 
the importance of the principal of reciprocity, saying the "United States 
cannot and will not reduce its activities unless and until there is some 
reduction on the other side." ( New York Times , March l6) 

To this the DRV Foreign Ministry responded by calling "gangster 
logic" the US demand for reciprocity in terminating the bombing. A 
spokesman said Johnson's speech "showed that the US ruling circles were 
dead set about continuing to occupy South Vietnam"... it repeated the 



55 



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shopworn deceitful contentions about peace-" Hanoi said "to demand a 
de-escalation and cease-fire at a time when half a million American 
troops are occupying South Vietnam is to demand that the Vietnamese 
people surrender to the aggressors," The upcoming Guam Conference 
was called a "summit war council which will discuss the intensifica- 
tion and expansion of the war in a more serious manner," 



The NLF, Soviets and Chinese joined Hanoi in condemning the Guam 
Conference (20-21 March). All called it a war council, claimed new 
escalation would "be planned (Radio Moscow said "a new stage in the 
escalation" would be discussed and castigated the US for ignoring the 
"statement made by the DRV Government about its readiness to negotiate 
if US bombings cease"). Peking scored the "gang of monsters" which 
included Britain, India, Pope Paul, U Thant and the Soviets for assist- 
ing the US in its "peace talks swindle." 

The communique issued by President Johnson and the South Vietnamese 
leaders at GUAM expressed regret that Forth Vietnam had rebuffed "the 
numerous and varied efforts in recent months to bring about a peaceful 
settlement." The pledge to pursue peace was renewed. ( New York Times , 
March 22) 

V. The LBJ-Ho Chi Minh correspondence was made public on 21 March. 

Hhan Dan characterized President Johnson's letter as "evidence of this 
double-dealing US policy" and as a "new deceitful effort" by the US, 
The paper reiterated Trinh's statement of 28 January, said it "clearly 
expressed the good will of our government and people for such a peaceful 
settlement" and castigated the US for "brazenly" asserting there has 
been no sign from Worth Vietnam of a readiness to settle the problem 
peacefully." Khan Dan said the US call for a reciprocal DRV action 
"has been categorically rejected by the Vietnamese people." (March 22) 
According to a 22 March AFP report from Hanoi, observers there felt the , 
publication of these letters reflected a definite hardening of Hanoi f s 
position. The NIF praised Ho Chi Minh for exposing "the hypocritical 
arguments of the US imperialists." Calling Johnson T s letter "insolent 
words," the Front highlighted Ho's statement that "the Vietnamese people 
are determined not to submit to force..." (Liberation Radio, March 25) 

Peking's J enmin J ih Pao (27 March) asserted that by "honorable 
peace" the US means "the Vietnamese people must go down on their knees 
and surrender to (US) military pressure..." The Soviets were accused 
of acting as "the errand boy for the US 'peace talks' conspiracy" and '. 
of working "in. close collaboration with U Thant.* (KCHA, 27 March) , 



A Soviet commentator claimed Johnson's conditions for peace amounted 
to asking for a Vietnamese surrender, said Trinh and Ho had demonstrated 



56 



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their readiness to talk "but as long as American bombs explode on its 
territories j the DRV will not negotiate. 11 (Moscow Radio, March 23) 
And the Bulgarian Barty daily, referring to the Ho-LBX exchange on 
March 2k , said the 'letters "show again who really seeks honorable 
talks and who strives for violence, hiding behind hypocritical fairy 
tales for peace talks." The article said the U.S. rejected the DRV 
offer for negotiations because it does not seek a peaceful solution 
but strives "toward capitulation of its opponents." 

A Hungarian correspondent, reporting an interview with Foreign 
Minister TRIM on March 23, quoted him as saying, "each manifestation 
of DRV Government's good will meets with a further grave war escalation 
bj the United States." Trinh said "every word uttered by the U.S. about 
peace is mere hypocrisy" designed to "conceal U.S. war measures from the. 
public," (Hungarian Hews Agency, March 23) 

At a press conference on March 29, UN Secretary General U THAI\fT 
revealed proposals for settling the Vietnam war which he had presented 
to the "parties directly involved in the Vietnam conflict" on March Ik* 
His first step, a "general standstill truce," was termed "a practical 
necessity if useful negotiations are to be undertaken." Because of the 
difficulty of providing effective practical supervision, Thant stated 
it would be up to the combatants to exert earnest efforts to enforce 
the truce. Once the truce comes into effect, the parties directly in- 
volved in the conflict would take the next step of entering into pre- 
liminary talks. Thant said these talks could take the following 
forms: (l) Direct talks between the U.S. and the DRV; (2) Direct talks 
between the U.S. and the DRV with the participation of the Geneva Co- 
Chairmen; (3) Direct talks between the U.S. and the DRV with the parti- 
cipation of the members of the ICC; (k) Direct talks between the U.S. 
and the DRV with the participation of the Geneva Co -Chairmen and the 
members of the ICC. Thant said "these preliminary talks should seek 
to reach an agreement on the timing, place, agenda and participants 
in the subsequent formal meeting — the reconvening of the Geneva 
conference." Thant stressed the importance of including both the 
Saigon Government and the Front as participants in the formal confer- 
ence. On April 1, U Thant called upon the U.S. "unilaterally to put 
the stand-still truce into effect and therefore fire if only fired upon." 
He claimed that only in this way can the impasse be broken, ( ifew York 
Times , March 29, April l) 

The U.S. (on March 18) accepted the three-point peace plan, called 
for prompt talks to lead the way to a general stand-still truce, and 
pledged U.S. preparedness to enter negotiations at any time. The U.S. 



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added 5 the Government of South Vietnam will have to he "appropriately 
involved throughout the process." ( New York Times , 29 March) The 
U.S. avoided a direct reply to Thant f s "unilateral stand down" commer;t. 
South Vietnam accepted "in principle the main points of the secretary's 
proposals," but offered two suggestions. It called for a meeting 
between the representative of the DRV armed forces and its own to 
discuss the details of the truce and suggested that instead of the 
preliminary meeting, a "Geneva-type international conference be held 
as soon as possible after the truce is effectively enforced." ( Saigon 
Vietnam Press , 29 March) 

A DRV Foreign Ministry spokesman on March 27 commented 
on "western reports" of a new U Thant -proposed Vietnam 
solution. The spokesman said "to call on both sxdes to 
cease-fire and hold unconditional negotiations, while the 
United States is committing aggression against Vietnam 
and taking serious steps in its military escalation in 
both zones of Vietnam is to make no distinction between 
the aggressor and the victim of aggression, to depart from 
reality and to demand that the Vietnamese people accept the 
conditions of the aggressors." He added, "the Vietnam prob- 
lem has no concern with the United Nations and the United 
Nations has absolutely no right to interfere in any way in 
the Vietnam question." 

In rejecting U Thant T s proposals, Hhan Dan pointed up the difference 
between Thant T s previous plan and that announced 29 March. The first 
plan had called for the U.S. to stop bombing as the first step; now 
the first point entailed a general truce. Khan Dan said the truce idea 
amounted to a demand that the "Vietnamese people lay down their arms and 
give up the fight." Further, the new proposal "has not referred in any 
way to a point of paramount importance in the settlement of the Vietnam 
problem": the position of the NFLSV in negotiations. The paper said 
any "attempt to solve the South Vietnam problem without recognizing 
the HFL5V is to ignore reality." 

Liberation Radio (7 April) blasted U Thant 1 s idea, said it "tallies 
perfectly with the U.S. bandits 1 arguments" and "will lead nowhere" because 
it ignores the KLF and is a "screen to cover up the dirty faces of the 
U.S. aggressors." 

China denounced U Thant 's proposal and said the initiative repre- 
sents "another big joint US-USSR fraud and conspiracy to force capitu- 
lation through war." Jenmin Jih Bao said this proposal is worse than 



58 






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Thant T s earlier one which called for a halt in US bombing because it 
imposes "more severe conditions" on the Vietnamese. The general truce 
was called a "refurbished version of Johnson T s 'principle of 
reciprocity, 1 " U Thant was called a "faithful flunkey of US imperia- 
lists," the UN "a tool in the hands of the US imperialists. " (NCNA, 
31 March) 

April 196T 

A CEYLONESE INITIATIVE was announced 10 Aprils during U Thant 1 s 
visit to the island. The first of two stages called for a meeting of 
SVN, DRV and NLF leaders to discuss pre-conditions for a cease-fire. 
Ceylon was offered as a possible site. The pre-conditions would cover 
cessation of bombing, formation of interim procedures to ensure the 
status quo, cessation of all belligerent activity, withdrawal of foreign 
troops and personnel, suspension of military aid. The second stage 
would include guarantees from bordering states and the UN Security Coun- 
cil on the integrity of Vietnam. Ceylon* s Prime Minister said in dis- 
cussing the proposal with interested parties, North Vietnam had indicated 
the most essential preliminary steps were cessation of all aggression 
against the DRV, acceptance of the Geneva Accords and commencement of 
discussions between Saigon and the Front. U Thant called this a sound 
proposal; Premier Ky supported it. The US welcomed Ceylon's efforts 
but reiterated the need for reciprocity from North Vietnam to achieve 
a bombing halt* 

CANADA'S four stage scenario for peace was announced by Paul Martin 
on 11 April. The first stage "might be accomplished by restoring the 
demilitarized character" of the demilitarized zone* Secondly, both 
sides would agree "not to engage in any military activities which dif- 
fered in either scale or pattern" from activities they now pursue; this 
might entail an agreement prohibiting reinforcement of men or arms on 
either side. Third, all hostilities would stop. Finally, "the process , 
of return to the cease-fire of the Geneva settlements" would be com- 
pleted (including liberation and reparation of prisoners, withdrawal of 
foreign forces and dismantling of military bases) • Martin said Canada 
was sending a representative to Hanoi to explain the peace proposal. 
( New York Times , 12 and 20 April, 1967) 

Saigon supported the Canadian plan and repeated the GVN willing- 
ness to meet with or contact "Hanoi authorities" at any time. (l8 April) 

The US responded to the Canadian proposal with an additional 
suggestion. On 19 April the US said if the DRV withdrew its troops 
10 miles north of the DMZ, the US and GVN would execute a simultaneous 
10-mile pull-back south of the Zone. If Hanoi agreed to the mutual 
withdrawal, all military actions in and over the DMZ and areas extending 
10 miles north and south of it could stop. And if Hanoi would grant 



■ 



59 



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> 












similar privileges, the US and GVF would be ready to cooperate fully 
with the ICC to grant it complete access to monitor and supervise the 
withdrawal of forces and continued inspection of the southern part of 
the DMZ plus 10 miles. Upon separation of forces, the US and GVN 
would be ready to undertake talks leading to further de-escalation 
and to an over-all settlement. ( New York Times , 20 April) 

■ 

Eanoi rejected both the Canadian proposal and the US 10-mile Zone 
extension suggestion. Mian Dan denounced Martin's speech — without 
mentioning his name -- for failing to "urge the US imperialists to stop 
their aggressive war in Vietnam, cease definitively and unconditionally" 
t e bombing and withdraw US troops. (VNA, l6 April). The DRV Foreign 
Ministry "energetically condemns and rejects the deceitful proposal for , 
widening of the demilitarized zone by 10 miles on either side." To 
bring peace, the statement demanded US cessation of bombing, withdrawal 
of troops, and other well-known conditions. (VNA, 21 April) 

Mai Van Bo, in a Canadian radio-TV interview, rejected Johnson's 
insistence on a reciprocal gesture from the DRV. He said South Vietnam 
belongs to all the Vietnamese people and implied that the DRV would not 
cease supporting fellow countrymen. Bo also said the Ho-LBJ corres- 
pondence had been made public to expose before world public opinion the 
real intentions and objectives of American policy in Vietnam; he noted 
that the bombing of North Vietnam had been resumed before the US had 
received Ho Chi Minh's reply to the President's letter. (Canadian 

Broadcasting System, 21 April) 

• 

* 

The NLF denounced the US-Zone extension plan, accused the US of 
having long plotted to turn the "temporary demarcation line into a 
territorial border, perpetuate the partition of Vietnam. . .and prepare 
for war against the DRV." (Radio Hanoi, 23 April) 

Peking called the DMZ-extension plan a "dirty trick. " (NCNA, 
23 April) 

Tokyo's Asahi Evening News released a long interview with Premier 
Pham Van Dong on 25 April. Dong reportedly said: "Our four point stand 
is the correct basis of a settlement of the Vietnam war -- no correct 
solution can be found if one departs from it. It proceeds from the 
Geneva Agreements." Referring to Trinh's 28 January interview, Dong 
said he "pointed out that if the US wants to talk with the DRV it must 
unconditionally stop bombing raids and all other acts of war against 
the DRV." Pham Van Dong said, "this is a very important diplomatic 
move of ours. It shows that we are ready to talk, as the US claims 
that it is ready to talk, at any time..." Dong said Ho Chi Minh's 






60 









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lQ / 

Rusk's 28 proposals: 

1. A reconvening of the Geneva Conference of 195^ *— a fld a return 
to the agreements of 195*+ \ 

2. A reconvening of the Geneva Conference of 1962 on Laos — and 
a return to the agreements of 1962; 

3* A conference on Cambodia; 

k. An all-Asian peace conference; 

5. A special effort "by the two Co-Chairaen; 

6. A special effort by the ICC; 



61 



letter to Johnson had reiterated Hanoi's major demands. He claimed 
that Americans and those more or less close to them "equate aggressor 
and victim of aggression. This is the clearest point because it is * 
translated into requirements — that is, the requirements about 'mutual 
de-escalation.' This is unacceptable to us... The US has started the 
war so it must bring it to an end. Having started the war, the US must , 
de-escalate it... In our view, finding a peaceful settlement in Vietnam 
rests with the US Government- As long as (the US) wants war there can 
be no question of peaceful settlement." 

May I96T 

In a 1 May speech, Secretary of State RUSK listed 28 proposals 
toward peace "made by ourselves or by others." He said "...we have 
said yes to these same proposals and Hanoi has said no* Surely all 
those yesses and all those noes threw a light upon motivation — upon 
the question of who is interested in peace and who is trying to absorb 
a neighbor by force." ( New York Times , 2 May)—' 

U THAKT reportedly disputed the impression offered by Rusk in the 
May Day speech. He felt imminent negotiations had been frustrated in 
February 1965 and in December 1966 by US bombings, ( Washington Post , 
3 May) The Soviets argued with Rusk's theme. A TASS broadcast noted 
that Rusk "did not say, however, that all the American proposals had 
been in the nature of ultimatums and could not be accepted by a 
sovereign state." (TASS, 1 May) 



Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3 
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IS/ 



Rusk's 28 proposals: (Continued) 

7* A role for the United Nations Security Council — or the General 
Assembly — or the Secretary General; 

8. Talks through intermediaries — single or group; 

9- Direct talks — with the United States or with South Vietnam; 

10. Exchange of prisoners of war; 

U. Supervision of treatment of prisoners by International Red Cross; 

12. Demilitarize the DMZ; 



13* Widen and demilitarize the DMZ 



* 



lU. Interposition of international forces between combatants; 
15' Mutual withdrawal of foreign forces, including MW forces; 
16. Assistance to Cambodia to assure its neutrality and territory; 

■ 

IT* Cessation of bombing and reciprocal de-escalation; 

■ 

18. Cessation of bombing, infiltration and augmentation of United 
States forces; 

19. Three suspensions of bombings to permit serious talks; 

20. Discussion of Hanoi's k points along with points of others, 
such as Saigon's h points and our 1^ points; 

21. Discussion of an agreed k points as basis for negotiation; 

22. Willingness to find means to have the views of the Liberation 
Front heard in peace discussions; 

23. Negotiations without conditions, negotiations about conditions 
or discussion of a final settlement; 



2^. Peace and the inclusion of North Vietnam in large development 

program for Southeast Asia; ( 

25. Government of South Vietnam to be determined by free elections; I 

26. Question of reunification to be determined by free elections; 



62 



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A CZECH- journalist who interviewed Wilfred Burchett quoted Burchett 
on NLF goals. Burchett said they are: the establishment of a coalition 
government in the -south and the deferring of Vietnamese unity for 10 or 
15 years in favor of an independent and neutral South Vietnam. (Prague 
News Service, 6 May) 

Another journalist, Simon Malley, UN correspondent for Jeune Afrique , 
r portedly had a series of interviews with Chou En-JLai and other Chinese 
oificials in March. Malley said Chou promised China would send its vast 
armies into Vietnam the moment Hanoi is threatened with a "sellout peace. 11 
Chou forecast continued US escalation until eventually troops were landed 
i North Vietnam. This, said Chou, would be another contingency demand- 
ing Chi com military intervention. An avalanche of Chinese "volunteers" , 
would also be sent if Hanoi requested them. According to Malley, Chou 
said China had advised Hanoi against going ahead with peace moves in 
January. (The Evening Star , 14 and 15 May 1967) Peking denied the 
Malley stories on 16 May. 

The Czech official journal Rude Pravo discussed Malley 1 s interviews, 
emphasizing the Chinese views on settlement. The paper said it is known 
that Peking does not agree with DRV conditions for opening talks and that 
Chou f s interview was possibly addressed to Hanoi with the threat that if 
the DRV showed a willingness to discuss what Peking regards as a compro- 
mise, Peking would be ready to send an array into North Vietnam — thus 
making peaceful settlement impossible. 

SINGAPORE and INDIA called for a halt to the bombing as the necessary 
first step to the cessation of all hostilities. (Paris AFP, 9 May) 

On 10 and 11 May, U THANT repeated his appeals for a bombing halt. 
He said five South Asian governments he visited on his recent tour agreed 
with his analysis that a bombing halt would result in talks, that without 
a cessation of bombing no talks were possible. He said "the people of 
Vietnam should be permitted to resolve their problems without foreign 
interference." ( New York Times , 11 May) Thant quoted Secretary McNamara's 
admission that bombing did not have the desired effects of reducing infil- 
tration and pleaded with the United States to take "certain limited risks." 
QJashington Post , 11 May) In another speech, U Thant reiterated his 



18/ 

— Rusk f s 28 proposals: (Continued) 



27. Reconciliation with Viet Cong and readmission to the body 
politic of South Vietnam* 

28. South Vietnam can be neutral if it so chooses. 



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position that since January 28 , Hanoi had repeated that bombing was the 
first obstacle to talks* Thant said Hanoi's averred willingness to 
talk after a bombing halt recognized the positions of its allies, 

AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG replied that the US was ready to stop bombing 
if assured such a move would be answered by "appropriate de-escalation 
on the other side." ( New York Times , 12 May) Mr. Goldberg spoke the I 

following day in Chicago. He asked five questions to which the US re- 
quired answers before ceasing air raids: what would the US and Hanoi ] 

talk about; would proposals of both sides be discussed; would talks be - 

negotiations, not merely a demand for US surrender; how would Hanoi 
militarily reciprocate the cessation of bombing; what assurances would 
exist that neither side gained by the other's de-escalation, Goldberg 
also observed that American and North Vietnamese goals we.e most di- 
vergent on the third of Hanoi's four points: the US could not agree 
that the NLF be recognized but Saigon ignored in peace talks, he said. 
(US/UN Press Release 54, 12 May) 

The DRV and the NLF scored US military movement into 
the DMZ on 21 and 22 May. The Front called the intro- 
duction of troops into the southern part of the Zone 
"an extremely serious step of war escalation. . .an attempt 
to set up a no-man's land along the provisional military 
demarcation line and prepare for a new aggressive ground 
attack against the DRV." The Front said this "utterly 
sabotaged the stature of the demilitarized zone and the 
Geneva agreements on Vietnam." The DRV statement added 
the implication that* this action was more evidence of 
the "deceitful and impudent" nature of the "so-called 
peace efforts of the US Administration." (VNA, 21 and 
23 May) Peking's equally vitriolic statement ended with 
a declaration of China's willingness 11 ., .to take all neces- 
sary action" to assist the Vietnamese repel US aggression. 
(NCNA, 23 May) 

- 

On 23 May, a 24 -hour cease-fire in honor of Buddha's 
Birthday was observed. The GVN initially proposed the 
truce on 8 April and offered to meet with representatives 
of North Vietnam to discuss its extension. The National 
Liberation Front then called for a 48-hour truce, claim- 
ing this to be the original offer. Representatives of 
opposing sides did not meet; the truce was not extended. 

July 1967 

■ 

DRV Foreign Minister TRINH reaffirmed his January formula in an 
interview with a Vienna Vo Ik st inane reporter (2 July). Trinh said 



64 



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negotiations can begin if the US "unconditionally discontinues all bomb- 
ing raids and all other acts of war against the DRV." He added, "it is 
obvious that the US does not want peace" because every move in 
that direction was followed by more troops and an intensification of 
attacks against the north. He said North Vietnam will "never conduct 
talks with the aggressors under the pressure of force," labeled mutual 
de-escalation an "arrogant American condition" and claimed if the US 
is "really looking for a settlement. . .there will be no difficulties. 11 

The New York Times of 10 July reported that at the Stockholm Inter- 
national Conference on Vietnam (6-9 July), British Lord EROCKWAY was told 
by DRV and NLF representatives that they would be willing to enter into 
peace negotiations if these conditions were met: an unconditional cessa- 
tion of the bombing; recognition of Front representatives at any peace 
negotiations; embodiment of 1954 Geneva Agreement terms in the settlement, 

■ 

Eight Republican Congressmen suggested mutual de-escalation could 
be achieved if the US initiated a 60-day suspension of bombing raids 
against North Vietnamese territory above the 21st parallel. If Hanoi 
took a commensurate de-escalatory step within the two-month period the 
US would then suspend bombing north of the 20th parallel for 60 days. 
This would continue down to the DMZ at the 17th parallel. The Republi- 
cans felt this plan could produce a spirit of confidence between Hanoi 
and the US which could lead to negotiations for a similar staged de- 
escalation in South Vietnam. (New York Times, 11 July) 

Hanoi denied the report of lowered DRV /NLF demands; the four point 
stand was reaffirmed as the basic North Vietnamese position. (VNA, 
21 July) 

PRIME MINISTER SATO reportedly said Japan's position was that 
bombing of North Vietnam should stop immediately and all parties con- 
cerned in the conflict should sit at a conference table to negotiate 
peace „ Sato added he would not hesitate to go to Hanoi if he were con- 
vinced the trip would serve "positively" to bring peace. He said the 
present situation did not warrant the journey, however. (Tokyo Kyodo , 
31 July) 

U THANT, speaking to a Quaker group on 30 July, said "an honorable 
peace could be brought about in Vietnam" and indicated the first step 
is to end the bombing and bring the problem to the conference table. 
Thant said "it is nationalism, and not communism, that animates the 
resistance movement in Vietnam against all foreigners and now particu- 
larly against the Americans." He declared the war cannot be ended until 
the US recognizes it as "a war of national independence" rather than one 
of communist aggression* ( Washington Post , 31 July) 



65 




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August 1967 

At a press conference, 18 August, PRESIDENT JOHNSON said the US is 
"very anxious to meet with representatives of the North Vietnamese Govern- 
ment, at any time, at a mutually agreed place, to try to agree on some 
plan that will resolve. . .differences . . .As of the moment, there has not 
been communicated- to us any change of position any different from that 
reflected in Ho Chi Mihh's letter..." of 15 February. Johnson said the 
US would welcome "any indication on the part of the North Vietnamese that 
they would agree to a cease-fire, that they would agree to negotiations, that 
they would agree that if we had a bombing pause, that they would not take 
- .vantage of that pause to increase our men killed in action." ( New York 
limes , 19 August) 

Peking called President Johnson's talk of a bombing pause "trash," part 
c ' the "war escalation and peace talks fraud," Jenmin Jih Pao revived the 
Uiinese charge of US-USSR collusion in trying to "force surrender through a 
pause in the bombing." The paper noted Rusk's admission "that Kosygin 
told Johnson negotiations on ending the war in Vietnam could begin if the 
US stopped bombing North Vietnam" and pointed out that Pravda (6 August) 
had "openly raved that the pause in the bombing of North Vietnam by the 
US would pave the way for peace talks on Vietnam." Jenmin Jih Pao con- 
cluded, the new LBJ offer is part of a "new fraud" cooked up by US imperial- 
ists and Soviet revisionists. (NCNA, 19 and 22 August) 
1 

September 1967 

, AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG, speaking at the UN General Assembly on 21 Sep- 
tember, discussed thd US commitment to a political solution in Vietnam 
through "discussions or negotiations" but regretted that Hanoi had "not 
yet agreed to this objective." Citing the familiar charge that "bombing 
is the sole obstacle to negotiations," Mr. Goldberg said "no... third party- 
including those governments which are among Hanoi's closest friends-has 
conveyed to us any authoritative messages from Hanoi that there would in 
fact be negotiations if the bombing were stopped." He asked for "enlight- 
enment" on the subject. Mr. Goldberg said the "principles of an honorable 
settlement" envisaged by the US government were those embodied in the Geneva 
Agreements of 1954 and I962; he asked if Hanoi agreed with his interpreta- 
tion of the Geneva Accords, "to which it professedly subscribes." 



66 



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Hanoi replied through a Khan J>an editorial on 27 September. Goldberg's 
questions were called "insolent and ridiculous ," the issue of whether 
Hanoi ! would or should" enter into negotiations if bombing were halted 
was not clarified. Worth Vietnam repeated demands for U.S. withdrawal 
and recognition of -the HLF as sole genuine representative of the Viet- 
namese people. 

CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER PAUL MARTIN made a public appeal for a 
cessation of bombing in his 27 September- speech to the General Assembly 
b r ause, according to Prime Minister Pearson, Canada thinks "this is 
an essential first step to negotiations" to end the war in Vietnam. 
Pearson added that the speech did not represent "any big change" in 
policy, cited his call for a bombing halt of two years ago, his govern- 
me t's continuous effort to bring about the cessation of bombing and 
commencement of negotiations and said, "there comes a time when we must . 
say in public what we've been saying in private." The bombing halt, 
lined to a reinstatement of the "intended status" of the demilitarized 
zone (subject to international supervision), was the first of Canada's 
four steps -toward-peace proposal. Subsequent steps would include: 
freezing military operations and capabilities at existing levels; a 
cease-fire j finally, withdrawal of outside forces whose presence in 
the area is not permitted under the 195^ Geneva Accords and dismantling 
of all military bases. 



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Declassified per Executive Order 13526. Section 3.3 
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r 



2. 



\ 



I 



s 







T!he 27 Initiatives 
(Compiled "oy Department of State) 

CHRONOLOGICAL DETAILS OF PUBLICLY- 
DISCLOSED U.S. AND THIRD-PARTY VIET- 
NAM PEACE EFFORTS 

i. Laos Conference— July 23, 7962. The Governments of 
Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Communist China, North Vietnam, 
France, India, Poland, the Republic of Vietnam, Thailand, the 
U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, and the United States declared they 
would respect the sovereignty, independence, neutrality, unity, and 
territorial integrity of Laos. The agreement provided for the 
withdrawal of all foreign troops and prohibited the introduction of 
such troops into Laos. The United States carried out its obliga- 
tions and withdrew all military personnel. North Vietnam, how- 
ever, violated the terms of the agreement from the outset. 
* Through its domination of the Pathet Lao, North Vietnam has 
systematically undermined the Geneva settlement in Laos, violated 
the military .provisions of the Agreements, prevented national rec- 
onciliation among the Lao factions, and obstructed the Interna- 
tional Control Commission (ICC) in the performance of its su- 
pervisory duties. Not only were North Vietnamese troops not 
withdrawn from Laos under the provisions of the 1962 Agree- 
ments, but North Vietnam has continued to support actively the 
Pathet Lao forces through the introduction into Laos of regular 
North Vietnamese troops and military supplies.. In addition, 
North Vietnam has violated Laos' neutrality by using territory in 
the southern Lao panhandle for the purpose* of infiltrating men 
and supplies into South Vietnam in support of the Viet Cong. 



— - • < m 



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r 

* 


s 


r 


■ 








2. UN Security Council Invitation to Hanoi — August j, 1964- 
The President- of th'e Security Council announced the understand- 
ing reached among the Council members that the Security Council 
would welcome any information relating to the Tonkin Gulf in- 
cident that North Vietnam might desire to provide, whether by 
participating in discussions or in some other form. North Viet- 
nam replied on August 19 that the question did not lie within the 
competence of the Security Council and that any decision reached 
on the issue would be considered null and void by North Viet- 
namese authorities. 

3. Seventeen Non-Aligned Nations' Appeal — April i s 1965* 
These states delivered an appeal for a peaceful solution in Vietnam 
through negotiations without preconditions. 

The United States welcomed the appeal on April 8 and indicated 

agreement with its principles. 

North Vietnam rejected the proposal on April 19, characterizing 
as "inappropriate" any approach other than that based on its own 
preconditions, including the prior withdrawal of U.S. forces and 
acceptance of the "National Liberation Front" (N.L.F.) program 
for South Vietnam. 

4. President Johnson's Speech at Johns Hopkins University — 
April 7, 7965. The President stated that the United States was 
prepared to enter into "unconditional discussions" with the other 
governments concerned in the Vietnam problem. 

On April 19, Hanoi labeled Mr. Johnson's speech a "smokescreen 
to cover up the U.S. imperialists* military adventures in Vietnam," 

5. Indian Government's Proposal — April, 1965. India pro- 
posed : a) cessation of hostilities by both sides, b) policing of borders 
by an Afro-Asian patrol force, and c) maintenance of present 
boundaries in Vietnam so long as desired by the Vietnamese peo- 
ple. The United States gave this constructive proposal careful 
consideration and discussed it with the Government of India. 

Hanoi Radio announced on May 6 that North Vietnam had 
told India its proposal was "at complete variance .with the spirit 
and basic principles" of the Geneva Agreements and ran counter 
to India's status as International Control Commission Chairman. 



69 



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6. UN Secretary General's Peace Efforts — April, 1965. 
U Thant indicated his readiness to visit 'certain capitals, including 
Hanoi and Peking, to discuss the prospects for a peaceful settle- 
ment in Vietnam. The United States welcomed and supported 
this as it has other peacemaking efforts by the Secretary General. 

North Vietnam's Pham Van Dong said on April S that any 
approach tending to secure UN intervention in Vietnam was "in- 
appropriate." On April 12 Peking's People's Daily said that if 
U Thant were undertaking the trip in his capacity as Secretary 
General, "we should like to tell him in all seriousness to spare 
himself this trouble" since "the Vietnam question has nothing to 
do with the United Nations." 

7. Suspension of Bombing— May 12-17, J 9^5* The United 
States suspended its bombing operations against North Vietnam 
for five days and 20 hours. This suspension was made known to 
the other side to see if there might be a response in kind. Rep- 
resentatives of Hanoi simply returned the U.S. message in a plain 
envelope. 

On May iS Hanoi Radio broadcast a North Vietnam Foreign 
Ministry statement which called the bombing pause a "trick" 
meant "to cover up [the United States'] extremely dangerous 
acts intensifying the war in Vietnam . . . and to deceive world 
public opinion." 

8. Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Initiative — June, 7965, 

m 

The Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth nations initiated a plan 
for a special mission *to visit the capitals of the countries involved to 
"explore the circumstances in which a conference might be held to 
end the fighting in Vietnam." The United States immediately 
welcomed the Commonwealth initiative. 

Hanoi Radio said on July r that North Vietnam would not re- 
ceive the mission headed by Prime Minister Wilson because it 
doubted the mission's good will toward peace and considered it 
"only a repetition of Lyndon Johnson's peace negotiations swindle 
under the cloak of the British Commonwealth mission -on the ■ 
Vietnam problem." 



* 



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9. Davies Mission— July, igC^ Harold Davies, a representative 
of die British Government, visited Hanoi to explore North Viet- 
nam's willingness to receive the Commonwealth mission referred 
to above. 

Prime Minister Wilson reported on July 15 that Mr. Davies had 
been unable to obtain North Vietnam's agreement to receive the 
proposed mission, 

10. President's Letter to U Thant— July 28, 7965. President 
Johnson, in a letter to Secretary General U Thant, reiterated his 
hope that "members of the UN, individually and collectively, will 
use their influence to bring to the negotiating table all governments 
involved in an attempt to halt all aggression and evolve a peaceful 
solution" 

11. Ambassador Goldberg's Letter to President of UN Se- 
curity Council— July _jo, 1965. In a letter to the Security Council 
President, Ambassador Goldberg noted that the responsibility to 
persist in the search for peace weighed especially upon the members 
of the Security Council. He stated that the United States stood 
ready, as in the past, to collaborate unconditionally with members 
of the Security Council in the search for an acceptable formula to 
restore peace and security in Southeast Asia. 

12. Indian/Yugoslav Proposal — August, 7965. A joint Indian- 
Yugoslav communique following talks In Belgrade between Presi- 
dent Tito and Prime Minister Shastri declared on August 1 that 
there was no alternative to a political solution within the frame- 
work of the Geneva Agreements and declared that it was of the 
utmost importance that parties concerned in the Vietnam situation 
"meet at a conference table. The communique said the "National 
Liberation Front" should participate in such a conference. A 
cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam, the declaration con- 
eluded, would create favorable conditions in which there could be 
appropriate responses on all sides leading to a conference, 

13. United Kingdom iz-Nation Appeal — December, 7965. 
The United Kingdom proposed on December 9 a 12-nation appeal 
to North Vietnam to stop fighting and negotiate a peace, and sepa- 
rately called upon the Soviet Union to join in signing and circu- 



1 

« 

1 



j- 



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lating the message among the countries which attended the 1954 
Geneva Conference as well as those represented in the Vietnam 
International Control Commission. 

President Johnson declared that the United States was "ready to 
talk unconditionally, anywhere, with peace as our agenda.** 

On 'December 17 Hanoi Radio said: "The D.R/V. (North Viet- 
nam) Government categorically rejects all British plans and pro 
posals made under the pretense of peace. Once again, the D.R.V. 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs solemnly reaffirms that the four-point 
stand of the D.R.V. Government is the only basis for a correct 
settlement of the Vietnamese problem; any solution contrary to 
this stand is null and void and unable to bring about genuine peace 
in Vietnam." 

14. Cambodian Proposal for I.C.C. Expassiox— December, 
ig6$. Prince Sihanouk proposed the expansion of LC.C. activities 
in Cambodia to include the monitoring of the port of Sihanoukville 
and the closer monitoring of the Cambodia-Vietnam frontier. His 
purpose was to reply to charges that Sihanoukville was a funnel 
for military supplies for the Viet Cong and also to reply to other 
charges that Cambodia permitted Viet Cong forces to use Cam- 
bodian territory as a place of sanctuary. The proposal has not been 
implemented, primarily because of obstacles placed in its path by 
the U.S.S.R., which has yet to respond officially to the Cambodian 
request. The United States has supported the proposal from the 
outset and has stated that it is willing to consider providing finan- 
cial assistance to a more effective I.C.G operation in Cambodia. 

15. Pope Paul VTs Appeal— December jg, ig6$. Pope Paul VI 
publicly appealed for a truce in Vietnam during the holiday 
season and for efforts by all parties to move toward nego- 
tiations; he addressed a similar appeal to Hanoi through private 
channels. The White House on December 20 stated: "The Presi- 
dent welcomes this new expression by the Pope of the need for 
peace in the world and specifically in Southeast Asia." 

North Vietnam's President, Ho Chi Minh, in a reply sent to the 
Pope on December 2S, said: "The U.S. leaders want war and not 
peace. The talks about unconditional negotiations made by the 



72 



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U.S. President are merely a maneuver to cover up his plan for war 
intensification -and agression in Vietnam" Ho Chi Minh re- 
iterated North Vietnam's stand as to how peace could he restored 
in Vietnam. 

16. Concentrated Peace Effort— December, 196 ^-January, 
ig66. The United States suspended bombings on December 24 and 
sent six Presidential envoys to 34 capitals, communicating the U.S. 
position to 115 governments. The U.S. position also was com- 
municated to Hanoi. The bombing suspension was continued for 
36 days and 25 hours. 

Ho Chi Minh's January 24 letter, released January 28, reiterated 
Hanoi's Four-Point demands and added a fifth condition: The 
United States must recognize the "National Liberation Front" as 
the "sole genuine representative" of the South Vietnamese people 
"and engage in negotiations with it." 

17. Roxninc Mission- — June ig66. Canadian emissary Chester 
Ronning returning from a visit to Hanoi to report a totally nega- 
tive response from North Vietnamese officials on making any cor- 
responding move in response to a cessation of bombing. This 
refusal of reciprocal action was accompanied by a reiteration of 
familiar demands by Hanoi for recognition of die N.L.F., with- 
drawal of American troops and acceptance of the Four Points. 

18. Asian Conference Initiative— August 6 t i$66. The For- 
eign Ministers of Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines proposed 
that 17 Asian nations invite the leaders of all countries involved in 
the Vietnam conflict to a Vietnam peace conference in Asia. 

Secretary of State Rusk termed the proposal a constructive one 
and said the United States would follow with great interest what 
resulted from it. 

On August 8, Hanoi denounced the appeal as a "cheap farce 
staged by third-class henchmen of U.S. imperialism." 

19. UN Secretary General's Proposal — August jj, 1966. The 
Secretary General again suggested three steps to end the war (a 
proposal first made in April, 1966). 

A Hanoi commentary on October 6 asserted that while the 
first point (cessation of bombing of North Vietnam) "conforms 



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to the requirement for a settlement of the Vietnam issue/' the 
second point (mutual reduction of hostilities) was "obviously nega- 
tive and clashes with the first." In addition the editorial indicated 
that U Thant's third point (willingness to negotiate with all par- 
ticipants in the fighting) was unacceptable as falling short of 
Hanoi's "sole genuine representative*' claim for the "liberation" 
front. 

20. Ambassador Goldberg's General Assembly Address — 
September 22, 1966. Ambassador Goldberg set forth proposals 
for peace in Southeast Asia (a bombing halt in return for cor- 
responding de-escalation; mutual withdrawal; a possible National 
Liberation Front role in negotiations). 

Hanoi on September 24 scored Ambassador Goldberg s speech 
for the conditional nature of die bombing cessation offer, for 
the failure to recognize the N.L.F. as "the sole legal representative 
of the South Vietnamese people," and for attempting to use the 
UN as an "instrument for their aggressive policy in Vietnam." 

21- British Six-Point Plan — October 6 t i$66. British Foreign 
Secretary Brown announced a detailed six-point plan aimed at 
ending the Vietnam war and asked the Soviet Union to join in 
reconvening the Geneva Conference. 

Hanoi and the N.L.F. on October 8- and 9 respectively "sternly 
rebuffed" die Brown proposal as a "rehash" of the recent U.S. peace 
initiatives. The N.L.F. charged that the proposal demonstrated 
Britain's delinquency as a Geneva Co-chairman. 

22. Manila Communique— October 25, ig66. The communi- 
que pledged that allied forces "shall be withdrawn, after close 
consultation with the Government of Sotidi Vietnam, as the other 
withdraws its forces to the North, ceases infiltration, and the level 
of violence thus subsides/* The forces would be withdrawn as 
soon as possible and not later than six months after the above con- 
ditions had been fulfilled. 

Hanoi denounced the Manila Communique, and the N.L.F. on 
October 2S described the Manila proposal for a peaceful settlement 
as equivalent to "a demand for our people to lay down their arms 
and serve as slaves of U.S. neo-colonialism." 



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23. Ambassador Goldberg's Letter to U Thaxt — December ig, 
1966. Ambassador Goldberg sent a letter to the Secretary General 
which referred to Pope Paul's December S appeal that the tempo- 
rary Christmas truce be transformed into a cessation of hostilities 
which would become the occasion for sincere negotiations. The 
Ambassador requested that the Secretary General take whatever 
steps he considered necessary "to bring about the necessary dis- 
cussions" which could lead to such a ceasefire. 

On January 12 Hanoi condemned this initiative. 

24. British Proposal for Cessation of Hostilities — December 
30, ig66. Foreign Secretary Brown addressed messages to the 
United States, North Vietnam and the Republic of Vietnam pro- 
posing an immediate three-way meeting to arrange a cessation of 
hostilities. 

President Johnson commented on January 1: "We appreciate the 
interest of all peace-loving nations in arranging a ceasefire, in 
attempting to bring the disputing parties together, and in an effort 
to work out a conference where various views can be 
exchanged ..." 

On January 3, Hanoi denounced the British proposal as a rehash 
of the "deceitful shopworn clamor of the U.S. imperialists," con- 
demned Foreign Secretary Brown's failure to include the N.L.F. as 
a participant at the proposed meeting and claimed that the British 
initiative ran counter to Britain's responsibilites as a Geneva Co- 
chairman. 

+ 

25. Tet (Lunar New Year) Truce— February 8-13, ig6j. The 
United States suspended bombing for five days and 18 hours after 
many prior weeks in which the American Government had com- 
municated to Hanoi several possible routes to peace, any one of 
which the United States was prepared to take. (Four messages 
were sent to Hanoi in January. Not until January 27 did Hanoi 
respond, and then only with a diatribe against the United States.) 
On February 8, President Johnson, in a renewed effort to get talks 
started, proposed in a letter to Ho Chi Minh that the United States 
would stop bombing the North and halt any further troop buildup 
if Hanoi would end its infiltration into South Vietnam. On Feb- 
ruary 13, Ho's letter to the Pope foreshadowed the rejection of these 



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proposals, and Ho's February 15 reply to the President, released by 
Hanoi Marcher, rejected the Presidential overture, asserting once 
again that only if the United States ordered the "unconditional" 
cessation of the bombing and "all other acts of war" against North 
Vietnam "could" talks begin. Nevertheless, the President's pro* 
posal still stands, as Hanoi has several times been informed. 

26. President's Letter to Pope Paul — February 8, igSj. Reply- 
ing to a message from the Pope expressing the hope that the Tet 
truce might open the way to negotiations for a "just and stable 
peace, 1 * President Johnson said: "We are prepared to talk at any 
time and place, in any forum, with the object of bringing peace to 
Vietnam. However, I know you would not expect us to reduce 
military action unless the other side is willing to do likewise. We 
are prepared to discuss the balanced reduction in military activity, 
the cessation of hostilities, or any practical arrangements which 
could lead to these results." 

27. Continuous Bilateral Contacts with Communist States, in- 
cluding talks with Chinese Ambassador in Warsaw— 1^4 to 
present 

28. Bombing Pauses: 

1) May 12-17, x 9^5 (five days, 20 hours) 

2) December 24, 1965-January 30, ig66 (36 days, 15 

Hours) 

3) December 23-25, 1966 (two days) 

4) December 30, 1966-January 1, 1967 (two days) ' 

5) February 8-13, 1967 (live days, 18 hours) 






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3. SUMMAR Y OF NEGOTIATION POINTS 
I* The US Fourteen Poi nts (January 1965) 

1. Geneva Agreements of 195U and 1962 are adequate basis for peace. 

2. We welcome conference on SEAsia or on any part thereof, 

3. We welcome "negotiations without pre-conditions." 
k. We welcome unconditional discussions, 

5. Cessation of hostilities could be first order of business or could 
be subject of preliminary discussions. 

6. Hanoi's four points could be discussed along with other f s points, 

7. We want no U.S. bases in SEAsia. 

0. No UoSe troops in South Vietnam after peace is assured. 
9- We support free elections in SW to give the people a choice, 

10, Question of reunification of Vietnam should be determined by the 
Vietnamese through their own free decision. 

11, Countries of SEAsia can be nonaligned or neutral as they choose. 

12, US prefers to use resources for the economic reconstruction in 
SEAsia. If there is peace , North Vietnam can share benefits of at 
least $1B we will contribute. 

13 • The President: "The Viet Cong would not have difficulty being repre- 
sented and having their views represented if for a moment Hanoi de- 
cided she wanted to cease aggression. I don't think that would be an 
unsurmountable problem." 

lU. We could stop the bombing of NVN as a step toward peace although there 
has been no hint or suggestion from the other side as to what they 
would do if the bombing stopped. 

- 

II. The KLF Five Poi nts (23 March 1965) 

■ 

1. US sabotaged the X^kk Geneva Accords and is solely responsible for 
the current war, 

2. Negotiations under current conditions would be useless; total US 
withdrawal is the condition implied. 

3* Vietnam is a single country; however , the statement avoids specific 
future political relationships between the NLF and the DRV. 

h m NLF relies primarily on Its own force and ability , but assistance 
from all sources will be accepted. 

5# NLF and the people of SVN must continue to fight against the US 
aggressors. 

III. North Vietnam's Four Points (8 April 1965) 

1. Recognition of the basic national rights of the Vietnamese people: 
peace 5 independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity. 
According to the Geneva agreements, the U.S. must withdraw from SVN 
all troops, military personnel, weapons, dismantle all U.S. military 
bases there ? cancel its military alliance with SVN. The U.S. must 
stop its acts of war against NVN. 

2. Pending peaceful reunification, while Vietnam is still temporarily 
divided into two zones s the military provisions of the 195^ Geneva 
agreements must be strictly respected. No foreign military bases, 
troops, or. military personnel in either territory. 

3. Internal affairs of SVN must be settled by the South Vietnamese 
people themselves in accordance with the KFLSV program, without any 
foreign Interference. 

U. Peaceful reunification of Vietnam is to be settled by the Vietnamese 
people in both zones, without any foreign interference. 

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IV. South Vietnam's Four Points (22 June I965) 



1. Subversion and military' activities undertaken, directed and supported 
by outside forces must cease. Communist puppet organizations in SW mast be 
dissolved. Communist troops , political and military cadres must be withdrawn 
from SW, 

2o SVN must be left alone , to choose and shape for itself its own destiny. 

3. When aggression has ceased, GW will ask friendly countries to with- 
draw their forces from SW, subject to recall in case of renewed aggression. 

km Independence and liberty of Vietnamese people must be effectively 
guaranteed. 

V. Ambassador Goldberg to UNGA (22 September 1966) 

lo U*S wants a political, not military, solution to the Vietnam conflict* 

2. Reunification should be decided through "free choice by the peoples of 
both North and South without outside interference." 

3» U.S. remains ready to negotiate with Hanoi without any prior conditions 
k. U.S. will order cessation- of all bombing of NW the "moment we are 
assured, privately or otherwise, that this step will be answered promptly by 
corresponding and appropriate de-escalation on the other side." 

5. U.S. does not intend to establish a permanent military presence in 
Vietnam; U.S. is ready to withdraw its forces as others withdraw theirs. 

VI. Manila Six Points (25 October 1966) as announced by GVN 
lo Cessation of aggression. 

2. Preservation of the territorial integrity of South Vietnam. 

3. Reunification of Vietnam, 

km Resolution of internal problems, 

5. Removal of Allied Military Forces. 

6. Effective guarantees. 

VII, U Thant's Three Points (20 April 1966) 

lo The cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam. 

2 The scaling down of all military activities by all sides in SW. 
3. The willingness to enter into discussions with those who are actually 
fighting. 

NOTE: 

Worth Vietnam 1 s four points were the subject of further comment by (a) 
PU Premier Pham Van Dong in an interview with Harrison Salisbury carried 
in the k January 1967 issue of the New York Times and (b) NFN chief diplo- 
matic representative in Western Europe, Mai Van Bo, in a talk to French 
and foreign correspondents in Paris on 5 January 196?» 

Dong's statements are judged by State to be only minor variations on 
old North Vietnamese themes. Previous statements have suggested Hanoi has 
two preconditions for talks: (a) cessation of the bombing and (b) US 
willingness to talk to the NFL as an independent entity. Hanoi has never • 
stated clearly that acceptance of the points is a pre-condition for talks . 
What Hanoi has said is that the Four Points are the only correct basis for 
settlement. 

Bo's statement was that if the U.S. stopped the bombing "definitely and 
unconditionally;" the Hanoi Government would "examine and study" US proposals 
for negotiations. He further stated that the U.S. "could not hope for 
reciprocal action of any sort." 

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