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Full text of "Pentagon Papers"

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VI.C Settlement of the Conflict (6 Vols.) 

Histories of Contacts (4 Vols.) 

3. Moscow-London Track 



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KITED STATES - VIETNAM RELATIONS 



VIETNAM TASK FORC 



OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF 



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vi. c. 3- 

VI. SEEELEMEMT OF TEE CONFLICT 

C. Histories of Contacts 
3 . Sunf lower 






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SUNFLOWER 



This study has three parts: (l) a very brief list 
of the most important dates in Sunflower; (2) an analytic 
discussion of the major questions vhich arose; and (3) a, 
detailed chronology of events and communications. Part 2 
is keyed to Part 3, using dates to indicate the source 
material on vhich the discussion is based. 






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Part I: Principal Dates 



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Part I 

Principal Dates During Sunflower 
( January- Apr il 19 67) 



Jan. 5 Embassy Warsaw is told to cease contacts on negotiations with 

the Poles; Embassy Moscow is told to attempt deliver a message 
directly to the DRV Embassy, proposing confidential US-DRV 
exchanges "about the possibilities of achieving a peaceful 
settlement" in Vietnam, 

Jan, 10 The message is passed in Moscow, 

Jan, 17 The DRV Embassy in Moscow seeks clarification: What is meant 

by "secure arrangements?" What is the US position on settle- 
ment terms? 

Jan. 20 The US replies that its position on settlement would be the 

appropriate topic for two-way discussions , and suggests possi- 
ble subject headings for such talks. "Secure" means that no 
other parties would be informed, 

Jan. 27 The DRV replies with an Aide -Memo ire denouncing US aggression 

and stating that "The unconditional cessation (of US attacks 
on the Worth) being materialized , the DRV could then exchange 
views with US concerning the place or date for contact" as 
proposed by the US message of January 10. 

Jan. 28 Burchett T s interview with Trinli is broadcast by Hanoi , saying 

that "it is only after the unconditional cessation (of US 
attacks on the Horth) . • . that there could be talks." 

Jan, 31 The US replies in writing , objecting to the broadcast of the 

"essence" of the confidential comnmnieation to it, offering 
to discuss mutual de-escalation or to hold secret talks on 
settlement terms before finding a formula for stopping the 

bombing, 

Feb, 6 Kosygin arrives in London for a week's visit. He and the 

British Immediately turn to the prospects for negotiations 
on Vietnam. 

Feb, 8 'President Johnson's letter to Ho, proposing mutual de- 

escalaticn, is delivered in Moscow. 

* 

Feb, 7-13 An intense round of UK-USSR talks occurs in London. The 

British work closely with US representatives on the scene. 
There are numerous communications between London and Washing- 
ton, on the one side, and between London and Moscow and 
London and Hanoi on the Communist side. The US advances 
various de-esealatory proposals, none of which is accepted. 

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Feb. 13 The bombing of the DRV, which had ^een suspended for the 

Tet truce and the balance of Kosygin's visit to London, 
is resumed immediately after his departure. 

* 

Feb. 15 Ho replies to the President, rejecting his proposal and 

re- iterating the Trinh formula about talks. The DRV 
terminates the contacts between Enbassies in Moscow. 

Mar. 21 The DRV broadcasts the Johnson- Ho letter exchange, 

Apr. 6 Embassy Moscow delivers another note to the DRV Embassy 

proposing that contacts be resumed. It is returned the 
same day, opened but marked "unacceptable . u 



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Part II: Discussion 






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I* How Sunflower Came to Focus on De-Es eolation 

At Polish insistence ^ the Marigold exchanges (roughly June- 
December 3-966) tended to focus on possible terms for a final* 
settlement in Vietnam. The US had preferred, and several tjjues 
proposed, mutual de-escalation as the first issue for considera- 
tion, on the grounds that this would produce a favorable atmos- 
phere in which to discuss final settlement terms. The Poles 
resisted this approach, arguing that the Vietnamese Communists 
viewed de-escalation as preserving the SVH status quo, which they 
were fighting precisely to change. It would be easier to bring 
the DRV to the conference table, they argued, by first addressing 
the new status quo. 

With the collapse of Marigold in December 1966, Sunflower 
became the primary vehicle for US negotiating efforts, as the US 
attempted to deal directly with the DRV. Gronouski was instructed 
to take no further initiative in Warsaw. (Marigold 1/6/67) 
Guthrie was instructed to seek direct contact with the DRV Embassy 
in Mos cow , proposing the establishment of " completely secure 
arrangements for exchanging communications 11 between the two govern- 
ments in "any capital where we both maintain posts . " The proposed 
subject matter was extremely broad, "the possibilities of achieving 
a peaceful settlement of the Vietnamese dispute. 11 Discussions 
could have begun with settlement terms or de-escalation. (1/5/67) 
This message was passed on January 10* (1/IO/67) 

The DRV responded first informally by asking "clarification" 
of the US position on terms of settlement. (1/17/67) On January 
20, we replied that the DRV already had considerable information 
on the US position; further elaboration should now occur through 
the two-way discussions we were proposing. Illustrative agenda 
topics were suggested. (1/17/67, I/20/67) 

The DRV then replied formally on January 27 in a stiffly worded 
Aide-Memoire which (l) denounced the US for "intensifying the war in 
South Vietnam and escalating the bombing of Bfortb Vietnam"; (2) 
ridiculed US proposals for "conditional suspension of bombing" and 
"conditional withdrawal of troops" as schemes to prolong US domi- 
nance of SWj (3) insisted that the US "recognize the h point stand 
of the DRV and the 5 point statement of the NLF" if it "really 
wants peace and seeks a political solution"; and (k) demanded the 
unconditional end of attacks on the DRV as the condition for the 
contacts proposed by the US note of January 10. (1/27/67) 

The last point contained the obstacle to the further develop- 
ment of Sunflower. The operational passage reads (in Hanoi's 
"unofficial translation" into English): "The unconditional cessa- 

tion of bombing and all cyfiher acts of war against the DRV being 



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- , — 

materialised, the DRV could then exchange views with the US con- 
cerning the place or date for contact between the two parties as 
the USG proposed in its message handed over on January 10, 19^7 • " 

On the following day, January 28, the DRV Foreign Minister, 
Tririh, made a parallel statement in an "interview" with Burchett, 
As broadcast by Hanoi in English, he said, "It is only after the 
unconditional cessation of US bombing and all other acts of war 
against the DRV that there could be talks between the DRV and the 

us." (1/28/67) 

There are several notable features of the DRV response: 

— It gives nothing away with respect to terms for closing 
out the war. These remain US recognition of the DRV k points, etc. 

--It identifies a new stage in the negotiating process- "talks" 
(Tririh) or the "exchange (of) views with the US concerning the place 
or date for contact" (Aide-Memoire) — which is different from, and 
hence undoubtedly less than, a fullfledged negotiation . 

■ 
- 

— It makes "unconditional cessation" of attacks on the DRV a 
prior condition for even this level of contact. 

— The language of the Aide-Memoire, a private communication, 
holds f orth greater promise that contact would indeed follow the 
cessation of attacks on the Forth than does Trinh speaking publicly, 
but even it is not without ambiguity. Washington is given very little 
notion of what it would get in exchange for a bombing cessation, - 1 - 

As compared with Marigold, this surely amounted to a major 
hardening of the DRV position on the matter of establishing contact 
with the US. At the same time, by making its position public, Hanoi 
added to the considerable pressure already felt by the US to push 
toward negotiations. Although the Tririh interview, the Salisbury 
visit to NVN, and the diplomatic campaign being waged by the Poles were 
all designed to increase US embarrassment over the outcome of Marigold, 
they could also be interpreted as reflecting growing DRV discomfort 
under the impact of the bombing. It seemed possible ; therefore } that 
Hanoi was more desirous than formerly of getting the bombing stopped 
and perhaps even of negotiating an acceptable end to the war. 

The problem for Washington was demonstrating its responsiveness 
to any opportunity to negotiate a settlement, without throwing away 
its blue chip, the bombing campaign. Out solution was to ask again 
for military reciprocity as well as talks in exchange for a bombing 
halt. 



On February 6, Kosygin told Wilson in London "that he had just been 
in direct contact with Hanoi and could confirm that Hanoi would talk 
if the bombing stopped. (2/6/67). 

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In one sense , then. Sunflower may have seemed a step backward 
from Marigold, in that it focused on conditions for starting talks 
to the exclusion of further consideration of settlement terms. On 
the other hand, it turned attention back to de-escalation, the US 
preferred topic. 

It should be noted, however, that the U.S. alone was not 
responsible for turning the play back to military reciprocity and 
de-escalation, Hanoi's January 27 message and January 28 Trinh state- 
ment were as much, if not more, the cause of the shift. The U.S. mes- 
sage of January 10 was so general as to allow Planoi to respond either 
with settlement terms or de-escalatory proposals. The fact that Hanoi 
chose the latter, probably recognizing that neither side was prepared 
to make further military concessions at this point, may indicate that 
North Vietnam was not anxious for or desirous of talks or negotiations 
except on its own terms in the first part of 19&7- 

The U.S. seemed to understand the Sunflower contacts in just this 
light. Referring to the Trinh statement and Sunflower, one of the 
U.S. principals wrote: 

"Yet it may not be enough to say that Hanoi has simply 
been engaged in this public campaign. In order to make its 
own position effective, Hanoi has had to weaken and almost 
to eliminate its previous stress on the four points and 
recognition of the MLF. Its propaganda suggests that it 
has been somewhat pressed to explain this shift to its own 
people and the JNLF. In short, Planoi took some risks and 
perhaps, "in the eyes of its people, made a significant change 
in its position. 

"Against this background, Hanoi's rejection of our pro- 
posal, on February iU, was hardly surprising. As we knew 
at the time, the proposal was extremely unfavorable to them -- 
although also the only one we could have made in this area. 
Moreover, Hanoi had only five days to weigh this concrete 
proposal, and had to do so under what may well have been 
the worst possible circumstances from their standpoint — 
with the high probability of our resumption hanging over them. 
In other words, the firm and sharp rejection was almost what 
we had to expect at this stage. It was not a clear indicator 
that Hanoi is dug in." 



In short, neither side expected to enter talks at this time. 



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II. "Unconditional 11 and "Permanent" 

There is, and perhaps will always remain, some confusion as to 
whether Hanoi f s condition for talks during Sunflower was an "uncondi- 
tional" or a "permanent and unconditional" cessation of the attacks 
on MW.l In trying to sort out this question, it is useful to 
distinguish four kinds of DEV demands: 

(1) Demands with nothing offered in exchange. These reflect 
ultimate DRV objectives, no doubt , but they are non- operational, in 
that there is no consequence for non- compliance , no reward for com- 
pliance. As they are essentially statements of principle , they are 
the toughest of all. 

(2) Demands posed as conditions for "establishing peace." 
Here , peace is the quid pro quo. It would .be a large reward if 
earned , but it is a long way off because so many steps must be taken 
first. These rank second in toughness , therefore. 

(3) Demands posed . to provide a "basis for negotiations," 

(k) Demands posed as conditions for "talks." From the Trinh 
interview on, these became the operational elements in the exchanges. 

Sometimes more than one kind of demand is posed in the same 
document or statement, with the result that varying degrees of tough- 
ness are reflected in different connections. 

—The DEV Aide-Memoire demanded US recognition of the DEV k 
points, etc., "if the US really wants peace" (1/27/67, para C); but 
it demanded the "unconditional cessation" (not "peimanent and un- 
conditional") of attacks on the DEV in exchange for talks. (1/27/67, 
para D . ) 

—The Trinh interview demanded at one point that US attacks 
"stop definitively and unconditionally," offering nothing in exchange 
(1/30/67, response to question 2); but it said at another that "only 
after the unconditional cessation of the bombing . . . could there be 
talks." (I/30/67, response to question 3) (Emphasis supplied) 

— Ho Chi Minh f s February 15 letter to the President contains 
parallel formulations: for the "restoration of peace" attacks "must 
stop definitively and unconditionally," the US must recognize the 
NLF, etc; but it is "only after unconditional cessation . . . that 
the DRV and the US could enter into talks." (1/15/67, para F. ) 

In Ho's February 13 letter to the Pope, he says the US must "end' 
unconditionally and definitively the bombing .... withdraw from SVN 



1. 
In 



[n some texts, especially DEV translations into English, the term 
"definitive" is used instead of "permanent." The meaning is almost 
certainly the same, both terms being English equivalents of the French 
"definitive." 

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. . . , recognize the NLFSV . . . . Only in such conditions can 
real peace "be restored in Vietnam." (2/13/67) Comparing this with 
Trinli's statement , Mai Van Bo explained to the New York Times that 
Ho's "message referred to the terns of a settlement and not to the 
process of getting peace talks started. Therefore it did not con- 
stitute a change over the Vietnamese position," (2/23/67) Bo vent 
on to make clear that he and the Times correspondent were having a 
"conversation/ 1 not an "interview." For an "interview/ 1 he would 
have insisted on written questions and would have given written 
answers. The point here is the emphasis laid on textual precision. 
Bo complained that neither President Johnson nor Secretary Rusk had 
ever quoted TrinhVs statement fully or accurately , proof , he said, 
of bad faith since Hanoi's real position was fully known and under- 
stood in Washington. 

Bo may uell have been wrong about Washington's understanding. 
Unfortunately j he did not spell out the distortions he thought had 
occurred. Unfortunately , too, his "conversation" added to the 
ambiguity, since he is described (but not quoted) as arguing that 
"any cessation of bombing that was not clearly labeled r permanent 
and unconditional 1 would leave the ■ threat of bombing 1 in tact and 
thus would constitute an unacceptable interference with the negotia- 
tion." Since he had not answered in writing } it is not clear if he 
intentionally introduced a new formulation or if the Times synthe- 
sized his views in a way he would not have done. 

Hone of the official DRV texts examined for this study (letters 
from Ho, "interviews " with DRV officials, Hanoi broadcasts, Aides- 
Memo ire, etc.) demand a "permanent" halt to the attacks as a condition 
for talks. Ihese materials coier the period January- April 1967. It 
seems most likely, therefore /"that this was not a condition during 
the period in which Sunflower was active. 

Inexplicably, the U.S. did not seem alive to the distinctions 
being made by Hanoi. We persisted in reading the terms as demanding 
both "unconditional and permanent. 1 ' We also showed no awareness of 
the difference between "talks," "negotiations ," and "settlement" 
or "peace." Whether having been alert to these distinctions would 
have altered our behavior is problematical. 



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III. Reciprocity 

Whether or not the DEV was demanding a "permanent" halt in the 
bombing j it is entirely clear that their demand from January 27 on 
was for an "unconditional 11 one, Hanoi was explicitly refusing the 
military reciprocity the US had repeatedly asked for if the "bombing 
were to stop. At the very outset of Sunflower, then, the issue was 
firmly joined between the two sides on this matter. 

DRV intransigence may have received some encouragement from our 
unilateral suspension of bombing within 10 miles of Hanoi T s center 
on December 2^, I966. From the Communist vantage point, this may 
have appeared as a response to pressures on the US generated by the 
collapse of Marigold, the Salisbury reportage, messages from U Thant 
and the Pope, etc. If we would give this much to keep the prospects 
of US-DRV contacts alive, perhaps we could be made to give much more. 

On the other hand, we had indicated at the outset that our action 
was taken unilaterally, but in the hope of seeing a reciprocal gesture 
from the other side, Harriman made clear to Dobrynin on January 17 
that we did not feel bound to maintain the sanctuary indefinitely in 
the absence of some response from Hanoi. 

The response, when it came, had a little carrot, "there could be 
talks/' and a lot of stick, "there would be no reciprocity." Our 
response was to probe for concealed reciprocity. Perhaps the other 
side would give something in exchange, if not forced to do so openly. 

One point should be made clear — the DRV has never stated that 
it would not reciprocate militarily at some future point, Hanoi was 
stating simply that it would not reciprocate prior to or in exchange 
for a U.S. bombing cessation. Its objective seems to have been (and 
still is) to remove the bombings as a "blue chip," 

From our vantage point, we were working two different strategies. 
Hie first strategy was that we would not stop the bombing in exchange 
for talks alone; there had to be reciprocity, preferably a DRV infiltra- 
tion stoppage. The second strategy was to circumvent the reciprocity 
issue entirely and to concentrate on getting "discussions" started 
without any de-escalatory act by either side. This was embodied in 
the statement that the U.S. was prepared for "unconditional discus- 
sions" at any time. 



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IV. Specific US Proposals for De- Escalation 

■ ' ■■ — - -"** - -- - _ _ . 

M 

When Sunflower vent active, early in January, the US already 
had several de-escalatory proposals outstanding. During Sunflower, 
several more were made. 

* 
Earlier Proposals 

(1) Goldberg's UN Speech . (September 22, I966) The US 
offered "to order a cessation of all bombing of NVN — 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." (Marigold, 9/22/66) This proposal invited 
the DRV to suggest its own matching action- -which would have to be 
accepted by, or renegotiated with, the US, Upon agreement, the US 
step would be taken first, 

The offer was repeated in more general terms on December 3!j 
when Goldberg wrote U Thant, "we are ready to order a prior end to 
all bombing of North Vietnam the moment there is an assurance, 
private or otherwise, that there would be a reciprocal response 
toward peace from North Vietnam/ 1 Goldberg specified that he was 
reaffirming his September offer and indicated that the NVN response 
should be "tangible," However, this time he did not use the terms 
"promptly" and "corresponding and appropriate de-escalation." 
(12/31/66) Carefully read, the proposal was unchanged, but an 
impression of greater liberality on the US side may have been given. 

(2) Phase A-Phase B . This was an elaboration of the Goldberg 
proposal sent on a highly confidential basis to the DRV in November 
I966, via the Poles and quite independently via the British (Wilson 
and Brown) by way of the Russians. It was intended as a face-saving 
package, "which in its totality represented what both we and Hanoi 
would agree to as a reasonable measure of mutual de-escalation, but 
which would have two separate phases in its execution. Phase A 
would be a bombing suspension, while Phase B, which would follow 
after some adequate period, would see the execution of all the 
other agreed de-escalatory actions. Hanoi's actions taken in Phase 
B would appear to be in response to our actions in Phase B rather 
than to the bombing suspension." (Marigold ll/l 3/ 66, il/lo/66) 

The steps to be taken by both sides in Phase B were again left open 
for discussion with the DRV, 

(3) The Hanoi Sanctuary ! On December 2^, i960, we informed 
the DRV via the Poles that US air strikes within 10 nautical miles 
of the center of Hanoi would be stopped and that the US would be 
impressed by some reciprocal de-escalatory step on the Communist 
side. (Marigold 12/2^/66) We suggested the cessation of VC 
terrorist activity within 10 miles of Saigon's center as such a 
step and set up a watch in Saigon to see if the other side responded, 
Ho positive response, verbal or 'de-escalatory was forthcoming. 



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Subsequent Proposals 

As Sunflower unfolded, the earlier proposals were re- iterated 

and some new ones advanced : 

* 

(k) Expanding on the Hanoi Sanctuary . On January 31, the 
US through secret channels drew DRV attention to the bombing 
sanctuary around Hanoi and offered "to implement additional measures 
to de-escalate the bombing of the North to create conditions con- 
ducive to the success of talks with the DRY. We, of course, would 
be impressed with similar acts of restraint on the part of the DRV," 
which, if forthcoming, need not be publicised. (1/31/67) This 
leaves it to the DRV to suggest reciprocal acts and suggests that 
the US would be willing to act first, (in this note, we also urged 
the DRV again to consider the Phase A- Phase B formula.) 

(5) President Johnson 1 s February 3 Press Conference . In 
response to a question asking "what kind of other steps the other 
side should take for this suspension of bombing," the President 

responded, "Just almost any step We would be glad to 

explore any reciprocal action that they or any of their spokesmen 
would care to suggest." The language is forthcoming in tone, but 
makes no commitment to do more than "explore" suggestions of the 
other side. (Marigold 2/3/67) 

(6) Baggs-Ashraore . On February 5, Harry Ashmore wrote Ho Chi 
Minh, conveying a message he had drafted with State's cooperation. 
He described US officials as interested "in your suggestion to us 
that private talks could begin provided the US stopped bombing your 
country and ceased introducing additional US troops into Vietnam. 
They expressed the opinion that some reciprocal restraint to indicate 
that neither side intended to use the occasion of the talks for 
military advantage would provide tangible evidence of the good faith 
of all parties in the prospects for a negotiated settlement." The 
letter then asked Ho to respond to this point. (2/5/67) Thus it 
offered no US action until Hanoi's reciprocation was indicated, nor 
did it specify US willingness to stop the bombing first. The recip- 
rocal act was to be a "tangible evidence of good faith," but one 
sufficient in magnitude to indicate that neither side intended to 
gain a military advantage. 

• 

(7) President Johnson 1 s Letter to Wilson . On February 6 or 7, 
the President wrote confidentially to Wilson that we planned "to 
inform Hanoi that if they will agree to an assured stoppage of 
infiltration into SVTT, we will stop the bombing of KVU and stop 
further augmentation of US forces in SVItf." This was based on the 
understanding that a bombing suspension was unacceptable to Hanoi 
and the US had to "accept an unconditional and permanent cessation 
of bombing." It is not really explicit about which side is to act 
first, though it may have read to - Wilson, who had previously passed 



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the Phase A- Phase B proposal, as If we would step bombing when the 
other side "agreed" to stop infiltration. 

(8) President Johnson's Letter to H o. On February 8, the 
President Lent a confidential letter to Ho in which he offered to 
stop bombing the DRV and stop augmenting US forces in SW "as soon 
as I am assured that infiltration into SVN by land and by sea has . 
stopped." This , for the first time, spelled out a measure of 
reciprocity the US would consider acceptable. As with the letter 
to Wilson, this proposal was based on the understanding that Hanoi 
required a permanent and unconditional end to attacks before talks. 
As compared with earlier US proposals, it clearly reversed the order 
of events: infiltration would stop first, then the US would stop 
bombing and augmenting force levels. Bubassy Moscow was instructed 
to deliver this message on February 7, but was unable to do so until 
the 8th. The date of Its drafting Is not available in the materials 
used for this study. 

(9) Re vised 1^ Points . On February 9, Secretary Rusk drew 
attention to a newly annotated statement of the US Ik Points For 
Peace, of which the fourteenth included the following: rf We are 
prepared to order a cessation of all bombing of HW, the moment we 
are assured — privately or otherwise — that this step will be answered 
promptly by a corresponding and appropriate de-escalation of the 
other side. (2/9/67) Here, again, the US offers to act first and 
the nature of the reciprocal action is left open. 

(10) Goldberg r s Howard University Speech . On February 10, 
Goldberg stated, "The United States remains prepared to take the 
first step and order a cessation of all bombing of HVN the moment 
we are assured, privately or otherwise, that this step will be 
answered promptly by a tangible response toward Deace from EW. n 
(2/10/67) 

(11) US Version of British Proposal . Late on February 10, the 
British passed Kosygin a draft proposal, cleared by Washington. It 
indicated that the US would order a cessation of bombing as soon as 
it was assured that infiltration had stepped; within a few days, the 
US would stop further augmenting Its force in SVN. The deal was to 
be communicated confidentially to Hanoi, and DRV acceptance could be 
kept secret as well. (2/12/67) - ■ 

(12) Extension of Tet Truce . Late on February 12, the President 
wired Wilson, authorizing him to approach Kosygin with this proposal: 
"If you can get a ilorth Vietnamese assurance- -communicated either 
direct to the US or through you — before 10:00 a.m. British time tomorrow 
that all movement of troops and supplies into SVN will stop at that 
time, I will get an assurance from the US that they will not resume 
bombing HVIf from that time. Of course the US build-up would also then 
stop within a matter of days." (2/12/67) 



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As the US had already stopped bombing for Tet, the sequence would 
in effect be: US bombing halt; DRV infiltration halt; US build-up 
halt. At British request, the time limit was later extended by six 
hours } to h p.m. British time. Even with this, the time allowed for 
a DRV response was shorty and the problem of actually stopping the 
movement of men and supplies in that period would have been sub- 
stantial. 



10 TOP SECRET - HOD IS 



n 



o > 



TOP SECRL... - KQDIS 
US De-Escalatory Proposals 



Proposal 



Date 



Channel 



H 
H 



Parties" 



Public or 
Confidential 



Sequence of Steps 



1. Goldberg's IM Speech 9/22/66 Public Pronouncement 



2. Phase A- 

Phase B 

3. Hanoi Sanctuary 



h* Expanding on Hanoi 
Sanctuary - 

5. President's Press 
Conference 

6 . Baggs - Ashmore 



7- President's Letter 
to Wilson 



. President's Letter 
to Ho 



9. Revised Ik points 



10. Goldberg's Howard 
Speech 



US Version of British 
Proposal 



mid-Kov. 66 Poles 



12/2V66 Poles 



Confidential 



2/3/67 



2/5/67 



2/7/67 



2/8/67 



2/9/67 



* • 



Confidential 



I/31/67 US-DRV 



Confidential 



Public Pronouncement 



Ashmore Confidential 
Letter to Ho 



OK 



Confidential 



US-DRV 



Confidential 



Public Pronouncement 



2/IO/67 Public Pronouncement 



2/10/67 UK-USSR 



Confidential 



12- Tet Truce Extension 2/12/67 UK-USSR 



Confidential 



TOP SECRET - NOBIS 



First 



Second 



US stops bombing 



US stops bcmbing 



US had already 
stopped bombing 
near Hanoi 



Corresponding j appropriate 
de-escalation of other side 

Both sides de-escalate fur- 
ther after adequate period 

Some reciprocal step hoped 
for 



US extends bombing Similar act of restraint 
sanctuary from other side 

Sequence not specified 



Sequence not specified 



Sequence not specified 



DRV infiltration 
stops 

US stops bombing 



US stops bombing 



DRV infiltration 
stops 

US bombing was 
already stopped 



US bombing & troop buildup 
stop 

Cor re spending } appropriate 
de-escalation of other side 

Tangible response toward 
peace 

US bombing & troop buildup 
stop 

■ 

DRV infiltration to stop, 
followed by stop in US troop 
build-up 



y s 

a" 8 

S 5 

? 8. 

n s? 

2: £ 

8 % 

u> O 

- Q 

W Z 

S? 3 

10 U> 

O uj 



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V. DRV Responses , Verbal and Military 

There are indications of varying firmness that all of these 
proposals -were in fact conveyed to Hanoi, though it is not clear 
how quickly they all arrived. The DRV Embassy in Moscow confirmed 
prompt transmission of all the communications passed to it, includ- 
ing the Presidents letter of February 8. On the other hand, Ho 
claimed to have received the letter only on February 10. Kosygin 
indicated that he was in quick communication with DRV authorities 
(a matter of hours for a message and reply) during his London visit 
(see e.g., 2/6/67 J. 1 As the deadline for ending the Tet truce 
approached on February 13, "President's Cipher" telegrams were sent 
from the Soviet delegation in London to Moscow, Kosygin spoke with 
Brezhnev about the proposals by telephone, and the DRV Bribassy in 
Moscow transmitted, then received, cipher messages from Hanoi. 

(2/13/67) 

In its Aide-Memoire to the US on January 27 and the Trinh inter- 
view of January 28, the DRV firmly rejected reciprocity in the matter 
of de-escalation. No further direct communication with the US was 
made by Hanoi until Ho's letter to President Johnson of Februaiy 15 j 
which repeated the Trinh formula in rejecting reciprocity. In 
accompanying oral remarks } the DRV Charge also said he could no 
longer meet with US representatives in Moscow. 

At 3:32 p.m. British time, February 13, just 28 minutes before 
the expiration of the deadline on the US proposal for using the Tet 
truce to begin de-escalation, Hanoi broadcast a letter from Ho to 
the Pope. Ho was sharp in tone, denouncing US aggression and demand- 
ing an unconditional and definitive cessation of all attacks on the 
DRV, US withdrawal from SVH and recognition of the NLF as the con- 
ditions for "peace." He did not refer to conditions for "talks." 
(2/13/67) Carefully read, therefore, the letter did not address the 
question of mutual de-escalation, as a first step toward negotiations. 
However, its timing and tone gave the impression of a rebuff to US 
proposals . 

Earlier, the DRV had positioned two divisions within or just 
north of the DMZ. During the last week of January and the first- 
week of February, an additional division was believed to have moved 
south, With the Tet truce, the movement of supplies southward 
between the 19th and 17th parallels in the DRV increased sharply, 
to a rate about double that of the Chrif.tmas truce and several times 
that of non- truce periods. Thus throughout the first weeks of Sun- 
flower, the Communists seemed increasingly to be positioning them- 
selves to undertake combat operations at a substantially increased 
level. (2/9/67) 

According to a forthcoming CIA study, only 2 of the Ik DRV Politburo 
members were known to be in Hanqi in early February- Two had gone 
to Peking. Possibly some were also in Moscow, to tighten liaison 
with the Russians during Kosygin 1 s London visit. 

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US sensitivity to this deployment increased as the talks in 
London proceeded and the possibility that the other side might 
actually accept a proposal for a bombing halt grew more vivid. , 
This threat was emphasized by US officials , in explaining our 
sudden reluctance to agree firmly to a permanent bombing cessa- 
tion which would be followed only after some interval by a halt 
to infiltration. The DRV divisions might be committed during 
such an interval , without technically violating the agreement. 

It is not at all clear what the other side hoped to accom- 
plish by this tactic. The deployments were occurring throughout 
January and early February, and the other side was aware, through 
our public statements, that we knew of them. They certainly 
worked against any possibility that we would finally accede to a 
truly unconditional cessation of attacks on the North, It even 
made more difficult the much lesser task of inducing us to stop 
bombing first on the assurance of a subsequent — -probably ill- 
defined — reciprocal restraint from the other side. It was well 
designed, on the other hand, to produce the result which actually 
followed: no agreement on de-escalation, but a sharp upsurge in 
the fighting instead. 

On this reading, Hanoi preferred the sword to the conference 
table, except if it could get talks on its own terms, Insofar 
as Hanoi believed that its terms were not buyable by the U.S., 
the Trinh interview et al seems to signal less an attempt to get 
the bombing stopped and/or to talk than to find a more effective 
political posture from which to continue prosecuting the war. To 
put it another way, the Trinh interview may nark DRV" discourage- 
ment about winning its objectives via negotiations and an increased 
reliance on fighting and propaganda. Hanoi may well have been 
moved toward this posture by the following factors in combination: 
(l) The relatively tough stance revealed by the US during Marigold, 
toward both settlement terms and the circumstances under which we 
were willing to start talks; (2) The sensitivity to criticism, 
leveled either against our desire for negotiations or the bombing 
campaign against the North, revealed by the US after the Marigold 
contact aborted and Salisbury visited the DRV; and (3) The repeated 
urging of the DRV's European supporters to adopt a more forthcoming 
attitude toward negotiations. 

An alternative interpretation has been advanced, however, by 
the Soviets. On February 17, Zinchuk told Bundy that Hanoi had 
noted repeated statements by us that we had undertaken the bombing 
in order to get Hanoi to talk. Hence, Hanoi had supposed that its 
Burchett interview position of willingness to talk if we stopped the 
bombing was a direct (and presumably acceptable) response to our own 
position. This explanation does not take explicit account of the 
DRV build-up around the DMZ nor conjecture as to the use that would 
have been made of these forces in the event of an unconditional halt 
in our bombing and US-DRV talks. 

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VI, The British Role 

The eagerness of the British leaders to participate with maximum 
personal visibility in bringing peace to Vietnam- - in early February 
alone Wilson proposed travelling personally both to Washington and 
Hanoi — was sometimes embarrassing to the US, which greatly preferred 
confidential dealings with a minimum of participants. (2/ll/67> 
2/12/67 , 2/13/67) At the time of Sunflower, we had direct contact 
with the DRV in Moscow and needed no intermediary to make our views 
known in Hanoi. On the other hand, the domestic political value to 
Wilson and Brown of such a role and the importance of their support 
for US policies not only in Vietnam, but elsewhere too, made the US 
willing to bring the British into negotiation efforts. Furthermore," 
Kosygin *s visit to London in early February made British participation 
inevitable. Kosygin and Wilson would discuss Vietnam and issue state- 
ments on it with or without a US input. If we stood aloof from it, 
the results could be harmful to the US. And the possibility that 
Kosygin could use Soviet influence in Hanoi introduced an element of 
potential value, not available in direct US-DRV exchanges. 

Looking back on it, there seems little' doubt that bringing the 
British in was to US advantage. But there were adverse consequences 
along the way: 

— Wilson made references, in Parliament and to the press, not 
well veiled at all, to the transactions of Marigold and Sunflower, 
(2/8/67, 2/1 h/Gj) mile these were not critical of the US, they 
gave those not previously informed reason to believe that something 
of substance had been afoot on the negotiations front. This was 
alarming to the GVN and Troop Contributing Nations. It gave a peg 
on which to hang other tendentious accounts of what "really TT happened 
in these episodes. And it seemed to contradict the President, who on 
February 3 had said he had seen no action by the other side that he 
could interpret as "a serious effort to either go to a conference table 
or to bring the war to an end." (Marigold 2/3/67) 

— The battle of the tenses brought additional friction to the 
US-UK relationship, including emotional persona,! communications between 
Wilson and the President, Brown and the US Ambassador, etc, in which 
the British leaders claimed to have been put in "a hell of a situation" 
and questioned US intentions and consistency of policy in the search 
for a negotiated settlement. This subject seems of sufficient impor- 
tance to be treated separately. (See the next section.) 



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VII. The Battle of the Tenses 

By the end of January I967 > the US had outstanding at least 
four de-escalatory proposals to the DRV,, calling for the US to stop 
bombing as the first step. (See Section IV) The most detailed of 
these , the Phase A- Phase B proposal } actually emphasized this 
aspect as a face-saving device for the DRV, which would not then be 
forced openly to acknowledge reciprocity. This proposal had been 
passed via the British in mid-November 1966, and they were thoroughly 
familiar with it. When the President wrote to Ho, however, on Febru- 
ary 8, he offered to stop bombing only "as soon as I am assured that 
infiltration into SVH by land and by sea has stopped." (Emphasis 
supplied.) The DRV had been assured that~~our contact with them 
would be kept entirely confidential , and no copy of the letter to 
Ho was given the British, nor, apparently, to the US representatives 
in London. 

In the Presidents letter to Wilson (February 6 or 7) the 
question of which side would act first was not made explicit. Its 
language, therefore , was equally consistent with the Phase A- Phase 
B proposal or with the letter to Ho. 

* 

As soon as Kosygin arrived in London (February 6), he launched 
into discussions of Vietnam and China. Wilson responded by spelling 
out the Phase A- Phase B formula in detail. (2/6/67) When Kosygin 
failed to show interest, Wilson repeated the proposal on February 7 
in even greater detail, giving it to Kosygin in writing and coming 
down repeatedly on the willingness of the US to act first. (2/7/67) 

— "They (the US) recognize the need for a first and visible 
step. They further recognize that this step must mean the cessation 
of the bombing. This I believe they will do . . . ." 

--"Because the USG know that the second stages will follow, they 
will therefore be able first to stop the bombing, . . . . " 

So much for Phase A. Wilson structured the remainder of the ^ 
Presidents proposal into a concrete version of Phase B, 

■ 

— "The US are willing to stop the build-up of their forces in 
the South if they are assured that the movement of North Vietnamese 
forces from the North to the South will stop at the same time. 
Essentially therefore the two stages are kept apart." 

— "But because the USG know that the second stages will follow, 
they will therefore be able first to stop the bombing 



tt 

.... 



The British felt encouraged by Kosygin r s apparent interest and 
surmised that he had not understood the proposal when put to hira by 



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Brown the previous November. They gave us a copy of the text 
passed to Kosygin, and it was cabled that night to Washington. 

Thus precisely as the President's letter to Ho was author- 
ized for delivery in Moscow, the British were proposing a differ- 
ent sequence of the same actions to Kosygin in London. Their 
idea was to incorporate the proposition into a joint statement by 
the UK and USSR, as co-chairmen of the 195*4- Geneva Conference. A 
draft of such a statement was submitted to Washington, which 
approved it with some revision, then passed to the Russians. In 
the draft, however, the sequence of actions again became ambiguous, 
as so often happens with the use of the English future tense. 
(The co-chairmen were to ask assurances from the US that the bomb- 
ing "will stop"; from NVN that the infiltration will stop"; and 
again from the US that the troop buld-up "will stop.") (2/9/67) * 

If the Russians demurred on the joint statement, the British 
intended to push again on the Phase A- Phase B formula. As Kosygin 
wanted to submit the latter to the DRV, the British gave it to him 
once again in writing on the evening of February 10. At last, 
however, their attention was drawn to the difference between their 
sequence and the one envisioned by the US in the President's letter 
to Ho. Late on the night of February 10, therefore, a revised 
version was handed Kosygin, with the comment that it had been 
authorised by the White House. The difference between the two 
versions boiled down essentially to a change in tenses. The British 
version said, "The US will stop bombing NVN" as soon as they are 
assured that infiltration from NVN to SVN will stop . " The revised 
version changed the last two words to "has stopped . " (Emphasis - 
supplied.) (2/12/67 repeats the relevant texts . ) 

Wilson and Brown apparently took strong exception to the last 
minute change of tenses, arguing that it undercut their credibility 
as negotiators vis-a-vis the Russians and that they had based their 
formulation on familiar US positions (the revised ll+ points, etc.), 
clearing their drafts with the US as they went along. (2/II/67) 

We replied along several lines: (l) The proposal now under* 
discussion was different than that in the 1^4 points because it 
offered additional US concessions: We would stop our troop build-up 
as well as the bombing, in return for the DRV concession. (2) The 
Russians were aware of the letter to Ho, hence they would have known 
the sequence required by the US. The change in tense in the final 
draft, therefore, would not surprise them or impair British credi- 
bility. (3) The ITVA build-up around the DMZ posed a new military 
situation, in which we simply could not risk a major assault from 
the North in the interval between Phases A and B. (k) Finally, 
the DRV had had the Phase A-Phase B formula for several months 
without showing a "flicker of interest." It was unlikely, there- 
fore, that the matter of sequence was critical. "Everyone seems 

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to wish to negotiate except Hanoi." (2/11/67, 2/12/67) 

These answers apparently did not entirely assuage British 
feelings. In March, they raised the question* again in a letter 
from Wilson to the President (3/16/67) and in conversation "between 
Brown and Kaiser (3/21/67). They clearly hoped to continue a 
significant role as peacemakers and asked for reassurance on their 
understanding of current US positions, on avoiding similar "mis- 
understandings t! in the future, and on the continuing US desire for 
negotiations. 

Shortly after Kosygin*s London visit, Bundy asked Zinchuk in 
Washington whether the problem of tenses had thrown the Soviets off; 
Zinchuk said that it had not significantly disturbed them. (2/17/67) 
However, in Moscow, about the same time, Kosygin*s interpreter 
twitted Thompson about the episode, saying, "that was quite a switch 
you pulled on us in the text of your proposal," (2/17/67) 

It can be argued, however, that the change in tenses was more 
serious. It could have been used as ammunition within the party 
presidium in Hanoi by those who believe the U.S. would not show 

good faith" toward any agreements reached. It could still be 
used as part of a public propaganda exercise. 



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VIII. The Soviet Role 

The British were first startled , then delighted , to find 
Kosygin eager to play in active role as intermediary between the US 
and Hanoi. Kosygin l s interest was conveyed to us, of course, by 
the British, and we had no independent reading on his attitude. To 
some extent, their appraisal of his mood may have reflected their 
own great enthusiasm for the part. But even allowing for this, 
there was definitely a sharp change from previous Soviet reluctance 
to play the middleman, especially when subject to public exposure. 
As already noted, Kosygin was several times in prompt, confidential 
communication with the DRV authorities during his stay in London. 
And he made a public statement expressing belief that the UK and 
USSR could make a "contribution to the settlement of the Vietnam 
issue on the basis of the Geneva agreement," by virtue of their 
roles as Geneva co-chairmen. (2/8/67) 

What produced this change in Soviet attitudes? Were they act- 
ing on DRV behest? Or were they now willing to put pressure on 
Hanoi in piirsuit of interests of their own? 

Only a little light is shed on these questions by the materials 
relating to Kosygin 1 s stay in London. He was apparently willing to 
transmit proposals for DRV consideration more or less uncritically. 
While he argued the general merits of the DRV's side of the war, he 
did not try to bargain or alter specifics of the proposals trans- 
mitted to him. 

State noted with surprise, for example, that he agreed to forward 
the proposal for extending the Tet bombing pause without objecting to 
the "ultimatum" implied in it, as the Soviets had so often done % in 
the past. (2/19/67) What is more striking is that he did not react 
adversely to the substance of the principal de-escalatory proposal 
under discussion — the termination of all DRV infiltration and supply 
into SVH" in exchange for a US halt in attacks on the Worth and in 
troop level augmentation . Entirely apart from the sequence* in which 
these steps were taken, their long term result for the Communists 
would be extremely adverse militarily. Yet on February 13, he was 
overheard (by telephone intercept) to tell Brezhnev of "a great possi- 
bility of achieving the aim, if the Vietnamese will understand the 
present situation that we have passed to them; they will have to 
decide. All they need to do is to give a confidential declaration." 
(2/I3/67) 



In private dealir^, however, the Russians apparently were not quite 
so aloof. This topic is treated in other studies of negotiating 
sequences. During Sunflower, too, there are cryptic allusions to 
earlier Soviet interventions. Thus Kosygin 'told Thompson on February 
18 that "even earlier than Sunflower, the USSR had sought a political 
settlement." 



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Kosygin may not have understood the full import of the proposals 
he was transmitting. He may also have been quite willing to sub- 
ordinate DRV interests to the Soviet desire to avoid further escala- 
tion in Vietnam. Nonetheless , his lack of a critical, analytical, 
"bargaining attitude toward the proposals he was transmitting to Hanoi 
suggests that he did not endorse them, but served as a more or less 
neutral agent of transmission. His intermediation no doubt put the 
DEV under obligation to respond seriously and with full explanations 
of their decisions. This is a form of pressure, perhaps , but 
not a strong one. Had he wished to invoke his full powers of per- 
suasion, he should have tried for proposals he could support- -or at 
least for terms which, with the least possible further modification, 
would seem palatable to Hanoi. 

In a retrospective discussion with Ihompson in Moscow, Kosygin 
expressed a jaundiced view of the role of mediators, saying they 
either complicated the problem or pretended they were doing something 
when in fact they were not. (2/18/67) He had stepped into this 
uncomfortable spot in London because "the Vietnamese had for the first 
time stated they (were) ready to negotiate if the bombings were 
stopped unconditionally; this was the first time they had done so and 
it was a public statement. " This could mean that the Trinh statement 
had given him a green light that formerly was lacking. Of course, 
as suggested earlier, the Trinh statement itself may have been issued 
in part as a result of Soviet pressures. But the general picture, 
though only faintly sketched in the materials at hand, is of con- 
siderable Soviet deference to Hanoi T s views on this critical matter. : 

m 

Rapacki, visiting London on Februaiy 22 , replied tersely but 
tartly to probing on this issue. Asked about Kosygin 1 s influence in 
Hanoi, Rapacki described it to Brown as "not less than yours." Asked 
which country, China or Russia , had greater influence over North 
Vietnam, Rapacki replied, "North Vietnam." (3/1/67) 

How much the Russians had hoped in fact to accomplish during . 
Kosygin T s London trip is impossible to know. They apparently har-- 
bored few expectations after his return. Kosygin complained to 
Thompson about the "ultimatum" implied in the final proposal he 
transmitted to Hanoi from London, saying that he knew it was hopeless 
the minute he read it. He said the Soviets were not confident that 
the US proposals had been serious, and that he could not venture to 
propose anything constructive at that time. (2/17/67) 

-^In a remarkable aside, he recalled that he personally had been in 
Hanoi when the US began bombing the DRV. "Why did not the US turn 
to him at that time and explain to him its problems?" he asked. What 
he would have done about them he left unsaid. 

The fact that he dwelt on the "ultimatum, " with a deadline he 
could hardly hope to meet, rather than the terms of the US proposal — 
which were adverse to the * Communists from a military point of view — 
also suggests that he was as much aroused by his personal embarrass- 
ment as by the US position with respect to settlement terms ,' bargain- 
ing toughness, etc. 

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When Bundy inquired of Zinchuk as to whether the Soviets had 
lost credit in Hanoi as a result of their handling of the London 
vis it , the reply was firmly negative. Zinchuk said that "Hanoi 
continued to look to the Soviets to arrange a "settlement that would 
protect their interests," (2/17/67) This reply is obviously self- 
serving. To the extent that it is true, it again suggests the 
Russians were restrained in their advocacy vis-a-vis Hanoi, 

No explanation is really satisfactory for Soviet behavior . 
The Kosygin- Brezhnev telephone conversation is inexplicable. 
Soviet willingness to transmit virtual ultimatums is only slightly 
less inexplicable. The very fact of intermediation ? however, 
was important. No matter how much the Soviets disassociated 
themselves from the U..S. proposals, their willingness to trans- 
mit them was a form of pressure on the DRV. To the extent that 
Sunflower was a "serious" exchange ? the Russians were probably 
playing a low cost game for the breaks. 



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IX. A New Geneva Conference ? 

Kosygin f s public reference to the UK- USSR Geneva co- chairmanship 
aroused British hopes that the Russians "would- join them in reconven- 
ing a Conference along the lines of 195^-- (2/8/67) When they asked 
him if his remarks indicated a "willingness to proceed in that direc- 
tion, he replied that this was "not exactly" what he had meant to 
imply. ,T I proceeded upon the assumption that the main thing was for 
the UK and the Soviet Union to assist the two sides to meet together 
after the "bombing stopped. After this has been done, there may be 
various proposals for moving further. The Geneva Conference could be 
convened even without China." ( 2/9/67 , emphasis supplied.) He 
emphasized that it was important to "do first things first." 

Noting the bombing pause that would occur during Tet, Brown 
pressed him to think about asking the US not to resume and calling 
for a Geneva Conference to meet as soon as February 15* Kosygin said 
he would first want to know Hanoi's views. A Geneva Conference would 
be a "complicated issue." China would create difficulties. "There 
are Chinese troops in North Vietnam." There was also a pro-Chinese 
faction in Hanoi. "I could send this to Hanoi/' he said, "but I am 
concerned about the difficulties." He decided finally to "think it 
over" and asked to have a proposition from the British in writing. 
(2/9/67) In the end, this topic was dropped } with no indication 
from the Russians as to what response they received from Hanoi — if 
indeed they ever put the issue to Hanoi at all. 



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X, The Shadow of China 

■ 

As vith Marigold > the chronicle of Sunflower is peppered with 
emotional but extremely vague references to the role of the Chinese: 
their antagonism toward a negotiated settlement in Vietnam , and 
their baleful influence on the decision making processes in Hanoi. 
The British found Kosygin in London "obsessed" with the Chinese and 
said he talked about them "the way Pakistanis talk about Indians." 

(2/6/6?) 

In his post mortem with Thompson in Moscow, Kosygin said his 
public endorsement of negotiations in London had provoked "fury" in 
Peking, but that the Chinese had been the winners in the end when 
his efforts failed. Their assessment of the futility of negotiations 
had been given increased credibility in Hanoi. The Chinese wanted 
the conflict to continue and expand. And they had aspirations in 
India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, etc. (2/17/67) 

These remarks were obviously intended to put the US in a more 
concessionary frame of mind. However, at the end of the interview, 
Kosygin adverted to another topic, one that also arose during Mari- 
gold : As Thompson turned the conversation away from Vietnam, Kosy- 
gin interrupted to ask him directly "if the Chinese had approached 
the US re (the) possibility of negotiations on Vietnam." Thompson 
conjectured afterward that he may have thought the Chinese encour- 
aged the US to start negotiations knowing they would fail and thus 
lead to actions increasing the likelihood of a US-Soviet confronta- " 
tion, (2/19/67) The fact that this question was posed more than 
once and in quite different forms by Lewandowski the previous fall, 
though, suggests deeper suspicions of a Sino-US understanding adverse 
to the interests of the Soviet Union and its followers. 



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XI. The End of Sunflower 

With the resumption of bombing on February 13, after the Tet 
Truce , it was relatively clear to all parties that talks were 
unlikely to occur* However , events played themselves out with some 
surprises . 

Ho answered the President's letter with a brusque, if as yet un- 
published , rejection on February 15. In handing the reply to our DCM 
in Moscow, the DRV representative added several points orally: (l) 
The US was "obstinate 11 in continuing to advance conditions for stopping 
the bombing. (2) The US had used the Moscow contact to deceive public 
opinion into believing that secret negotiations were going on while the 
bombing continued- This may have been a reference to news leaks from 
London about Sunflower, or from Washington and many other points about 
Marigold. (3) The proposal for extending the Tet bombing halt was an 
ultimatum, (h) The DRV wished no further contact in Moscow. (2/15/67) 

The tone and substance of these communications was frosty, but 
the fact that they had not been made public left the possibility that 
the rejection might not be final, as the Secretary remarked to Dobrynin 
on February 23. Even this slender hope was destroyed on March 15> 
however, when Hanoi published the Johnson-Ho exchange of letters. 

Since the President's letter referred to possible future meetings 
"in Moscow, where contacts have already occurred," Hanoi's publication 
of it confirmed to the world, including the Chinese and the Vietnamese 
Communists, that such contacts had indeed taken place. This is 
notable, in contrast with Hanoi's great insistence of secrecy in the 
opening phases of the Sunflower and its complaints about publicity 
when the Moscow contact was closed down. 

Hanoi's decision to publish the letters was undoubtedly based on 
the conviction that it would look appreciably more peace-loving than 
the U.S. Never having violated the secrecy of contacts before or since, 
Hanoi had to be sure of its ground and the costs in terms of future 
U.S. communications and the morale of its own people. Equally, if 
not more important, Hanoi could have calculated that public disclosure 
of US -DRV contact could have made the GVN leaders more than uneasy. 

The US tried nonetheless to keep the door to talks open and even 
to resume direct contacts through another letter "from the President to 
Ho- The message discussed the general benefits of a peaceful solution, 
based on the 195^ an <3 19^2 Geneva Accords, and urged the DRV to enter 
talks toward that end. It made no specific proposals on de-escalation 
or settlement terms. It was hand carried to the DRV Embassy in Moscow 
on April 6, but returned by the Vietnamese to the U.S. Embassy mail box 
on the same day with the original envelope having been opened, then 
marked rr non conformel Retour a l'expediteur." 



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Addendum : Hindsight on Marigold 

There were many allusions to Marigold during Sunflower, but only 
a modest amount of additional (often ambiguous) information; 

— On February 17 , Zinchuk told Bundy that the Soviets had gone 
back over Marigold with Hanoi and ascertained firmly that it had 
been "willing to talk, in the sense of exchanging views . " The con- 
tact had been cancelled } he claimed, because of the December 13-14 
bombing of Hanoi, (2/17/67) 

• 

— On February 23, Dobrynin told Rusk that the DRV Charge in 
Moscow came to the Soviet Foreign Ministry on December 15 to say 
that the DRV had instructed Eapacki to break off his talks with the 
US, "on the ground that the bombing just before that date meant the 
US thought it could pressure Hanoi to talk; 11 (2/23/67) 

— On December 23, Rapacki claimed to Brown that "after firm 
agreement on the original 10-point package, Lodge had consulted 
Washington and then reneged by raising new (unspecified) questions 
and points of interpretations. Before the Poles had a chance to 
do anything with these the December 13-14 bombings occurred, killing 
the entire project, fl 

— On March 23, Dobrynin told Bundy "that the Poles had given 
the Soviets an entirely different picture than the one we (the US) 
had presented of who had taken the initiative for the Warsaw con- 
tacts and by Implication the statement of the US position. The 
inescapable implication was that the Poles had represented to the • 
Soviets that tte USG had initiated the Lewandowski channel and that 
the USG had either drafted or endorsed the Lewandowski formulation 
and urged that it be presented to Hanoi." Dobrynin reiterated that 
the "bombing of December 13-14 had caused clear Hanoi rejection of 
the Warsaw meeting." 



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January 1, I967 - New York Times 

Special to The Hew York Times 

UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., Dec. 31- Following are the texts of a letter 
yesterday by Secretary General Thant to Arthur J. Goldberg, the chief 
United States delegate, and of Mr. Goldberg's reply toda^ : 

Thant' s Letter 



Let me take this opportunity of reiterating my three -point program, 
to which I still firmly adhere: 

■ 

1. The cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam; 

2. The scaling down of all military activities by all sides in 
South Vietnam; 

3. The willingness to enter into discussions with those who are 
actually fighting, 

I strongly believe that this 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^* 

* 

I also wish to recall that in the course of the twenty-first session/ 
in the debate of the General Assembly, the majority of the delegations 
have endorsed the three-point program. Many more heads of delegations 
also specifically pleaded for the cessation of the bombing of North Viet- 
nam. It seems to me that this is a vezy clear indication of the public 
opinion of the world at large on this issue. 



>• 



Goldberg's Letter 



• ■ « 



We have carefully reflected on your ideas, expressed in your 
Dec. 30 letter an I on previous occasions, about the cessation of bomb- 
ing of North Vietnam. ... I wish to assure you categorically that my 
Government is prepared to take the first step toward peace: specifically, 
we are ready to order a prior end to all bombing of North . Vietnam the 
moment there is an assurance, private or otherwise, that there would be 
a reciprocal response toward peace from North Vietnam. 

I am, thus reaffirming herewith an offer made before the General 



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Assembly- on Sept. 22 and again on Oct. 18. We hope and trust that you 
will use every means at your disposal to determine what tangible res- 
ponse there would be from Worth Vietnam in the wake of 1 such a prior 
step toward peace on our part - 



January 2, 19 6? 

BEHIND THE LIMES- BM0I, By Harrison E. Salisbury 
(pp. 175-177) Chapter XVIII 



He (Pham Van Dong) then went into a discussion of the so-called 
"four points/' the four points which Hanoi said constituted the "basis 
for a settlement of the Vietnam question." 

There had been great controversy abroad about the significance of 
these four points. Were they to be considered pre-conditions for nego- 
tiation? Must the United States accept them before Hanoi would agree 
to sit down at a conference table? 

The four points provided for (l) recognition of the peace, inde- 
pendence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Vietnam and 
the withdrawal of United States troops; (2) the noninterference of out- 
side powers in the two zones of Vietnam; (3) settlement of South Viet- 
namese questions in accordance with the program of the National Liberation 
Front without foreign interference; and (k) peaceful reunification of 
Vietnam, to be settled by the people of both zones. 

The attitude of the United States was that Hanoi was attempting to 
impose terms for a settlement before a conference, that the North Viet- 
namese insisted that the four points must be accepted first and that 
this meant talk at the conference table would be largely meaningless* 

"These should not be considered 'conditions, f " Pham Van Dong now 
told me. "They are merely truths. The most simple thing is to recog- . 
nize our sovereignty and our independence. It involves only recognizing 
the points in the Geneva agreements." 

He said that the United States did not like to accept the four points 
and especially the third point about South Vietnam but, he insisted, we 
must come to a solution on the basis of the four points. 

"Whichever way you may go around, finally you must cane to the four 
points," he said. There were not preconditions nor conditions for talks, 
he said, but "conditions for a valid settlement" — conditions necessary 
to reach a settlement which could be enforced* 

When my dispatch reporting this discussion was published in The Mew 
York Times, It touched off a flurry of speculation, centering on the 

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thought that Pham Van Dong had modified in some way the position of the 
Hanoi regime on the four points. This was not my understanding. I knew 
that on previous occasions the same interpretation had been presented by 
spokesmen for the North Vietnamese Government. 

■ 

They had contended from the start that these were not "preconditions," 
However, the speculation in the West reached such intensity that the 
Foreign Ministry called on me and said they were going to issue a brief 
statement to dampen this down. They were careful to note that the faulty 
interpretation was not mine but that of Western commentators. 

When this was done, the furor gradually died away because the essence 
of the situation was now clear. The four conditions did not have to be 
accepted before we sat down at the conference table, but they would be 
placed on the table as the key points of the settlement which was to be 
negotiated. To me the whole thing seemed to be a distinction without a 
real difference. I did not believe that Pham Van Dong meant that the four 
points were to be considered an agenda in the normal understanding of the 
term — four points which might be modified or compromised to meet the views 
of the two sides. I felt that he meant- — as Hanoi had from the start — 
that the settlement must be constructed on this framework. 

Whether there would be any give on the Hanoi side was another matter. 
There might well be in the end. But certainly there was no indication of 
it in the words he spoke to me" about the four points. 

He placed alongside his four points another one: that the United 
States halt unconditionally the bombing and all hostile activity against 
the Worth* 

So far as the United States was concerned, he took the view that it 
was not really resdy for discussions. It had not, in his view, given any 
sign of goodwill, and he felt this was essential if good-faith negotiations 
were to get under way. The pattern of American conduct, as he viewed it, * 
was to talk peace only to mask preparations for escalation. 

"Of course," he said, giving me a knowing look, "I understand this * 
better than you because there are many things I can't tell you." 



January 3, 1967 

On January 3* the British Minister, Michael Stewart, gave two cables 
to Assistant Secretary Bundy. The first cable, dated January 2, was from 
the UK Consul General Colvin in Hanoi stating that Harrison Salisbury told 
him the DRV had treated him as an unofficial emissary (he was not) and had 
given him two clesr impressions at ministerial level: (a) in return for 
the cessation of bombing and of troop increases > Hanoi would be prepared 
to make military concessions and would negotiate; (b) the DRV want urgently 



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to discuss this with the USG on a clandestine basis but do not know how 
to arrange it. Salisbury, who was seeing Pham van Dong that afternoon, 
asked for advice. Colvin told him the proposed discussion could depend 
on his ability to provide the USG with reliable confirmation from the 
Prime Minister that concessions would include a halt to North Vietnamese 
infiltration of the South. Impressions were not enough. 

January k } 19 6j 

On the following day (Jan. k), the UK Foreign Secretary instructed 
the UK Snbassy to bring this cable to the Secretary's attention and to 
say that, if Salisbury is reporting faithfully, the North Vietnamese are 
getting vexy close to the package that the Secretary authorized Brown to 
put to the Soviet leaders last November in Moscow, This being so, he said, 
we must take it seriously. British facilities were to be available for 
any communication the US wished to make to Hanoi. Furthermore, if the US 
wishes, Colvin could ask Salisbury to tell the DRV that British facilities 
are available as a secure channel of communication if they wish to arrange 
clandestine discussions, now or when Salisbury has left. 

That evening, the Secretary gave the following message to the British 
Minister, Michael Stewart, for delivery to Foreign Secretary Brown: 

a. Ask Colvin to inform Salisbury that he, Colvin, has 
reported to his government — and they in turn to us-- on Salisbuiy's 
conversations "at ministerial level". Colvin should tell 
Salisbury that the USG would greatly appreciate a full account 

by Salisbury of any and all conversations bearing on the issues 
of negotiation, cessation of bombing, or any related matters, to 
be transmitted securely through Colvin f s facilities. 

b. Colvin should also give Salisbury a message from us 
that, if his conversations have followed the line reported to 
Colvin, they could be of great importance. Hence, and having 

in mind Hanoi's concern for the Chinese Communists in particular, 
Colvin should emphasize to Salisbury that any such conversations 
be conducted on a strictly clandestine basis. Even if nothing 
develops from such conversations, it could be Important to the 
success of possible future clandestine contacts that Salisbury's 

talks remain secure. 

* 

c. If in fact senior members of the Hanoi government have 
suggested, or should suggest, clandestine direct talks with the 
US, Salisbury is authorized by us to tell the North Vietnamese that 
he can convey this to us through the British secure ehanneJ., or 
that we will be prepared to receive such message directly from 

the North Vietnamese through direct diplomatic contacts at any 
capital where we both maintain posts. Salisbury should convey to 
the North Vietnamese that we place the highest priority on finding 
a mutually agreeable, completely secure arrangement for exchanging 
communications with them, and we will attempt to meet any suggestions 
they have to offer to achieve this -end. 



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d. We are most grateful for the prompt British report 
and for the offer of their communications facilities. 

e. This message comes personally from the Secretary to 
George Brown. The Secretary is briefing Michael Stewart on a 
separate matter which may be relevant to the foregoing this 
evening. 

January 5, 19^7 

On January 5; "t^e British Minister gave us two cables from the UK 
Consul General in Hanoi, dated January k. Colvin had met with Salisbury 
on the afternoon of January h who had made the following points: (a) he 
will report the essence of his four hour conversation with Pham van Dong 
only to the Secretary; (b) the Prime Minister had treated him as an actual 
or potential emissary; (c) he would not use the British cipher facilities; 
(d) when asked if clandestine discussions had been suggested, he said this 
subject must be reserved for the Secretary; (e) his articles will not include 
reference to negotiations, etc., (f) he thought that the NVW Government 
"had gone further than even before, and if there were any receptivity in 
the US Administration there were grounds for further exploration;" (g) he 
said the results must not be exaggerated but he thought Colvin could be 
encouraged. However, he was concerned about the ability of the USG to 
keep the negotiations truly clandestine; and (h) he hoped to leave Hanoi 
on January 7> arriving in Washington on January 11. 

Colvin concluded that clandestine discussions had been discussed and 
that Salisbury is sharply conscious of the need for clandestinity. At 
this point, Colvin had not been able to convey the Secretary's message 
(para. 3) to Salisbury. 

That afternoon Scotty Reston advised the Secretary that Salisbury 
had an 8,000 word memcon of his talk with Pham van Bong which Reston does 
not know whether Salisbury will be allowed to bring out. Reston also 
stated that Salisbury had asked permission to stay in Hanoi another five * 
or six days but the status of his request was unknown. 

On the same day, we instructed our Ambassadors in the posts where 
he is most likely to be seen first (a) to offer Salisbury our private 
cable facilities to report to us, and (b) to caution him strongly against 
divulging any North Vietnamese confidences until he has reported in full 
to us and we can gauge whether he has received significant signals (State f s 
113504). 



■ 
STATE 112967 (to Amembassy MOSCOW)* TS/Nodis 
Ref : Moscow 288j 

You should seek appointment -directly with departing WVN Ambassador 
and deliver the following message: 



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QUOTE: Although the USG has attempted to deliver the following 
message to the North Vietnamese authorities indirectly in the last few 
days, we would appreciate it if he would make sure that those authori- 
ties are informed directly by him upon his return to Hanoi as follows; 
The USG places the highest priority in finding a mutually agreeable,, 
completely secure arrangements for exchanging communications with the 
government of the BKV about the possibilities of achieving a peaceful 
settlement of the Vietnamese dispute. If the DRV is willing to explore 
such possibilities with us we will attempt to meet any suggestion they 
have to offer regarding the time and place of such discussions and we 
will be prepared to receive such information directly from the North 
Vietnamese through direct diplomatic contacts at any capital where we 
both maintain posts or otherwise. END QUOTE 

Slug any reply HODJB/sunFIOWER 
TEE SECRETARY. 

January 6, 19 &T 

MOSCOW 2916 (to SecState), TS/Wis, Ree'd 13^1, 6 Jan &f 
Eef : State 11296? 

1. After abortive attempt at noon, Akalovsky delivered with con- 
siderable difficulty following letter to Hoang ManHy, First Secretary 
DRV Embassy, at 3 p.m. today: 

A. Begin quote. Dear Mr. Ambassador: I have been instructed 
to deliver to you personally a confidential message from my government. 
I am prepared to call on you for that purpose at your earliest convenience 
Please let me know when you would be available to receive me. Sincerely 
yours, John C. Guthrie, Charge D T Affaires Ad Interim, United States of 
America. End Quote. 

■ 

2. Ty said he would deliver letter to Ambassador Kinh, but would not 
comment on mode of any reply. He did confirm Kinh leaving soon. 

3* If and when Kinh receives me, I intend ha rid him. in writing state- 
ment beginning quote the USG places . . . where we both maintain posts or 
otherwise end quote. And convey initial portion orally. 

k. Assume Kinh will wish to touch base with Hanoi before receiving 
me and it therefore may be day or two before any reply received. 

GUTHRIE 



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January 10, 19 67 

MOSCOW 2966 (to SecState), T8/Nodis, Rec'd 1133, 10 Jan 6j 
Ref : Moscow 2950 

- 

1. ..-I met with DRV Minister- Counselor Le Chang at 11 a.m. today, 
at DRV Embassy. . . . 

2. ...I delivered message contained in State 112967- ••• 

i 

3» ...Le Chang then delivered brief tirade which struck me as 
pro forma, asserting that recent action by US show it continues intensify 
aggression in Vietnam and continues intensify its campaign of treachery 
and dupery regarding peace, and that it clear from everything there no 
good will on US part . . . . 

5* As I was about to leave building, Le Chang came running after 
me and said he wanted make sure our meeting was confidential.... 



GUTHRIE 



January 1$, 1967 

The highlight of Salisbury's account to the Secretary concerned 
remarks by Pham Van Dong in response to his questions. Salisbury pressed 
him to make some response if the US were to stop bombing and Pham Van 
Dong made four replies: 

a. Once the US had halted its air attacks on the North, 
"as far as we are concerned we will take an appropriate stand." 

b. "If the US really wants a settlement, the first thing 
is to have good will. Of course we know what we should do if 
the US shows good will. If they stop the whole war, we know what 
we should do. If they stop doing harm to the North, we know 
what we should do." 

c. "The moment the US puts and end to the way, we will 
respect each other and settle every question." 

d. With the cessation of hostilities, "we can speak about 
other things*. After this, there will be no lack of generosity 
on our part . " 

Our net judgment is that these statements are interesting mood music 
but do not get us very far. The first two statements are" replays of 
earlier statements to Sainteny and Petri. The latter two statements 
appear to be without substance. 



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Salisbury's report contained three other interesting elements: 
(a) there is a deep conviction in Hanoi that our resolve will falter 
because of the cost of the struggle; (b) there is concern in Hanoi 
about the consequences of the crisis in China; (c) Hanoi had two basic 
concerns about negotiations: (l) the Chic can pistol in their back and 
(2) the possibility that the morale and discipline of the Northern forces 
and the Viet Cong would falter* We take the latter point seriously 
(Memorandum to the President, January 15)- 

January 17, 1967 

MOSCOW 3066 (to SecState), TS/Wis, Rec'd 1015, 17 Jan 67 
Ref : Moscow 3061 



• • 



2, Le Chang said purpose of his asking for this meeting was to seek 
clarification certain points in U.S. Government's message DCM delivered 
to him January 10. For DRV Government to be able give message serious 
study, following necessary: 

A. Explanation of specific meaning phrase "completely secure 
arrangement" in message; and 

B. Clarification U.S. position on settlement Vietnam problem. 

3. ... he indicated some sense of urgency by inquiring whether 
response could be expected soon, even this week 



4 
* 



, . • . ■ 



. . 



THOMPSON. 



STATE 120058 (to Amembassy MOSCOW), TS/Wis, Sent 22*15, 17 Jan 67 

1. In conversation with Harriman last night, Dobrynin said he under- 
stood that our order concerning bombing within ten nautical miles of the 
center of Hanoi still stood on an indefinite basis* Harriman challenged 
this and said thkt while we were continuing the order for the present, ve 
did not consider ourselves bound to do so indefinitely- Dobrynin asked 
for clarification ; stating that he believed Moscow understood it in this 
sense, based on Bundy disclosure to Zinchuk on December 27 of proposal 
made in Warsaw on December 24. (This of course was prior to negative 
response through Polish channel on December 29.) 



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2* We are informing Dobrynin quietly here that negative response of 
December 29 in Warsaw necessarily meant that we did not feel ourselves 
bound to maintain the order indefinitely. At the same tine, we were con- 
tinuing the order for the present and watching developments closely. 

• 

3* Your instructions on Vietnam also discuss the possibility of 
secret talks with DRV and indicate we have had no reply. In light of 
latest developments, we believe you should say that we as yet have no 
clear indication of DRV willingness for such talks . We simply cannot 
guess whether DRV has informed Soviets of our message or their latest 
reply, and we believe it best to protect ourselves from any charge of 
disclosure to any party or government . If you think it wise, you might 
emit discussions of this point entirely while simply reiterating our 
willingness for direct secret talks. 

RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



STATE 120335 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent 2^30, 17 Jan 67 " . 

Ref : Moscow 30 66 

Literally Eyes Only for Ambassador and DCM 

Following is to be held until an execute order is received: 

1* Guthrie should seek appointment soonest with DRV Charge to 
convey message below, 

2. Message is: 

a- By "completely secure arrangement M USG has in mind discussions 
between DRV and US representatives that would not repeat not be disclosed 
to any other government or party whatsoever unless by mutual agreement, 
and that would be subject to the strictest precautions against press or 
public inquiry. USG is able to assure DRV that earlier message has not 
been disclosed to anyone. 

■ 

■ b. We believe DRV already has considerable information by both 
public and private means, of US position on settlement of Viet-Nam prob- 
lem, and has also received formulations from others in contact with USG. 
USG for its part has studied public and private statements by DRV repre- 
sentatives. We believe discussions should seek to establish whether common 
ground now exists for an acceptable settlement. 

c. In discussions, USG would be prepared to consider any topic 
that DRV felt should be included. For illustration, topics USG would be 
prepared to discuss would include following: 



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(1) Arrangements for the reduction or the cessation of 
hostilities. 

(2) Essential elements of the Geneva Accords of 195^ an & 
1962, including withdrawal of any forces coming from outside 
South Viet -Nam and now present there. 

(3) Arrangements for a free determination by North Viet*- Nam 
and South Viet-Nam on the issue of reunification. 

- (k) Recognition of the independence and territorial integrity 

of North and South Viet-Nam, or of all Viet-Nam. if the people 
should choose reunification. 

(5) The international posture of South Viet-Nam, including 
relationships with other nations. 

«• 

(6) Appropriate provisions relating to the internal political 
structure of South Viet-Nam, including freedom from. reprisals and 
free political participation. 



(7) Appropriate objective means for insuring the integrity of 
all provisions agreed to. 

d. The topics thus listed could be considered in any order, and 
the USG would be prepared to consider any additional topics the DRV would 
propose, 

3» You should put these points in writing. In addition, you should 
note orally that while USG is prepared to conduct discussions under a 
completely secure arrangement at any place the DRV may wish, USG believes 
there are many advantages in Moscow. USG senior representatives in Moscow 
are fully equipped and can be supported security and without personnel 
moves that might attract attention. We believe physical security in 
Moscow can be maintained subject to appropriate safeguards. 

4. As these instructions indicate, we believe our first response - 
should be a listing of topics. However, we recognize possibility that 
p Guthrie might be probed further about substance of USG position. He 
should seek to avoid going beyond this, indicating that very purpose of 
discussions would be to develop positions on both sides. If but only if 
DRV Charge should refer to MARIGOLD ten points (which you have as attach- 
ment to Dob rynin- Rusk memocon of January 5)> Guthrie should be familiar 
with these and should respond that, as we believe has been indicated to 
DRV, we believe this formulation would be satisfactory basis for more 
detailed discussion of the points contained therein. 

RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



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STATE 120458 (to AmBnbassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent 0403, l8 Jan 67 
Ref: State 120335 

You may execute. 
RUSK (Drafted by Mr. Read). 



January 19, 1967 

MOSCOW 3089 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Rec'd 0957 > 19 Jan 67 
Ref; State 120453 



2. Unless instructed to contrary, DCM will touch very lightly on 
Moscow as site for discussions (para. 3 State 120335)- Our movements 
and telephone calls are, of course, reported to KGB by chauffers and 
operators and it must be assumed that DRV Embassy is not secure from 
Soviet eavesdropping. It will also be almost impossible keep repeated 
calls at DRV Embassy from Western press representatives indefinitely. 
From DRV viewpoint, Moscow would be doubtful choice owing predictable 
Chi Com reaction. 

■ 

THOMPSON 



January 20, 1967 

MOSCOW 3126 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Rec'd 1713, 20 Jan 67 
Ref: Moscow 3089 



4* Le Chang said would transmit our response to his government and 
would meet with us again after receiving further instructions. He did 
not probe further, 

5- Apart from important fact that Le Chang indicated dialogue would 
continue, believe his comportment during meetings may also be of sig- 
nificance. Except for his pro forma attack on US at initial meeting 
January 10 (Moscow 2966), he has refrained from making any acrimonious 
statements and his attitude at meetings, relaxed from outset^ is now 
bordering on friendly: he is even willing to be drawn into occasional 
small talk. As department will recall, this is in marked contrast with 
his attitude during one meeting he was willing have with Ambassador Kohler 
year ago. 

THOMPSON 



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January 21, 1967 

STATE 123196 (to Amembassy Moscow), s/Nodis 
Ref : Moscow 3126 

1. We are a little disturbed at reported Guthrie statement that 
we felt agenda should be clear before talks commence. This is not 
repeat not our thought, as we ourselves might wish to add topics, and 
above all do not wish to get into any dispute on agenda. . . . 



* • • 



RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



January 27 3 1967 



MOSCOW 3218 (to SeeState), T5/Nodis, Rec'd 1503, 27 Jan 67 
Ref: Moscow 319^ 



2. . . . Le Chang said he has asked for meeting to deliver, for 
transmittal to US Govt, DRV Govt's Aide-Memoire containing response to 
US Govt message given to him January 10. 



A. The United States is intensifying the war in South Vietnam 
and escalating the bombing of North Vietnam, president Johnson has made 
clear his scheme to go on intensifying the war of aggression against Viet- 
nam , But the Vietnamese people are determined to fight for their funda- 
mental national rights and the United States is doomed to dismal defeat. 



B. The United States talks peace but makes war- The conditions 
which the United States demands the Vietnamese people to accept are absurd 
and arrogant. "Conditional suspension of bombing", "conditional with- 
drawal of troops" are in fact schemes to cling to South Vietnam, to turn 
South Vietnam into a new-type colony and a military base of the United 

'States, to prolong indefinitely the partition of Vietnam. 

C. The four-point stand of the Government of the Democratic 
Republic of Vietnam embodies the fundamental principles and the main provi- 
sions of the 195^ Geneva agreements on Vietnam. It is the basis for the 
most correct political solution to the Vietnam problem. The Government of 
the Democratic Republic of Vietnam has declared that if the United States 
really wants peace and seeks a political solution, it must recognize the 
four-point stand of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam 
and the five-point statement of South Vietnam National Front for Liberation, 
the only genuine representative of the South Vietnamese people. 



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. 



D. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam is an independent and 
sovereign country. The U.S. bombing of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam 
is a blatant act of aggression. The United States must end immediately 
and unconditionally the bombing and all other acts of war against the 
Democratic Republic of Vietnam. That is the urgent -demand on the people 
of all countries j of all men of common sense throughout the world. The 
unconditional cessation of bombing and all other acts of war against the 
Democratic Republic of Vietnam being materialized, the Democratic Republic 
of Vietnam could then exchange views with the United States concerning the 
place or date for contact between the two parties as the Government of the 
United States proposed in its message handed over on January 10, 19^7 • 
End text . 






5* Le Chang added that, as to US views — including several points — 
conveyed to him January 20, his side would comment on them "at appropriate 
time*" In response DCM's query if he understood correctly that Aide- 
Memoire is in response to January 10 message and that there no response yet 
to points contained January 20 paper, Le Chang said this understanding 
accurate and repeated that comments on latter paper would be made "at 
appropriate time." 

6. DCM took this opportunity make point in para- 2 State 123196. 
Le Chang said he fully understood. 

7' Le Chang then said he wished stress certain points concerning 
"intensification of war with us." Asserting US continuing escalate war 
and commit "barbarous crimes" against Vietnamese people in both parts 
Vietnam, cited following examples recent "most cerious escalation": 

A. Destruction of Ben Xue in SVN; 

B. "Barbarous murders" in Iron Triangle; 

C. Bombings "densely populated" NVN areas of Viet Tri, Thai 
Nguyen, Ning Bing, and Thang Hoa. 

No signature (cable probably incomplete). 



STATE 127220 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent 2U3, 27 Jan 67 
Ref ; Moscow 32l8 

Secretary would appreciate receiving your views about DRV message 
in reftel. 



Seme of the questions about the message which have been raised in 
our minds are as follows: 



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(1) Are we now, in effect, facing the start of a dialogue with 
the other side staking out an opening extreme position? 

(2) What inference do you draw from Charge's statement that com- 
ments on January 20 paper would be made "at appropriate time": - do you 
read this to mean that we will hear again from him in a few days or that 
their further response to January 20 message will come only after cessa- 
tion of bombing, etc? 

(3) What is your reading of the evident concern indicated in para* 
ha and 7 of our "intensification" and "escalation"? (incidentally, we 
have not been able to identify "Ben Xue" in para, 7(a) ) 



Do you have any indication of Soviet awareness of Guthrie/Charge 
talks? Is it safe to assume that Kosygin's reference to "latest (Vietnam) 
news not good" as reported Moscow 3213 preceded reftel discussions and was 
not a veiled reference to latter? 

KAIZEKBACH (Drafted by B- H. Read: J. P. Walsh) 

January 28, 1967 

MOSCOW 3231 (to SecState), TS/Ubdis, Rec'd 1051, 28 Jan 67 
Ref : State 127220 

1. DRV message strikes me as first round in oriental rug trading. 
Le Chang's emphasis on secrecy at each contact seems encouraging but you 
will note that text carefully drafted for possible publication. Suggest 
our reply should also be drafted with possible necessity of eventual 
publication in mind. 

- 

2. Believe QTB appropriate time UMQTE means after cessation of 
bombing but this ploy gives them the possibility of continuing the dialogue 
if we should break off talks or give completely negative reply their last 
message* 

3* Concern over escalation may indicate they are hurting and also 
may be effort to exploit experience of Warsaw talks to hold down our bombing 
activity. Possibility exists that they may be concerned that further 
escalation will bring strong internal pressure to call for volunteers or 
other dangerous uoves on their part. At Guthrie's request, place names • 
were handed to him in writing. On reexamination appears to be Ben Xuc 
rpt Xuc. 

4. Do not believe Kosygin was making veiled reference to these dis- 
cussions. We can be almost certain that Soviet chauffeur would have 
reported Guthrie's visits to KGB. Suggest that at next meeting Guthrie 
might point out that fact of contacts almost certainly known to Soviets 



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and ask whether if queried by them we could confirm we had been in contact 
but not inform them of substance of talks, 

5* Re future procedure following appear to be alternatives. 

A. Stop bombing DRV and press for prompt meeting or alternatively- 
state we are doing so on assumption there will be prompt meeting and mutual 
de-escalation. 






State that as evidence of good faith we will confine bombing 
to infiltration routes in southern part of DRV and press for prompt meeting- 

C. Assuming foregoing not acceptable send carefully drafted written 
reply which would leave us in good position if publication forced by them 
supplemented as necessary by oral remarks- Reply might be based on the 
fourteen points or Polish ten points. On bombing we might say we deplore 
the loss of life on both sides but point out that use of violence is not 
one-sided and we would welcome mutual cessation. 



D. Another possibility would be simply to go back with questions 
about paragraph C of their reply- What do they mean by "recognize" the four 
and five point statements. Are they asking for our capitulation? Although 
we have indicated we are prepared to discuss their points we cannot agree 
that the BLF is QTE the only genuine representative of the South Vietnamese 
people UNQTE. 

THOMPSON 



Hanoi VNA International Service in English 0150 ©IT 28 January I967--B 
(IBIS, Far East, 30 January 1967) 

(Text) Hanoi, 28 January — Nguyen Duy Trinh, DRV foreign minister, has 
granted an interview to Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett. Questions 
and answers follow: 

1. Question: Mr. Minister, what in your view are the most signifi- 
B cant recent developments in the Vietnam war, and what are the prospects 
for the immediate future? 

Answer: The U.S. imperialists are waging the most barbarous 
war of aggression against our country, threatening more and more seriously 
peace in southeast Asia and the world. But they have sustained heavy, 
defeats in South and in North Vietnam. The people of South Vietnam, 
fighting with great heroism, have foiled all their military plans in spite 
of the commitments of over 1 million U.S., puppet, and satellite troops. 
The people of North Vietnam have not been and will never be cowed by the 
barbarous bombing raids of the U.S. imperialists and have dealt them well- 
deserved counterblows . 



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All Vietnamese people are resolutely fighting against 
the U.S. aggressors to defend their sacred national rights and fulfill 
their duty to the peoples of the friendly countries now struggling for 
their independence and freedom. The four-point stand of the DRV Govern- 
ment is a stand of independence and peace, and it is the expression of 
the fundamental principles and the main provisions of the 195^ Geneva 
agreements on Vietnam. It is the basis for the most correct political 
solution to the Vietnam problem, a basis which fully meets the deep aspira- 
tions of the Vietnamese people, and fully conforms to the spirit of the five- 
point statement of the KFLSV, the only genuine representative of the people 
of South Vietnam, 

The peoples of the world, including very large sections 
of the population of the United States itself, more and more strongly 
support our just stand and demand ever more firmly that the U.S. imperialists 
stop their war of aggression in Vietnam and let the Vietnamese people set- 
tle their own affairs themselves. 

The U.S. imperialists talk of peace negotiations, but they 
still show great obduracy- President Johnson recently stated with impudence 
that he will go on intensifying and expanding the war of aggression in an 
attempt to cling to the south and to prolong the partition of Vietnam. But 
however perfidious the maneuvers of the U.S. imperialists may be, the Viet- 
namese people, united as one man and fearing neither hardships nor sacri- 
fices, are determined to carry on their resistance war to the end to safe- 
guard the independence and freedom of the fatherland, and contribute to 
the maintenance of peace in southeast Asia and the world. 

The Vietnamese people will win- The U.S. imperialist 
aggressors will be defeated. 

2. Question: In the face of documentary evidence and eyewitness 
reports from foreign witnesses, including American journalists, Washington 
continues to claim that U,S. aircraft have been striking only at military 
targets and not at civilian targets in North Vietnam. What are your views 
on this subject? - " * 

Answer: The DRV is an independent and sovereign country and the 
U.S. imperialists have absolutely no right to violate this independence 
'and sovereignty. 

U.S. bombing of any point of its territoiy, whether a 
military or a civilian target, is a blatant act of aggression and an 
unpardonable erica. It is an undeniable fact that civilian targets in 
North Vietnam have been attacked. The j copies of the world, including 
large sections of the American people, ere strongly protesting against 
the U.S. imperialists 1 savage acts of aggression. 

> 

The U.S. imperialists must stop definitively and uncon- 
ditionally the bombing raids and all other acts of war against the DRV. 



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3* Question: The United States has spoken of the need for dialog 
or contact between itself and the DEV- Would you comment on this state- 
ment? 

Answer: The United States has made such statements, but in its 
deeds it has shown the utmost obduracy and perfidy and continues the 
escalation,, stepping up and expanding the aggressive war* If it really 
wants talks, it must first halt unconditionally the bombing raids and all 
other acts of war against the DRV. It is only after the unconditional 
cessation of U.S. bombing and all other acts of war against the DRV that 
there could be talks between the DRV and the United States. 

The four-point stand and the correct attitude of the 
DRV Government enjoy, we are sure, ever stronger approval and support 
from all peace loving and just ice -loving peoples and governments in the 
world* If the United States refuses to listen to reason, it will further 
unmask itself as an obdurate aggressor. The Vietnamese people are deter- 
mined to fight until total victory to defend the north, liberate the south, 
achieve the peaceful reunification of the fatherland, and contribute to the 
maintenance of peace in this area and in the world. 

- 

a 

January 30, I967 

SPATE 128175 (to Amembassy Moscow & Saigon), s/Nodis, Sent 0318, 31 Jan 6j . 

■■1 

For Ambassador from Secretaiy 

1. Separate circular from FBIS will contain key parts of Burchett 
interview with DRV Foreign Minister published Jan 28 and Nhan Dan commentaiy 
of Jan 29. We interpret these as all-out efforts to build up public presr 
sures on us to stop bombing in return for talks- We also note that Burchett 
interview substantially reduces link to acceptance of four points, although 
Whan Dan commentary implies such link by quoting Ho letter of January 1966. 

2. Apart from these public statements, we are repeating to all addres- 
sees Cairo ^21^ and New Delhi 1O30T- These report simultaneous DRV approaches 
in Cairo and New Delhi, asking them to convey message to us which both UAR. 
and GOI have interpreted as message that Hanoi would be prepared to talk 

if we stopped bombing. You will note that Indian message contains intriguing 
reference to absence of n publicly stated" conditions', and we will be seeking 
clarification through New Delhi. 

3» For Moscow: We believe this background is essential for any dis- 
cussions of Vietnam you may have in next few days. If DRV is going all- 
out to put pressure on us to stop bombing, we would expect Soviets to join 
in the cry on much more forceful basis than they have done in the past. 
You should counter by using our standard position from Goldberg speech of 
September and our other exchanges with the Soviets. In addition, you should 
point to grave practical problem — which we believe Soviets might actually 






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understand although not conceding it — of situation in which we stop 
bombing, Hanoi continued its actions, and we were thus under great 
pressure to resume. If we stop bombing and the North Vietnamese make 
no overt albeit unannounced reciprocal gesture it would be impossible to 
avoid widespread speculation and indeed an assumption that talks were in 
fact going on- This would jeopardize the secrecy which we and the DRV 
(and we assume the Soviets as well) feel would be necessary for the success 
of at least the early stages of negotiation- Aside from this, a situation 
in which the North Vietnamese continue their infiltration of men and 
materials southward while we are engaging in talks would produce the kind 
of tensions that would make any constructive steps toward a settlement 
difficult if not impossible. 

h. For Saigon: You should explain privately to Do (and Ky if you 
wish) that we see public statements as designed to put pressure on us and 
that we have had messages in Cairo and New, Delhi along same lines. You 
should ask for Saigon reaction, while indicating that our position remains 
as stated by Goldberg. 

5» For London: This new series of moves by DRV, and our reactions 
to it, should be fully in hands of Wilson and Brown before Kosygin visit. 
We are considering message that would disclose Cairo and New Delhi approaches 
and cover whole subject in detail, with suggestions on line British might 
take with Soviets. For time being, you should confine your discussion 
with British to their interpretation of Burchett interview and Nhan Dan 
commentary, without at this time going into Cairo and New Delhi. 

RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 









I 



January 31, 196? 

STATE 128^86 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis 
Ref: Moscow's 3218 and 3231 

t 

1. Guthrie should ask to see DRV Charge soonest to deliver following 

written message: 

a. The USG has carefully noted the DRV message of January 27 and 
the accompanying remarks by the DRV Charge. The USG has preserved the 
strictly confidential nature of these exchanges, but notes that the DRV 
has broadcast publicly the essence of the January 27 message and asked 
other governments to inform us that the DRV is prepared to enter negoti- 
ations with the USG when bombing of North Viet -Nam stops without stated 
conditions. The US has felt that it must give some response to third 
nations conveying messages from the DRV, and will be conveying such res- 
ponses in the near future. We believe this essential in .order to protect 
the existence of this strictly confidential channel. We assume the DRV 
will treat third country channels in the same manner, but that strictly 
confidential statements will continue to be handled through this channel. 



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b. The basic objective of the USG remains the holding of direct 
and private talks covering any elements that either side believes should be 
considered in reaching a peaceful solution to the Viet-Nam problem. For 
this purpose, the US would be prepared to include in these discussions the 
four-point position of the DRV or any other matter the .DRV wishes to bring 
up. The US would welcome DRV comments on the US message of January 20. 

c. At the same time, the USG notes the concern of the DRV in dis- 
cussing "intensification" or "escalation" of the bombing of Worth Viet-Nam 
as presented in the January 27 aide-memoire and the oral remarks of the 

DRV Charge. We are ready to discuss this and related issues. But we remind 
the DRV that one step has already been taken by the USG to de-escalate the 
war in the Worth: for more than a month our planes have been ordered not 
to bomb within 10 nautical miles of Hanoi city center. We would like to 
avail ourselves of this direct private channel to inform the DRV that the 
USG would be prepared to implement additional measures to de-escalate the 
bombing of the North to create conditions conducive to the success of talks 
with the DRV. We, of course,, would be impressed with similar acts of 
-restraint on the part of the DRV, and we can assure the DRV that any such 
acts on its part need not be made public. The favorable atmosphere which 
would result from these mutual steps toward peace would permit the US and 
DRV to take additional steps toward obtaining a peaceful solution. 

d. The USG is aware that the DRV is sensitive to any public link 
between a stopping of the bombing and reciprocal actions on Hanoi's part. 
In this connect ion j it should be observed that the cessation of bombing 
would lead to a world-wide assumption that talks were under way and it would 
become increasingly difficult to hold discussions under conditions of secrecy. 
For this reason, we remind the DRV of the USG suggestion that the stopping 

of the bombing might take place as a prior and ostensibly unilateral action. 
Before doing this we would want a private understanding with the DRV that 
additional subsequent steps would be taken that would amount in the aggre- 
gate to an equitable and reciprocal reduction of hostile action. The USG 
takes this opportunity to renew this suggestion as one to which the DRV may 
wish to give serious consideration. 

e* Finally, the USG notes that the approaching TET period, during 
which both sides have announced cessations of military action, including 
the bombing of North Viet -Nam, may make the present occasion particularly 
'appropriate for discussions along the lines suggested above. In view of 
the nearness of the TET period, the USG hopes that the DRV response to the 
foregoing will be made as soon as possible. 

2. Before Landing over the above written message and reading it for 
translation, Guthrie should note orally that the USG refutes categorically 
the charges about US actions and intentions concerning South Viet-Nam and 
the GVN contained in the DRV aide-memoire and oral remarks. However, in 
the interests of bringing about a constructive exchange of views, the USG 
will refrain frcsn a point-by-point refutation and proceed to our formal 
reply to the January 2J aide-memoire. 



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3. Either at close, or at appropriate point in conversation, Guthrie 
should ask when DRV Charge expects new ambassador to arrive FYI: .Purpose 
of this inquiry is to suggest possible early appointment of representative 
qualified for more frank and direct discussions, if DRY desires, END FYI. 

HJSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 

* 

m 

* 

February 1, 1967 

* 

SAIGON 17053 (to SecState), S/Nodis, Sent 1000, 1 Feb 6f; Rec'd 1052, 1 Feb 67. 

X. Pursuant to your 128 175 .> I called Ky on Wednesday morning and cited 
the newspaper articles by Salisbury, Burchett, and in the Communist news- 
paper Nhan Dan as well as the messages in Cairo and New Delhi, all of them 
trying to get us to stop the bombing without any deescalation on their side. 
I asked Ky what he thought. 

2, Ky believes that "we are getting stronger every" day, and they are 
getting weaker every day - and they know it." They are hurt by the bombing, 
and by the tremendous military "meat-grinder" which devours the troops 
which they send into South Viet-Nam, in particular, he said, "our political 
progress is the worst thing for them". They know that once a constitutional 
government is installed in Viet-Nam, he added, they wiU have no more chance. 
For that reason, Ky said, he had decided that the elections should be held 
three months after the promulgation of the constitution and not six months. 



5- Their difficulties were three times as great as ours, said Ky. 
It was important to elect a constitutional president as soon as possible 
for many reasons, including peace talks. Until there is an elected govern- 
ment in Viet-Nam, it is very important to keep all peace overtures very 
quiet because news of them will affect the morale of the Vietnamese.... 



• * 



LODGE 



STATS 129^1 (to Amembassy London), TS/Nodis, Sent 2229 , 1 Feb 67 
Ref : Your 6167 

Chester Cooper will be in London to brief Brown and Wilson on rele- 
vant matters prior to the Kosygin visit..., 

Michael Stewart brought over a message to Cooper frcm Brown dated 
30 January, the text of which follows: 



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QTE Kosygin arrives on Monday, 6 February and we will be finalising 
the briefs at the end of this week. Could you please let me have as soon 
as possible any additional information on American thinking on Vietnam 
and in particular on "where Thomson has got to la Moscow. 

I think the main point we should make with Kosygin is the need of 
some private sign out of Hanoi during the TET truce, and we will there- 
fore try to raise Vietnam with Kosygin at the earliest possible stage in 
the talks * 

I was interested in a recent report of Burchett f s alleged conversa- 
tion with Pham Van Dong (pat Dean will show you a copy of the report). 
Taken at face value this is an indicator that the North Vietnamese may be 
trying to get a message of some sort across. Even though this communist 
channel may be suspect, Burchett's statements seem hard enough to warrant 
examination. What do you think about this? It seems pretty relevant to 
what we say to Kosygin. OTiQTE. 



* • 



RUSK (Drafted by C. L. Cooper) 



February 2, 19 67 






MOSCOW 3321 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1515, 2 Feb 6T; Rec'd l6Qh, 2 Feb 67. 
Ref : A. State 128^86; B. Moscow 3295, para one P. 



• • 



3« DCM began by making oral statement per para two ref State tel 
Then handed Le Chang written statement . 



9* Before parting; DCM inquired when new DRV ambassador expected to 
arrive. Le Chang said rr in near future." 

10. During phone call this noon, Tu asked who would be coming, DCM 
or Ambassador. Made no further comment when told "DCM" and subject did not 
arise during meeting. 
* 

THOMPSON. 



USUI? 38k8 (to SecState), TS/ftodis, Sent 23l8, 2 Feb Gj , Rec f d 2klk 9 . 2 Feb 67. 



For President and Secretary from Goldberg. 

. . . approaches could represent either: 






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(A) A sign of serious interest on Hanoi's part in beginning process 
toward reaching settlement or toward mutual abatement of the conflict; or 

(fi) Part of an intensified propaganda effort to increase pressure of 
world and domestic opinion on US to end bombing, 

I consider it essential that, in reacting to these approaches, we . 
follow course which does not exclude either .... 

I . With these purposes in mind, I wish to urge two additional steps to 

policy which has been approved for responding to Hanoi's direct approach: * 

First: while this approach is being explored, and until it is ascer- 
tained beyond reasonable doubt that it is not serious move on Hanoi's part, 
we should undertake no new or additional targeting for our bombing sorties 
in North Vietnam. 

Second: following the TET cease-fire, we should reduce the bombing of 
North Vietnam by a small but significant amount, namely: suspend those 
bombing sorties which are directed against targets not related to North's 
infiltration of men and supplies into south. As I understand from Secy 
McNamara f s statement to Cabinet on Feb 1, this would involve suspension of 
approximately five percent of present sorties in North. 



■ . 



The principal advantages I see to these additional steps on our part 
are as follows: They offer something of substance to Hanoi immediately 
and the prospect of something more in future; .... At same time, . . 
On the one hand, we would be relatively free from charge that we had not 
responded affirmatively to Hanoi's approaches* Our public record on this 
score will need bolstering, for 'it appears the record is being rather badly 
clouded by Polish version of how our mid-December bombings interfered with 
what they conceive to be a very promising chance of talks with Hanoi. On 
other hand, since reduction of bombing would be relatively small and would 
not involve suspension of sorties directed against targets related to 
North Vietnamese infiltration, our action would not open us to charge of 
having placed in jeopardy status and security of our forces in south. 

* 

GOLDBERG, ' • 

February 3, 19 6j 

STATE 131591 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent O329, h Feb 67. 
Ref: Moscow's 3321 



5* In conversation last evening with Kohler, Dobrynin showed con- 
siderable interest in the Guthrie-Le Cha^g contacts. He indicated he had 
been informed of earlier meetings and that next move was up to us. 



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February h, 1967 

On February k, the SOTIFLOfrffiR/PLIIS series was established in a message 
to Thompson in Moscow (State 131705)> informing him that consideration was 
being given to having Guthrie deliver to the DRV Charge at their next 
meeting a Presidential message to Ho Chi Minh. Thompson's views were 
requested on the text of an attached draft which he was informed was not 
cleared in text or principle. 

On the following day, Thompson submitted a somewhat negative view on m * 
the wisdom of the suggested action, although he did not feel strongly on 
the matter (Moscow's 3353)* He felt (a) the draft letter merely raises the 
current exercise to a higher level; (b) personally addressing Ho might 
weaken his in- house position; (c) emphasis on TET might imply desperation 
on our part; (d) the letter should be held for use- if an impasse is reached; 
and (e) if the letter is to be used, some textual revision would be in order. 



STATE 131711*. (to Amembassy Mowcow), TS/Nodis, Sent 2312, k Feb 67. 

You should inform DRV rep that Estabrook story came from Polish 
sources . 



RUSK (Drafted by L. Unger) 



LOKDON 6271 (to SecState), TS/Npdis, Ree'd 05^, 5 Feb 67- 
For the Secretary and Harriman from Cooper 

1. With Ambassador Bruce met with Foreign Secretary . . 



* . 



• • 



1 



3. With respect to the f ort he caning- Kosygin visit, I reminded Brown 
of the Rusk-Gromyko conversation many weeks ago, and noted that we have 
not yet gotten a reply to the Secretary f s query as to what the Russians 
would do if there were a bombing cessation. • . .1 suggested to Brown ' 
that if the opportunity permitted, the British should press the Russians 
on both their short-run opportunities and responsibilities to insure Hanoi 
against Chinese economic, political, or even military actions in the event 
Hanoi moved toward negotiations. In the longer term the Russians had an 
opportunity (and indeed they seemed to recognize this themselves) to pursue 
policies in Asia which would be in tandem with our own and which would be 
of common benefit in reducing tensions in that part of the wQrld. 



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6. I told Brown that the President and the Secretary were cognizant 
of the British desire to avoid a resumption of bombing while Kosygin was 
still here. I said that I could not give any unequivocal assurances on 
this > that much would depend on the behavior of the North Vietnamese during 
the four-day cessation. Obviously, if there were major North Vietnamese 
troops movements southward, we had primary responsibility to protect our 
own forces, ... * 



8. Brown is very concerned about the low-level of the group that 
Kosygin is bringing with him. Indeed he is worried in the light of this 
whether the Russians are ready to engage in serious talks on any subject. 
Although he was aware of Smirnovsky 1 s statement that the Russians were 
interested in a peace settlement he had not studied it (later Wilson con- 
fessed that he had not heard of it . ) . . . . 



10 We had fifteen minutes alone with Brown and Wilson. I 

then told them of our direct contact with the North Vietnamese. I pointed 
out that it was at a' low level, that it was still very fragile, but that 
we were doing everything we could to keep it going. I stressed that thus 
far this private exchange had revealed a less forthcoming position on the 
point of Hanoi than some people read into the various public statements 
that have been coming out of North Vietnam recently. I stressed that I 
could not tell them where the contact was going on, that we were unaware 
of the extent to which the Soviets knew about it, and that we hoped that 
neither Brown nor Wilson would make any reference to this in their con- 
versations with Kosygin. I showed Wilson the seven substantive points 
contained in our January 20 message and indicated that if the Russians 
raised any of these we would be perfectly prepared to see the British 

discuss them 

* 

BRUCE 



LONDON 6272 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Rec r d 05^9, 5 Feb 6j . 

For the Secretary ,and Harriman from Cooper * 

1. I have met with Murray at the Foreign Office to go over working 
on the brief for Brown and Wilson. The brief stresses the need for some 
meaningful action the President can point to in exchange for a bombing 
cessation. It remind the Russians that we are conscious of Hanoi's prob- 
lems about making a public commitment and our readiness to get private 
assurances. 



# * 



BRUCE. 



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February 5, 1967 

"Ashmore's Letter to Hanoi Chief/' The Washington Post , l8 September 1967 
I (Letter mailed Feb 5 by Ashmore) 

Following is the text of the letter by Harry S. Ashmore to President 
Ho Chi Minh: 

■ ■ 

Dear Mr. President: 

■ 

Mr. William Baggs and I have made a full report to appropriate officials 
of the United States Government on our recent conversation with you in 
Hanoi. Ambassador Luis Quintanilia has communicated his views to the U.S. 
Ambassador in Mexico City. 



The State Department has expressed itself as most grateful for your 
thoughtful approach to the possibility of an ultimate settlement of the 
hostilities between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. 

In our several discussions with senior officials of the State Depart- 
ment they took occasion to reiterate points we believe are already known 
to you. They emphasized that the U.S. remains prepared for secret dis- 
cussions at any time, without conditions, and that such discussions might 
cover the whole range of topics relevant to a peaceful settlement. They 
reiterated that the Geneva Accords might be the framework for a peaceful 
solution. 

They expressed particular interest in your suggestion to us that private 
talks could begin provided the U.S. stopped bombing your country, and ceased 
introducing additional U.S. troops into Vietnam. They expressed the opinion-- 
that some reciprocal restraint to indicate that neither side intended to use 
the occasion of the talks for military advantage would provide tangible 
evidence of the good faith of all parties in the prospects for a negotiated* 
settlement. 

In the light of these concerns , they expressed great interest in any 
clarification of this point that you might wish to provide through a com- 
munication to us. 

Speaking now wholly for ourselves, we believe the essential condition 
for productive talks is an arrangement* under which neither side stands to 
gain military advantage during the period of negotiation. To achieve this 
end it may be that preliminary secret discussions would be helpful to 
determine the outline of a possible peaceful settlement. 

As we see it, these are practical considerations that have nothing to 
do with questions of "face." There is no doubt in our minds that the 
American Government genuinely seeks peace. As private citizens, our sole 
concern is in facilitating a discussion that will bring all matters at 
issue to official consideration. It is in this sense that we convey these 
comments, and invite any reply you may wish to make, which of course we 
would report to our Government in complete discretion. 



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May I take this occasion to renew our thanks for the courteous and 
considerate treatment we received in Hanoi throughout our visit and for 
the honor of our most useful conversation with you. 

If you feel that further personal conversation with Mr. Baggs and me 
is in order we would, of course, return to Hanoi at your convenience. 

HARRY S. ASHMOHE. 
February 6, 1967 

- 

MOSCOW 3375 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1500, 6 Feb 67, Rec'd I609, 6 Feb 6j 
Ref: State 131591 



5« • • .• j 1X34 then referred to Estabrook Feb 5 Wash Post story of 
which he gave Le Chang brief oral summary based on STATE I3ITOO. Said he 
mentioned story because he instructed tell Le Chang that story had ccme 
from Polish sources and that "U.S. Govt will maintain complete silence and 
avoid comment on it. 

6. . . ♦ • Noting that both sides had been concerned to maintain their 
contact confidential and secret (Le Chang expressed full agreement with 
this) , DCM said we concerned about certain aspects of this; (A) Soviets 
would know about his visits to DRV Embassy, e.g., his driver Soviet; and 
(b) It always possible Western correspondents might see him enter or leave 
DRV Embassy and ask him what he doing here. If (b) should occur, he could 
not deny his visit ^ and problem would be how to respond to questions. One 
possibility would be to confirm' that contact had been established and refuse 
further comment. If we kept quiet, there might be implication that we dis- 
cussing POWs. DCM said all this led him to ask if we should arrange another 
meeting place. Should we ask Soviets to provide us a less conspicuous place? 

• • * a 

7. * • • . Re place of meeting, Le Chang emphatically stated his view 
Vas that we should not rpt not ask any third party to arrange for a change 
of venue, because of principle of confidentiality and secrecy he had men- 
tioned. Also said he wanted reiterate that time or content of meetings 
should not rpt not be mentioned to anybody, including correspondents. As 
to how any possille press query should be answered, said he was sure that 
if this principle were abided by, many ways of responding could be found. 
In f response DCM's comment correspondents would indulge in guessing, Le 
Chang said if they wanted to guess they could do so. . . . 

* 

THOMPSON. 



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LONDON 6315 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 2100, 6 Feb 6j; Rec'd 2215, 6 Feb 6? 



SCO Secretary from Cooper 



2. PM had an hour or more private session with Kosygin. Kosygin 
embarked immediately on discussion of China and Vietnam, According to 
Wilson Kosygin "seemed obsessed" with China situation* Talked about 
- Chinese "the way Pakistanis talk about Indians" .... Kosygin said 
Chinese situation not likely to have immediate effect on North Vietnam 
but would have eventual influence. Kosygin worried about possibility of 
Chinese intervention especially if they "go beserk". The US was "helping 
to push Hanoi into the hands of Chinese". Stated that thousands of Chinese 
military in civilian clothes already in NVN. Kosygin admitted there were 
some differences within Hanoi regime but became evasive when pressed for 
details. He spoke "very warmly" of Ho and FonMin but Wilson thought was 



lukewarm re Pham Van Dong. 

Kosygin agreed that need to make some progress toward peace during 
TET "very urgent". Agreed that both USSR and UK could be "of assistance" 
in getting talks between "the principals" started. . . . 

. . . , Wilson .... spelled out in detail* the Phase A - Phase B 
formula, but got no "flicker of interest .... 



Kosygin quoted from (and subsequently referred to) Burchett inter- 
view as key to HVN readiness to negotiate. Kosygin evidenced mood of 
"great urgency" in plenary discussion. Referred again to TET as being 
"the big chance". Repeated on several occasions the point that "we can 
assist, but we (i.e. the USSR and the UK) cannot negotiate. The best 
way to do this is to get the US and the MVN together". 

When Wilson asked Kosygin whether he could induce Hanoi to make unequiv- 
ocal statement that they would enter negotiations if bombing stopped, 
Kosygin "squirmed" and said he and the UK would have to rely on the Foreign 
Minister's statement as contained in the Burchett interview. In his sum- 
mary remarks he said (direct quote from interpreters notes) "our KVK 
friend do not rule out a negotiated solution". 

The only Soviet suggestion for US-Sov action was* that Kosygin and 
Wilson jointly endorse the NVN position as contained in Burchett inter- 
view in a private message to the President or publicly in the communique. 
This is "unacceptable " to the British. But British feel this is Kosygin f s 
opening gambit and a more constructive position can be worked out. 

Kosygin did not rise to Wilson suggestion re some jointly worked out 
arrangement to move private US-NVN agreements to an international arrange- 
ment. This could be worked on in due course. Important thing, according 
to Kosygin was that there should not be another Geneva conf "because of 
the Chinese." 



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When Wilson vas asked what suggestions UK had for immediate future, 
i Wilson stressed need for Hanoi to "avoid provocation during TET ri to which 

Brown added, "such as movement of troops through the DMZ". This was only 
point at which, according to Wilson, situation "got hairy," Kosygin made 
much of US troop and ship movements. 



BRUCE. 



L0HD0N 6316 (to SecState), TS/Wis, Sent 0122, 7 Feb 67; Rec'd OlkQ, 7 Feb 67. " 
To Secretary from Cooper 



1 Kosygin wanted Wilson to use "hot line" to President to 

tell President that, if bombing stopped, Hanoi would talk. Wilson 
I refused, countering that all he had to go on was Kosygin 1 s claim that 

NTO FonMin was telling Burchett straight story. Kosygin then said he 
could go well beyond this. He (Kosygin) had been in direct contact with 
Hanoi since afternoon session, Hanoi confirmed readiness to talk. (I sug- 
gested a technical check on Kosygin f s contact.) 

2. Kosygin then said that Wilson should send personal telegram to 
President. Wilson asked Kosygin if Kosygin would send a joint telegram 
which said: "WVW FonMin says he will negotiate in exchange for bombing 
cessation. I (Wilson) don't know this man, but Kosygin does and will 
underwrite him." Kosygin said that he would table his own draft at next 
session (h PM Tues)* 

3. Wilson asked if Washington could provide alternative draft for 
him to table - a draft acceptable to Washington and one that Sovs would 
hopefully sign on to. Wilson (and more particularly Brown) also feel 
urgent need to get "minimum reciprocal act" which US can accept. (We 
vent through standard list re infiltration, trucks, etc.) I need what- 
ever Wash can provide by 1300 London time. 

4. Wilson told me privately Kosygin said US was "in contact" with 
Hanoi. 

* . 

5* Just got a call from Pallisep to say Wilson making personal call 
to President. 

BRUCE 

February 7, 19 67 

On February 7, Thompson was instructed to arrange delivery at once " 
to the DRV Charge of a letter from the President to Ho Chi Minh (State's 



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L0IJD0N 6321 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1125, 7 Feb; Rec'd II59 7 Feb 
For the Secretary and Harriman from Cooper 



2. .... I received the president's message to Wilson, and read 
substantial portions of it to Brown. Brown felt this would starch up 
Wilson and strengthen his hand in the afternoon's discussions* 

I 

3« We then went on to discuss the US-USSR communique. We explored 
a statement along these lines: A. Both sides (The British and the Soviets) 
agree that a settlement of the Vietnam war must be worked out as early as 
possible. B. Both sides agree to do whatever they can jointly and indiv- 
idually to assist such a settlement to come about. C. Both sides recognize 
that successful negotiations cannot take place unless bombing has stopped 
and mutual steps are taken toward further de-escalation (Phase A-Phase B) . 
D. Both sides agree that they will maintain continual contact and discussion 
in connection with the Vietnam issue. 

4. Brown thinks that he can get Wilson on board on this and that there 
is a good possibility that the Russians would buy something along these 
lines. ... 



BRUCE 



.• 



STATE 132ljSl (to Amembassy London), TS/Nodis, Sent 1919, 7 Feb 6j 

r 

Literally IJyes Only for Ambassador and Cooper 

Following message has been sent to Prime Minister from the President 
via White House channels: 

"For the Prime Minister from the President. 

"I am sending these thoughts to. you on the question posed as to 
whether the U.S. could stop the bombing of Worth Viet Nam in exchange 
for an indication that Hanoi would enter into talks without any military 
acts of de-escalation on their side. 

T, It is important to recall that the Poles said to us in the first 
patt of December that Hanoi would be prepared to hold discussions with 
us on the basis of a Polish summary of what the Poles understood our posi- 
tion to be. Discussion of mutual de-escalation, including a cessation of 
the bombing, would be a part of those talks. We promptly agreed to such 
talks but found that Hanoi (so the Poles told us) was unwilling to proceed 
with such talks because of certain bombing actions which occurred on 13-14 



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December. Although we had seen no real move toward talks before that 
date, we nevertheless removed that obstacle (if that was the obstacle) 
by informing Hanoi that we were refraining from bombing within a radius 
of 10 nautical miles of the center of Hanoi — restrictions which have 
been in effect for more than a month. We took this action without condi- 
tions but did state that we would be impressed by any corresponding action 
by Hanoi. This was an important military move on our part. We have seen 
neither a corresponding military step on their side nor a use of existing 
channels to get on with discussions. In contacts with Hanoi since December 23 
^ * Hanoi has received messages from us but we have not had any replies frran 
_^ Hanoi on any points of substance. Indeed, the Burchett interview repre- 
sents a step backward from Hanoi T s position in December if the Poles were 
accurately reporting to us, 

"We have recently informed Hanoi directly that we would be prepared 
to take additional military measures of de-escalation similar to the 
^ limitation of bombing within the Hanoi perimeter, on similar terms. We 

have had no reply to that suggestion. 

We are ready and willing to hold discussions with Hanoi through any 
feasible process — publicly or privately, directly or indirectly. We 
are inclined to the view that better progress could be made if such talks 
were private and direct. 



i "if we are asked to take military action on our side, we need to know 

what the military consequences will be, that is, what military action will 
"be taken by the other side. We have noted that a suspension of the bombing 
has been termed by the other side as unacceptable and that we must accept 
an unconditional and permanent cessation of bombing. That makes it all 
the more necessary to know what military action Hanoi would take if we in 
fact stopped the bombing. 



"We are prepared to take up with Hanoi steps of mutual de-escalation 
and are prepared to have the most private preliminary conversations with 
them on arrangements for serious discussions of a final settlement. 

"Specifically, we are prepared to and plan, through established 
channels, to inform Hanoi that if they will agree to an assured stoppage 
of infiltration into South Viet Nam, we will stop the bombing of North 
* Viet Nam and stop further augmentation of U.S. forces in South Viet Nam. 
We would welcome your joint advocacy of this position. 

"Further, or alternatively, you should know we ttould recommend to 
the South Vietnamese military authorities that they discuss with North • 
Vietnamese military authorities a prolongation of the Tet ceasefire. 

a 

"For your own information, you should be aware of by feeling that, in 
all of our various contacts with Hanoi, we have had no impression from 
them as to the substance of the issues which must be resolved as a part 
of a peaceful settlement. They have received repeated statements from 
us about our views. They have reiterated their four points and the 



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Liberation Front's five points with varying degree of vagueness as to 
their status, but they have not replied to our suggestions for a revision 
of point three of their four points or a readiness to hold preliminary 
discussions looking toward agreed points as a basis for negotiations. 

"in sum, I would suggest that you try to separate the political 
processes of discussion from military action. We will participate fully 
in any political process including discussions of de-escalation. We are 
prepared to move immediately on major steps of mutual de-escalation, as 
indicated above. What we cannot accept is the exchange of guarantee of 
a safe haven for Worth Viet Nam merely for discussions which thus far have 
no form or content, during which they could continue to expand their mil- 
i itary operations without limit. 

"I doubt very much that Kosygin expected to resolve this matter on 
1 his first evening in London and it would be helpful if you could fully 

explore just what Kosygin is willing or able to do. If he has counter- 
proposals to my major suggestion of mutual military de-escalation, we 
will give them immediate attention. 

"if Kosygin is seriously worried about China, as he told you he was, 
we would hope that he would exert himself to help bring peace to Viet Nam 
and allow North Viet Nam to participate in the peaceful development of 
Southeast Asia. 



"Finally, I would strongly urge that the two co-chairmen not suggest 
a stoppage of the bombing in exchange merely for talks, but, instead, 
appeal to Hanoi to consider seriously the reasonable proposals we are 
putting before them, which would take us not merely into negotiation but 
a long step towards peace itself." 

RUSK. ' 

(Text received from White House). 



LONDON 636O (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 2020, 7 Feb; Rec'd 2105, 7 Feb. 
For the Secretary and Harriman from Cooper 



2. . . . , Kosygin did not table a draft message to the President 
as he said he would do. Rather, he gave a pro-forma restatement of his 
earlier position on importance of the Vietnamese statements to Burchett. 

3- Wilson read from his prepared briefing notes. The exposition of 
the Phase A - Phase B formula was changed from the version contained in my 
para 5 London 6329. It was felt that it would be worth spelling this out 



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in the simplest possible terms. The final text follows: 

"Extract from statement by British Prime Minister at meeting with 
Mr, Kosygin on Feb. T> I967. 



j " - . * . I am now satisfied that the Americans would now be prepared 

* to move to further actions to strengthen mutual confidence if they were 

able to secure some assurance that this move would be reciprocated by the 
other side. For instance, I believe that they are now seeking to get word 
to Hanoi in the following lines* They recognize the need for a first and 
visible step. They further recognize that this step must mean the cessa- 
tion of the bombing. This I believe they would do, and they recognize that 
it must be presented as being done unconditionally. Therefore we have to 
use our ingenuity to divorce in presentation the stopping of the bombing 
from the consequential actions. Yet you and I know that the consequential 
actions are essential if we are to get the bombing stopped. 



"The consequential actions are as follows. The United States are 
willing to stop the build-up of their forces in the South if they are assured 
that the movement of North Vietnamese forces from the North to the South will 
stop at the same time. Essentially therefore the two stages are kept apart. 
But because the United States government know that the second stages will 
follow j they will therefore be able first to stop the bombing, even if there 
is a short period between the first stage and the actions to be taken by 
both sides in the second stage. There would be balanced concessions in 
the second stage; the first stage would be carried out by the United States 
alone; but the United States would only carry out the first stage because 
they would know that the second stage would follow within a short period 
of time. 

"The entry of American reinforcements to Vietnam can be easily observed. 
Therefore there could be no doubt on the part of the North Vietnamese that . 
the Americans were keeping their part of the bargain. 

"The North Vietnamese action in the second stage would be seen as in 
response to the United States action in the second stage but it would be 
the result of a prior secret assurance. 

k. Kosygin showed considerable interest in this formulation- He 
evidently had not understood it when Brown presented it to him last Novem- 
ber. He asked Wilson to repeat it and then asked Wilson to deliver the 
text to him in writing this evening. This has been done. The British are 
virtually certain that Kosygin is going to transmit this to Hanoi. They 
hope that on Thursday afternoon when talks resume Kosygin will have a 
reply from Hanoi. 



BHUCE 



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February 8, 1967 

His Excellency 
Ho Chi Minh 
President 

Democratic Republic of Vietnam 

Dear Mr* President: 



1 I am writing to you in the hope that the conflict in Vietnam can be 

brought to an end. That conflict has already taken a heavy toll — in lives 
lost, in wounds inflicted, in property destroyed, and in simple human 
misery. If we fail to find a just and peaceful solution, history will 
judge us harshly. 

Therefore, I believe that we both have a heavy obligation to seek 
earnestly the path to peace. It is in response to that obligation that 
I am writing directly to you. 

We have tried over the past several years, in a variety of ways and 
through a number of channels, to convey to you and your colleagues our 
desire to achieve a peaceful settlement. For whatever reasons, these 
efforts have not achieved any results. 



It may be that our thoughts and yours, our attitudes and yours, have 
been distorted or misinterpreted as they passed through these various 
channels. Certainly that is always a danger in indirect communication. 

There is one good way to overcome this problem and to move forward 
in the search for a peaceful settlement. That is for us to arrange for 
direct talks between trusted representatives in a secure setting and 
away from the glare of publicity. Such talks should not be used as a 
propaganda exercise but should be a serious effort to find. a workable and 
mutually acceptable solution. 

In the past two weeks, I have noted public statements by repre- 
sentatives of your government suggesting that you would be prepared to 
enter into direct bilateral talks with representatives of the US Govern- 
ment, provided that we ceased "unconditionally" and permanently our 
"bombing operations against your count ry and all military actions against 
it. In the last day, serious and responsible parties have assured us 
indirectly that this is in fact your proposal. 

Let me frankly state that I see two great difficulties with this 
proposal. In view of your public position, such action on our part would 
inevitably produce worldwide speculation that discussions were under way 
and would impair the privacy and secrecy of those discussions. Secondly, 
there would inevitably be grave concern on our part whether your govern- 
ment would make use of such action by us to improve its military position, 



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With these problems in mind, I am prepared to move even further 
towards an ending of hostilities than your Government has proposed in 
either public statements or through private diplomatic channels. I am 
prepared to order a cessation of bombing againpt your country and the 
stopping of further augmentation of US forces in South Viet-Nam as soon 
as I am assured that infiltration into South Viet-Nam by land and by sea 
has stopped. These acts of restraint on both sides would, I believe, make 
it possible for us to conduct serious and private discussions leading 
toward an early peace. 

I make this proposal to you now with a specific sense of urgency 
h arising froa the imminent New Year holidays in Viet-Nam. If you are 

able to accept this proposal I see no reason why it could not take effect 
at the end of the Hew Year, or Tet, holidays. The proposal I have made 
would be greatly strengthened if your military authorities and those of 
the Government of South Viet- Nam could promptly negotiate an extension 
of the Tet truce. 



As to the site of the bilateral discussions I propose, there are 
several possibilities. We could, for example, have our representatives 
meet in Moscow where contacts have already occurred. They could meet 
in some other country such as Burma. You may have other arrangements or 
sites in mind, and I would try to meet your suggestions. 

The important thing is to end a conflict that has brought burdens 
to both our peoples, and above all to the people of South Viet -Nam . If 
you have any thoughts about the actions I propose, it would be most 
important that I receive them as soon as possible. 

Sincerely, 



Iyndon B. Johnson 



On February 8, Cooper had separate meetings with Brown and Wilson, 
the results of which indicated that Wilson would hew to our line on 
•bombing cessation (London's 6321-6329). In addition, the framework of a ' 
final carmmnique was discussed. Further guidance on this subject was 
provided in State's 132521 with particular emphasis on the British not 
signing anything which calls for unilateral action by us. 

On the same day, Wilson responded to a parliamentary question on 
the MARIGOLD subject by stating he had "all the details" on the December 
meetings which had been aborted by a "mutual understanding". 



Late that evening (Feb. 8) Ben Read telephoned Cooper and advised 
him that (l) we could not draw conclusions from the single sentence on 



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Geneva in Kosygin's Guildhall address; (2) we would wish Wilson to probe 
Kosygin at the next morning's meeting; and (3) if the Soviets are serious 
on this issue, we would give urgent consideration to Brown's suggestion 
or any variant thereof. 



MOSCOW 3^12 (to SecState), TS/tfcdis, Sent 1030, 8 Feb; Rec'd 13^7* 8 Feb. 
Bef : Moscow 3k0k 



• • 



2. . . . y Le Chang . . . wished say that he could transmit message* 
today. 

3- DCM said would report Le Chang's remarks to his Govt, and also 
expressed pleasure at fact President's message would be transmitted today 



THOMPSON. 



London BBC Domestic Television. Service in English 1510Z 8 Feb 67 

(Kosygin speech at Lord Mayor's luncheon at the Guildhall in London on 
8 February . . . .) 



* 






Today the major factors of, international tension are the Vietnamese 
1 "■ events and it is the US aggression which is the real, a$d in effect the 

only, cause for the war in Vietnam. We may say that the United States was 
sowing the seeds of that war as far back as in 195^ when, in contrast to 
the Soviet Union, Britain, and several other countries , it attempted to 
prevent the restoration of peace in Indochina, and in the following years 
when it prevented universal Democratic elections as provided for by the 
Geneva agreements . Even then the United States began dictatorially to 
set up and replace, one after the other, the governments in Saigon. 



.... The United Kingdom is a state whose voice is heeded by many 
and it is precisely for this reason that the Soviet government believes 

■ — ' ^" — ■ — ■ I ■ — 1 11 . 11 ■ - ■ ! . — — .— 

that today, as in 19 y± j Great Britain together with the Soviet Union and 
other nations could make its contribution to the settlement of the Vietnam 
issue on the basis of the Geneva agreement, which must be implemented by 
the United States* 



» 



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The first step in this direction should be the unconditional termina 
tion of the U.S, "bombing and of all other acts of aggression against the 
DRV, as was recently stated by the DRV Foreign Minister. This step is 
essential for talks to be held between the DRV and the United States. W 



. m 



• » • « 



LONDON 6399 (to SeeState), TS/Nodis, Sent 02^1, 9 Feb; Rec'd 0313> 9 Feb, 
For Secretary from Cooper. 



• • • 









2. Brown - • . impressed with Kosygin statement in Guildhall speech 

today that " the Soviet Gov't considers now as in 195^ Great Britain 

jointly with Soviet Union and other countries, could make her contribution 
to the settlement of the VW question on the basis of the Geneva agreements 
which must be observed by USA- tr 

3. Brown feels Sovs may be signalling a readiness to convene Geneva. 
• . Brown asked for draft written proposal. . . . 



• • 






k. Gore Booth Murray and I went back to FonOff and prepared fol- 
lowing (which they understand very clearly that this does not have any 
official endorsement of USG despite my participation in drafting): 

QUOTE: The two co-chairmen will announce immediately that they: 

A. Invite the US to assure them that the bombing of NVN will stqpj 

* 

B. Invite the North Vietnamese and the US to assure the co- 
chairmen that they will take mutual and equivalent steps to halt the * 
augmentation of their forces in SVN. 

C. If all the foregoing assurances are promptly received the 
two co-chairmen will invite the members of • the 195^ Geneva conference to 
reconvene in Geneva on 15 Feb to work out a settlement of the present 
conflict. UNQUOTE. 

5. If Sovs will not buy this. Brown will press them to endorse 
Phase A - Phase B formula as they formulated it yesterday. 

BRJCE 






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February 9, 1967 



LONDON 6406 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1222, 9 Feb; Rec f d 1258, 9 Feb. 



For Secretary and Harriman from Cooper 



3- Wilson and Brown (and also some old FonOff hands) are impressed 
with these aspects of conversations held thus far: 

A- Kosygin' s "obsession" with China and readiness to discuss 
this subject without apparent inhibition. 

B. Probably because of China, Kosygin's sense of urgency to 
move ahead on some formula (thus far, his own) for joint UK-Sov approach 
"to assist getting the US and DRV, "the two principals", to settle the war. 

C. Kosygin's statements that he is in direct touch with Hanoi 
and his stated readiness to refer important new issues and approaches 
directly to Hanoi for consideration, e.g. the British version of Phase A- 
Phase B. 

D. The low key, non-polemical tone of the talks on all issues 
(Gore-Booth said last night that talks on bilateral issues are moving 
smoothly and "not badly"). 






- 









10. ... I have gotten a call from the FonOff to the effect that 
Kosygin's answer to query re significance his statement on Geneva was 
sufficiently forthcoming to have warranted Wilson commitment to provide 
Kosygin a proposition in writing "later in the day" about calling Geneva 
Conf presumably along lines of three -part Draft I forwarded to Wash early 
this morning . . . . 

BRUCE 



LONDON 6kll (to SecState), TS/Wis, Sent 1^39, 9 Feb; Rec'd 1523, 9 Feb. 
Ref: 6406 



* . 



* 3 Brown then asked Kosygin whether his remarks about 

Geneva in his speech yesterday indicated the Russians were ready to 
reconvene the Geneva Conference, even if the Chinese refused to attend. 
Kosygin replied this was "not exactly" what he meant to Imply. Kosygin y 
according to Murray's notes, said that in his speech yesterday "I pro- 
ceeded upon the assumption that the main thing was for the UK and the 



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Sov Union to assist the two sides to meet together after the bombing stopped 
After this has been done there may be various proposals for moving further. 
The Geneva Conf could be convened even without China, We need not Insist 
on Chinese participation." (Kosygin then made several uncomplimentary 
references to the way the Chinese felt about diplomatic procedures and 
forms.) Kosygin then went on to say that he "could not speak for Hanoi 
on this point". He emphasized that it was important to "do first things 
first. If we try to work out the tactics too early we might jeopardize 
everything. . • - We might raise other problems such as China and Laos 
(according to Murray this is the first time Laos has been mentioned in 
any of the conversations)." 



5* Brown then said that no bombing would be going on during TET. In 
light of this "thinking out loud, " suppose the US should agree not to 
resume bombing, and both sides agreed to take mutual and equivalent steps 
would Kosygin then agree to call a Geneva Conf on 15 Feb? 

6. Kosygin said that he would first want to know Hanoi's views 
before he committed himself. He reminded Brown that a Geneva Conf would 
be "a complicated issue"; China will create difficulties and "there are 
Chinese troops in Korth Vietnam". There is also a pro-Chinese faction 
in Hanoi that would have to be dealt with. Kosygin then asked "has this 
been discussed with the Americans?" Brown said that if Kosygin could 
deliver his friends in Hanoi the British would try to "deliver the Ameri- 
cans 



rr 



7» Kosygin responded "I could send this to Hanoi, but I am con- 
cerned about the difficulties." He said he would like to "think it over," 
and asked if he could have the .proposition in writing as early as possi- 
ble today. Brown said he would do his best to get this ta Kosygin later 
in the afternoon. 

8. The next meeting will be at 1030 tomorrow morning. At this 
session the British plan to point out that they have now delivered two 
solid propositions to the Russians and presumably Hanoi, One of these 
provides for a private series of negotiations, the other a public one, 
both involve mutual and equivalent steps of de-escalation. If Hanoi is 
serious about wanting to stop the war, the Russians have an obligation 
to provide Hanoi's reactions, and this should be done on an urgent basis. 

BRJCE 






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STATE 133907 (to Amembassy London), TS/Wodis, Sent 18^5, 9 Feb 67. 



• • 



2. As we believe we mave made clear to you, we have major doubts 
whether, if Hanoi in fact accepts the deal we have proposed, they will 
ask to have it nailed down in public through any announcement , and might 
have additional misgivings about the Soviets doing so in the light of 
whatever degree of concern they still have about Chicom reactions. We 
would suppose the latter factor would also operate strongly on the Soviets, 
since any public announcement would carry the unmistakeable flavor that 
the Soviets had colluded with the US, through the UK, to put this deal 
across .... British should be left in no doubt that, while we are most 
grateful for their serious considered efforts, they may well have to 
accept results rather than overt British participation in them. 

3* With this evaluation in mind, we have reviewed text in para k 
of London 6399 &nd note that, like the British oral formula (London 6329, 
para 5)> it speaks only of DRV stopping "augmentation of forces" in South 
Vietnam. This would leave way open for DRV to continue to send equipment 
without restrictions and also to send forces in the guise of rotation* 
Moreover, there would be no restraint whatsoever on political cadre and 
others who could be described as not technically uniformed "forces." In 
light of these objections, any specific formula along these lines which 
the British might put forward would have to be amended along following 
lines: 

QTE. The two cochairmen will announce immediately that they: 

a. Invite the US to assure them that the bombing of North 
Vietnam will stop; 

• ■ 

b. Invite the Worth Vietnamese to assure the cochairmen that 
infiltration into South Vietnam will stop, and invite the US to assure 
the cochairmen that it will stop further augmentation of US forces in 
South Vietnam. (FYI: These are the operative parts both of our own 
message to the British (State 132*18 1) and of our message to Hanoi. End FYI) . 

c. If all the foregoing assurances are promptly received, the 
two cochalnnen will invite members of the 195^- Geneva Conference to recon- 
vene in Geneva on 15 February to work out a settlement of the present 
conflict. EKD QP?E 



5* Seeing as we do these possibly serious difficulties with a precise 
formulation of the deal — and doubting, as we do, that Hanoi will wish a 
really specific public announcement — you should tell British that we 
ourselves would be much more inclined to have than table the more general 
Phase A/Phase B formula. 



HJSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 39 * TOP SECRET - B0D3B 



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LONDON 6^29 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 2200, 9 Feb; Ree'd 2225, 9 Feb 
fief: State 133907 

!• Met with Murray FonOff and dictated points A, B, and C para 3 
which then transcribed verbatim as British proposal. This sent to Brown 
at Buckingham Palace dinner for handing over to Kosygin. 

2. Also passed on, orally, to Murray our preference for their 
Phase A - Phase B formula and he in complete agreement- 



• • 



BRUCE 



STATE 13^409 (to Amembassy Saigon & London), TS/Nodis, Sent 2^27, 9 Feb. 
Saigon for Ambassador/London for Ambassador and Cooper 

» 

1. Following is DoD summary of developments surrounding Tet truces, 
on which you should take actions indicated in succeeding paragraphs: 

a. North Vietnamese water-borne traffic along coast of North 
Vietnam between 19 degrees north latitude and the EMZ (17 degrees north 
latitude) totaled over 900 vessels of various types during the first 30 
hours of the Tet truce which, . . . ; is more than double the logistic 
resupply traffic during the Christmas W-hour truce. ... 

* 

b. The situation described above obviously creates a hazard to 
our forces which we cannot overlook. Moreover, it illustrates graphically 
why the USG cannot cease bombing operations against .North Vietnam in 
exchange for a promise to talk rather, than a substantial military curtail- 
ment on their part. • , 



c. . . . : Our intelligence sources reveal that the North 
.Vietnamese have been moving during the past two weeks an additional 
division from central North Vietnam southward, presumably to reinforce 
*the two North Vietnamese divisions which are already within or just north 
of the EMZ. Additionally, our intelligence gives some reason to believe 
that the North Vietnamese* units in and near the DMZ are on the alert and 
positioned for renewal of combat operations and infiltration, possibly 
: - - soon after the Tet truce expires. The substantial resupply efforts of the 

North Vietnamese support this evaluation. 



• 



2. Saigon should coordinate with MACV to make public material in 
para la above. • ■. . 



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• 3* Ambassador Bruce and Cooper should bring this story to the 

attention of highest British levels .... In so doing, you should not 
repeat not suggest that we are not still wide open to the idea of con- 
tinuing the Tet bombing suspension through the 7-day period or at least 
until Kosygin departs London. You should emphasize, however, that we are 
| seriously concerned about these developments and that final decision on 
~ such additional two- or three-day suspension does involve serious factors 

in light of this information. 

4. Wireless file is carrying full account of Secretary's press 
conference today, at which he made more general statement about supply 
activity and rate of incidents. 

HJSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



Department of State, Public Information Bulletin, February 13, 196? • 

FOURTEEN POIOTS FOR PEACE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 

"Secretary Rusk on January 27* approved the release of the following 
elaboration of the Fourteen Points for Peace in Southeast Asia, which 
were previously made public by the Department of State on January 7> 1966. 

1- The Geneva Agreements of 195^ and 19^2 are an adequate basis 
for peace in Southeast Asia. 

2. We would welcome a conference on Southeast Asia or any part 
thereof: 

— We are ready to negotiate a settlement based on a strict 
observance of the 195^ apd 1962 Geneva Agreements, which 
observance was called for in the declaration on Viet -Nam of 
the meeting of the Warsaw Pact countries in Bucharest on 
July 6, 1966. And we will support a reconvening of the 
Geneva Conference, or an Asian conference, or any other 
generally acceptable forum. 

• 
3* We would welcome "negotiations without preconditions" as called 
for by 17 nona lined nations in an appeal delivered to Secretary Rusk on 
April 1, 1965. 

a 

k. We would welcome "unconditional discussions" as called for by 
President Johnson on April 7> 19^5 : 

-- If the other side will not come to a conference, we are 
prepared to engage in direct discussions or discussions 
through an intermediary. 



* At his February 9 Press Conference, Secretary Rusk drew attention to the 
revised 1^ points, saying , "I am today making available points we made last 
year under ik different headings — annotated to reflect developments in 1966. " 
For this study, therefore, the effective release date is taken as February 9* 

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—m. 



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5* A cessation of hostilities could be the first order of business 
at a conference or could be the subject of preliminary discussions: 

— We have attempted, many times, to engage the other side 
in a discussion of a mutual deescalation of the level of 
violence , and we remain prepared to engage in such a mutual 
deescalation. 









— We stand ready to cooperate fully in getting discussions 
which could lead to a cessation of hostilities started 
promptly and brought to a successful completion. 

6. Hanoi's four points could be discussed along with other points 
which others may wish to propose: 

— We would be prepared to accept preliminary discussions to 
reach agreement on a set of points as a basis for negotiations 



7. We want no U.S. bases in Southeast Asia: 






~ We are prepared to assist in the conversion of these bases 
for peaceful uses that will benefit the peoples of the 
entire area, 

a 

8. We do not desire to retain U.S. troops in South Viet-Nam after 
peace is assured: ■ • 

— We seek no permanent military bases ^ no permanent establish- 
ment of troops j no permanent alliances, no permanent American 

"presence" of any kind in South Viet-Nam. 

■ 

■ 

— We have pledged in the Manila Communique that "Allied forces 

are in the Republic of Vietnam because that country is the 

object of aggression and its government requested support In 

the resistance of its people- to aggression. They shall be 

withdrawn, after close consultation, as the other side with-, 

draws Its forces to the North, ceases infiltration, and the 

level of violence thus subsides. Those forces will be with- 
» 

drawn as soon as possible and not later than six months after 
the above conditions have been fulfilled." 

9* We support free elections in South Viet-Nam to give the South 
Vietnamese a government of their own choice. 

— We support the development of broadly based democratic 
institutions in South Viet-Nam* 

— We do not seek to exclude any segment of the South Viet- 
namese people from peaceful participation in their country's 
future . 






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10. The question of reunification of Viet-Nam should be determined 
by the Vietnamese through their own free decision: 

* 
— It should not be decided by the use of force. 

-- We are fully prepared to support the decision of the Viet- 
namese people. 



11. The countries of Southeast Asia can be nonalined or neutral 
if that be their option: 



— We do not seek to impose a policy of alinement on South 
Viet-Nam. 

— We support the neutrality policy of the Royal Government 
of La os j and we support the neutrality and territorial 
integrity of Cambodia. 

12. We would much prefer to use our resources for the economic 
reconstruction of Southeast Asia than in war. If there is peace, North 
Viet-Nam could participate in a regional effort to which we would be pre- 
pared to contribute at least one billion dollars: 

— We support the growing efforst by the nations of the 
area to cooperate in the achievement of their economic 
and social goals. 

■ 

13- The President has said "The Viet Cong would have no difficulty 
in being represented and having their views presented if Hanoi for a moment 
decides she wants to cease aggression. And I would not think that would 
be an insurmountable problem at all." ' 

lh* We have said publicly and privately that we could stop the 
bombing of North Viet-Nam as a step toward peace although there has not 
been the slightest hint or suggestion from the other side as to what they . 
would do if the bombing stopped: 

- ~ We are prepared to order a cessation of all bombing of 
North Viet-Nam, the moment we are assured — privately or 
otherwise — that this step will be answered promptly by 
a corresponding and appropriate deescalation of the other 
side. 

— We do not seek the unconditional surrender of North Viet- 
Nam; what we do seek is to assure for the people of South 
Viet-Nam the right to decide their own political destiny, 
free of force. , 



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February 10, 1967 

New York Times, 12 February 1967 

Text of Goldberg 1 s Howard University Speech 

Special to The New York Times 

Washington, Feb, 10 - Following are excerpts from the text of an address 

on "America's Peace Aims in Vietnam" delivered today at Howard University 

by Arthur J\ Goldberg, chief United States representative at the United 

Nations: 



• . . # The United States remains prepared to take the first step 
and order a cessation of all bombing of North Vietnam the moment we are 
assured, privately or otherwise, that this step will be answered promptly 
by a tangible response toward peace from North Vietnam. 



Some analysts contend that our terms of settlement should be more 
precisely defined. But it is very difficult to be more precise in advance 
of negotiation, and particularly in light of the substantive ambiguities 
on the other side. But whatever questions may be raised, they should and 
can best be resolved in discussions between the parties who have the power 
to resolve them. For our part, we stand ready to negotiate in good faith 
unconditionally to resolve all. outstanding questions. 



SAIGON 17769 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 0720, 10 Feb; Rec'd 0826, 10 Feb. 
Ref : State 13383^ 

1. I believe it is necessary and prudent to inform Ky of message to 
Hanoi as soon as possible. • . . 



* • * 



3- • . . . I will find it more difficult to explain the new element 
introduced by our willingness to stop augmentation .... Information 
giving rationale re stopping augmentation would be most useful. 



• • 



7- Do you wish me to inform General Westmoreland at the time Ky is 
told? 



» • • 



LODGE. 



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STATE 135513 (to Amembassy Saigon), TS/Nodis 
Ref : State 1338 3^; Saigon 17769 



; 2. We have provided British with text of proposal. They had 

I already outlined a variation of it orally to Kosygin, who expressed 

interest today and asked for written text to forward at once to Hanoi. 

This has been provided and reads as below. You may convey to Ky orally 
j as much of digest of proposal as you deem wise in view of great necessity 
J for secrecy. 

I Q3?E A. The United States will order a cessation of bombing of 

North Vietnam as soon as they are assured that infiltration from North 
Vietnam to South Vietnam has stopped. This assurance can be communicated 
in secret if Worth Vietnam so wishes. 

B. Within a few days (with a period to be agreed with the two 
sides before the bombing stops) the United States will stop further aug- 
menting their force in South Vietnam. The cessation of bombing of Worth 
Vietnam is an action which will be immediately apparent. This requires 
that the stoppage of infiltration become public very quickly thereafter. 
If Hanoi is unwilling to announce the stoppage of infiltration, the United 
States must do so at the time it stops augmentation of US forces. In that 
case, Hanoi must not deny it. 

C- Any assurances from Hanoi can reach the United States direct, 
or through Soviet channels, or through the Soviet and British Governments. 
This is for Worth Vietnam to decide, END QUOTE. 

3- In explaining about text, we believe British will have made clear 
that our stopping "augmenting" would still permit rotation and continued 
supply. Stoppage of infiltration defined as meaning that men and arms 
cannot move from DRV into South Vietnam. You should note also that wording 
of subpara A precludes any sudden last-minute reinforcements after bombing 
has stopped. ... 

. 

h Deprived of additional men and of urgently needed equip- 
ment from the Worth, we believe KVA/VC forces would be significantly 
'weakened in concrete terms and would probably suffer serious adverse effects 
on their morale. If infiltration in fact ceases and" this word can be picked 
up by SVN and allied psychological warfare units, we believe there are big 
chances that Chieu Hoi and reconciliation programs would produce substan- 
tially larger returns. In short, we think proposal is defensible and forth- 
caning, if it should ever be surfaced, but at the same time clearly favorable 
in terms of its effect on the military and morale situation. . . . 



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7» Quite frankly our present Judgment is that these present moves 
will came to nothings but in reviewing the history of World War II and 
post-war crises, many other such situations have come to an end faster 
than we thought probable in advance and for reasons we did not fully compre- 
hend until after the events, . . . 

8- You may inform Westmoreland personally of this proposal, which 
is known here to General Wheeler. 






• ■ • 



HJSK (Drafted by S. P. Bundy) 



LONDON 0+56 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1700, 10 Feb; Rec'd 1X12, 10 Feb. 

Here is text of Phase A-Phase B formula which is to be sent to 
Kosygin at his request ASAP. Feed guidance urgently. 

These steps are as follows:- 

(A) The United States will stop bcmbing North Vietnam as soon as 
they are assured that infiltration from North Vietnam to South Vietnam 
will stop. This assurance can be camnunicated in secret if North Vietnam 
so wishes. 

(B) Within a few days (with the period to be agreed between the two m 
sides before the bombing stops) the United States will stop further aug- 
menting their forces in South Vietnam and North Vietnam will stop infil- 
tration and movement of forces into the. South. 

(c) The cessation of bombing of North Vietnam and the cessation of 
build-up of United States f orcqs in the South are actions which will be 
immediately apparent. 

(D) A cessation of infiltration is more difficult for the world to 
observe. Nevertheless the United States will not demand any public state- 
ment from North Vietnam. 

(ij Any secret assurances from Hanoi can reach the United States 
direct, or through Soviet channels, or through the Soviet and British 
governments. This is for North Vietnam to decide. 

BRUCE 






LONDON 6462 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent l800, 10 Feb; Rec f d 1824, 10 Feb, 

For the Secretary from Cooper 

!• This morning's session #as devoted primarily to Europe, but Wilson 
did take occasion to point out that he had submitted two proposals and 

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Soviets had not replied as yet to either . Kosygin then indicated that 
he wanted to hear the Phase A - Phase B proposal once again, and having 
heard it he asked Wilson to put it in a form so that he could telegraph 
it as soon as possible, .... 



BRUCE. 



LONDON 6&1 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 0205, 11 Feb; Rec'd 0251, 11 Feb. 
To Secretary from. Bruce and Cooper 

1. White House version of message passed to Kosygin prior his departure 
for Scotland with this introductory statement: 

QTE. I have just received direct from the White House the 
following message which they have asked me to pass to you. You may take 
this now as the authentic U.S. position on the subject I discussed with 
you, and on which I handed a note to you this evening. UNQTE 

2. Earlier British version had been given to Kosygin by Wilson when 
he saw him at Soviet reception earlier in evening. 



k. Cooper will go to Chequers (through back door) early Sunday 
afternoon and will be kept informed course of discussions as they proceed. 
Please provide Cooper with name of phone contact in event matters require 
immediate reporting or guidance on the spot.. 



BRUCE 



February 11, 1967 

Ejy telephone (Feb. 11) Cooper reported British concern about our 
insistence that our Phase A-B formulation (para. 55) specify that infil- 
tration "has stopped", which they noted was different than the future 
tense employed in the revised Point 1^ release to the press on February 9- 



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MOSCOW 3^51 (to SeeState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1035, H Feb; Rec T d 1111, 11 Feb- ' 



* * 






2. After thanking DCM for coming over, Le Chang said he wished inform 
him that President's message to Ho Chi Minh delivered February 8 had been 
transmitted to Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh had received message and reply would be 
forwarded later. 



3* In response DCM question when message received in Hanoi, Le Chang 
said it had been transmitted immediately. 

THOMPSON 






SAIGON 1T822 (to SeeState), T3/Nodis, Sent 1200, 11 Feb; Rec;d 1310, 11 Feb 
1. Pursuant to your 135513^ I called on Ky • . • • 









8, Our present judgment, I said, is that these moves will come to 
nothing, but in reviewing earlier crises, many other such situations have 
come to an end faster than we thought probable in advance. There may be 
one chance in ten that the other side is in deeper trouble than we realized. 



• 






10. Ky listened attentively, and, after I had completed my state- 
ment, asked what kind of guarantees would there be — meaning what kind of 
an inspection system. 

* 

11. I said that we were thinking of the ICC — in the efficacy of 
which he expressed complete lack of confidence (as indeed do l) . 

12. He then said that he was afraid that if we stopped the banking 
now, based on their promise and they don't keep their promise, public 
opinion would make it extremely difficult for us to resume the bombing *. . 



14. When 1 asked him whether he thought that they would accept our 
proposal, he first said that he did not think they would — that there 
would be a loss of face for them in admitting that there ever had been a 
war. Then after some reflection, he said: "If I am Hanoi, I would say 
r yes r . They would gain something, we would gain nothing. It is a cer- 
tainty that they will not stop infiltration no matter how much they 
promise to do so". ... 






kQ 



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15* He felt that to try a thing like this now was premature. It 
was "too soon. It would be better to wait a few more months. We would 
then be in a better position to see the situation more clearly. We 
should not stop just as our military campaign Is getting results, and 
as we are making progress politically." 



LODGE. 



LOMDON 0+8T (to SecState), T3/Nodis, Sent 1227, 11 Feb; Rec'd 1250, 11 Feb. 
For Secretary from Cooper 

1. I have just been informed by the FonOff that the Pope sent a 
private message to the PM last night asking him to urge Kosygin that 
there be a joint endorsement in the communique of the Pope's recent 
message to the three "warring parties." 

2. My FonOff source thinks this will be a non-starter. 
BRUCE. 



LONDON 6488 (to SecState), TS/wodis, Sent 1227, 11 Feb; Rec'd 13^0, 11 Feb. 

m 

For Secretary from Bruce and Cooper 



* • 



2. One of the "contingencies" which Wilson has particularly in mind 
rose from what he describes as a "jocular exchange" between himself and 
Kosygin at the Soviet reception last night. If the two sides did not come 
to an agreement Sunday night, Kosygin and Wilson thought thab next step to 
( consider might be sending Gromyko and Brown to Washington and for Kosygin 
and Wilson to go to Hanoi. The Gromyko-Brown visit was apparently brushed 
aside as a private joke, but the Kosygin -Wilson visit to Hanoi was regarded, 
by Wilson if not by Kosygin^ as a more serious possibility. 

3* • • • * Wilson felt, however, that much would be gained if he made 
an offer to go to Hanoi with or without Kosygin. . . . 



• • • * 



BRUCE 



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IiOMDON &93 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent l6l5, 11 Feb; Rec'd 170lf, 11 Feb* 
"Eyes only for Secretary from Bruce 



1. If Secretary agrees I would appreciate this message being passed 
to Secretary McNamara. 

2. I would not presume to comment on extent of the military disad- 
vantage of our not renewing bombing in North Vietnam until Kosygin has left 
London. I do feel, however, absolutely compelled to express a personal 
opinion as to what I consider would be its adverse political effects at 
this time. 

3* As I understand it, a decision by the USG for such renewal has 
already been taken, but would it not be possible to postpone ensuing 
action for the approximately thirty five hours; (reckoned in GMT) before 
Kosygin departs from here, and, during that period, to make no public 
declaration on the subject. 

4. My reasons are: 

A. Although there are no grounds for being more than lukewarmly 
optimistic over anything of substantial value emerging from the current 
talks, it is quite evident that Kosygin, within the limitations under which 
he operates, seems almost as desirous as ourselves to bring about a cessa- 
tion of hostilities in Vietnam. During his stay today in Scotland, he may 1 ■ 
be disturbed, and rendered even more suspicious than usual, over what will 
probably appear to him the discrepancies between our last statement of 
conditions delivered to him last night as he was boarding a train), and 
certain preceding ones notably point fourteen; in our list of fourteen, 
which he has. I believe his concern over the disruption of other Soviet 
foreign policies resulting from deep involvement in Vietnam, coupled with 
what has become an obsessive, almost pathological distrust of the Chinese, 
incline him strongly in favor of using whatever influence he may possess 
in Hanoi to bring about negotiations between Ho and ourselves. 

B- Since renunciation of bombing of the North with reciprocal 
. response from Hanoi has become almost everywhere a symbol of US seriousness 
in desiring a peaceful settlement, bombing as a term has taken on a political 
connotation independent of its military significance. 

C. I would expect Kosygin, who has been acting in concert with 
Brezhnev, will not disclose his full hand until the meeting at Chequers 
tomorrow evening. But if at that time it is evident that he does not 
have sufficient prestige to postpone even for the short time he will still 
be on British soil a resumption of the type of operation he has steadily 
inveighed against, I would guess that he will prove definitively intransi- 
gent, and henceforth far more difficult to seek cooperation from. Then, 
too, his opinion of Wilson f s credibility, already shaken by last night's 
imbroglio, may lead his Russian suspiciousness into dark imaginings. 



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D. It seems to me by refraining still for a matter of hours from 
punishing the North Vietnamese for a flagrant breach of the truce, we might, 
j though we would have no assurance of it, succeed in not alienating the great 

potential usefulness of our until recently improbable ally. 



BHJCE. 



SIATE 135627 (to Amembassy London), TS/Nodis, Sent 1908, 11 Feb, 

1. This responds to your telecons relaying message from Wilson about 

resumption of bombing. 

j 

2. As you know ; we did not want to make any commitments to extend the 
TET bombing stand-down. You also know that our basic position remains 

, not to stop bombing in return for mere willingness to talk. 

3. However, we have great respect for your opinion and accept your 
recommendation not to conduct military actions against the Worth 'until 
Kosygin leaves. It must be absolutely clear to Wilson that we would then 
go ahead and that we will not consider a further deferral. 

k. Wilson should not refer to resumption of bombing on his own 
initiative. If Kosygin asks about it, we suggest that Wilson relay that 
he is not familiar with details of allied military plans but that US 
attitude on this point has been made clear. 

5* Wilson should be left in no doubt that we cannot prolong suspension 
of bombing in absence of firm word on infiltration. He should also know 
that when we say "stop infiltration" we mean "stop infiltration." We can- 
not trade a horse for a rabbit .and will^react to bad faith on this point* 
We are losing lives today because such commitments in Laos Accords of 1962 
were treated with contempt by Hanoi and Co-Chairmen and ICC could do 
nothing about it. 



6. About Wilson trip to Hanoi, we see little point in it. We thought 
two Co-Chairmen had concluded that best prospects lie in bilateral contact 
between US and Hanoi. Further, we could not become involved in a visit 
'which would raise problem of another unrequited suspension of bombing. 

7* Wilson is of course already aware that the South Vietnamese and 
we are resuming operations in the South tomorrow (112300 Zulu) and that 
we have been carrying on bombing operations in Laos throughout. 

8. Septel will contain our comments on the question of tenses in our 
proposal. 

m 

BUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



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STATE 135662 (to Amembassy London), TS/Nodis, Sent 21^5, 11 Feb. 
For Ambassador and Cooper Only 

1. This responds to your report of British concern about our 
insistence that draft specify that infiltration "has stopped." We 
gather they are pointing to apparent inconsistency between this posi- 
tion and the future tense employed in the revised point l4 released 
here Thursday. 

2. You should give them the following: * 



a. As previous message made clear, we face immediate specific 
problem of possible three divisions poised just north of DMZ. We must 
be ixr position to insist that these cannot be moved into SVN just before 
their undertaking takes effect. 



b. We recognize that revised point 1^ spoke in future tense, but 
that formulation related to a different proposal, i.e., bombing cessation 
alone on our side, not bombing cessation plus troop augmentation which of 
course are two major commitments on our part. 

c. British should be aware (as we realize State 1338 3^ did not 
make clear) that message conveyed to Hanoi was in same terms as final 
corrected draft, i.e., that we must be assured that infiltration has 
stopped. In the last 2k hours, we have information that Soviets are aware 
of contents of this message, presumably through their Hanoi contacts, so 
that change in tense in final draft given to Soviets did not repeat not 
cone as surprise to Soviets or Hanoi and cannot have impaired British 
credibility. 

d. In any event, our. posit ion- on this point remains firm because 
of the special problem posed by the divisions north of the DMZ. We very 
much doubt whether Soviets or Hanoi will reject proposal for this reason. 
If they should come back on it, we would of course wish to be informed. 

RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



STATE 135675 (to Amembassy Saigon), T3/Nodis, Sent 2215, 11 Feb. 

Literally Eyes Only for Ambassador 

1. We are sending you separate instruction to inform Ky that we 
have decided that we should refrain from bombing the North until Kosygin 
leaves London. In conveying this to Ky, you should make clear that this 
decision was dictated solely by extreme British concern and vital impor- 
tance of British support, . . 



. . 



• • 



EUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



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STATE 1356T6 (to Amembassy Saigon), s/Nodis, Sent 2215, H Feb. 
ISyes only Ambassadors 

• 

1. Saigon, Bangkok and Vientiane are receiving military message 
directing that bombing and naval operations against Worth Viet-Nam not 
repeat not be resumed until after Kosygin leaves London. This decision 
• . . . constitutes a one- shot exception to our standing policy, . . . . 
Our policy on not repeat not stopping bombing in return for talks remains 
unchanged. 



S. Saigon should inform GVN of this decision. We leave it to Bangkok 
and Vientiane whether they think some notification would be desirable. . . 



k. Canberra, Wellington, Seoul and Manila may in their discretion 
arrange unobtrusive contacts • • • . 

(Not signed - Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 

February 12, 1967 • 

Late on February 11, Bruce and Cooper reported that they had had 
a stormy session ¥ith Wilson and Brown (London's 6^95), who were relieved 
that the bombing stand-down would continue while Kosygin was in London 
but concerned that the bombing would begin immediately after his departure 
A greater problem, however, was the change in tenses in respect to the 
stoppage of bombing. Their formulation of the paragraph was based on an 
earlier message passed to Kosygin on February 7* This formulation was 
based on the last of the ik Points, Since Washington raised no objection 
to this formulation earlier in the week, they assumed they were on safe 
ground. They now feel the ground has shifted under them. Furthermore, 
if we had passed the message directly *to Hanoi on February 7, in terms 
of the past tense, why did we not inform them of this? 

In the early morning hours of February 12, Wilson sent two messages 
by private wire to the President, outlining in the first the "hell of a 
situation" he is in for his last day of talks with Kosygin and emphasizing 
his need to reestablish trust because not only will Kosygin have doubts 
about Wilson's credibility but, in addition, Kosygin will have lost credi- 
bility in Hanoi and possibly among his colleagues. Wilson said he planned 
to tell Kosygin that the present situation arises from deep US concern 
about the intensive North Vietnamese movements during the TET period. He 
ffelt he had to get Kosygin into as relaxed as possible posture and to tell 
him that the USSB-UK position must be not to concern themselves with mili- 
tary activities but to concentrate on the longer term political situation. 

Wilson expressed considerable anguish about the shift in tense. He 
said he now realized Kosygin had bit on February 10 because he realized 



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Wilson had given him a softer version than the message passed directly to 
Hanoi. Under the circumstances, Wilson felt he must stand by his m version. 
If Kosygin accepted, he would have to press his line on the President- If 
it is impossible for the President to accept, Wilson felt he and the Presi- 
dent would have to reason together about the situation which would then 
arise. More generally, he hoped to get Kosygin into a position where he and 
Wilson accepted joint responsibility for trying to assist the parties con- 
cerned in the fighting to reach agreement. This, he recognized, would be 
difficult particularly when the bombing restarts. He hoped to nail Kosygin 
to a continuing acceptance of a joint role of lawyers representing respective 
clients who must try to get a settlement out of court, ad referendum to the 
two clients. In view of the "clear breakdown" in communications and under- 
standing during this week; Wilson felt he should meet with the President 
very soon. 

■ * 

In Ms second message, Wilson described in detail the misunderstanding 
that had arisen about the tense used in the infiltration paragraph. 

At 0336, February 12, a direct response was sent by the President 
to Wilson (repeated to London as State's 135718), pointing out that the 
matter does not hang on the tense of verbs. Moscow had the Phase A-B 
formulation in November from George Brown. Hanoi had it from the Poles. 
Meanwhile, their build-up of forces has continued through three periods of 
no bombing (Christmas, New Year's and TET). We have heard nothing from 
Hanoi, although many inteimediaries have attempted to negotiate with us. 
We cannot stop the bombing while three or more divisions dash south from 
the EMZ before Hanoi's promise to stop infiltration takes effect. We do 
not agree that our statement to Wilson on February 7 * s inconsistent with 
either our message to Hanoi or our formula for Wilson and Kosygin on 
February 10. We asked on February 7 for an "assured stoppage" of infil- 
tration. In Wilson's version of the A-B formula it was transmuted into 
an assurance that infiltration '"will stop". This is a quite different 
matter. We promptly recognized this and informed Burke Trend by telephone 
that we would transmit our response shbrtly. The President emphasized 
that no formula can be satisfactory to us — and perhaps to Hanoi--unless 
there is clarity about two matters: 






a. the timing of a cessation of banbing, cessation of infil- 
tration, and no further augmentation of forces; and 

b. how assurance in this matter of infiltration will be established, 

Wilson was nlso informed that Hanoi had received our message and has 
told us that a direct response would be forthcoming. The President empha- 
sized the importance of the US and UK staying together and not permitting 
the other side to play one position off against another. 



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J 















The President concluded with a statement of deep appreciation for 
Wilson's efforts, an affirmation of intent to express publicly our thanks, 
and a disavowal of the possibility of giving him a power of attorney. 

Wilson promptly responded by private wire, expressing full agreement 
about the grave danger of a PAVN rush southward if there is an interval 
of even two or three days between the stoppage of bombing and the stop- 
page of infiltration. He said he had been considering an alternative way 
of securing the required guarantee, namely that the prior two-way assurance 
should contain a time-table if possible underwritten by or communicated 
through the Russians. What might be provided is that the US would agree ■ 
in advance to stop the bombing in return for Hanoi's prior assurance that 
they would stop the infiltration, say six hours or less afterwards. He 
said he would try it as his idea on Kosygin if the atmosphere were right . 
Finally, the Prime Minister noted that there had been a misunderstanding as 
a result of his reference to a "power of attorney"* Clearly, he said, 
that would be out of the question. The key words, he added, were "ad 
referendum" (repeated to London as State's 135731). 



STATE 135718 (to Amembassy London), TS/Wodis, Sent 09^8, 12 Feb 6j 

■ 

Literally IJyes Only for Amb Bruce and Cooper from Walt Rostow 

The following message was transmitted at 3:36 a-m- 12 Feb to Downing 
Street. 

I have carefully read and considered your two messages bearing on 
your talks later today with Kosygin. 

I would wish to leave these thoughts with you on the present position. 

I really do not believe that the matter hangs on the tense of verbs. 
Moscow had from George Brown in November the Phase A - Phase B formulation. 
Hanoi also had it from the Poles. Hanoi has shown no flicker of interest 
for more than two months. Meanwhile their build-up continues and they 
have used 3 periods of no bombing (Christmas, New Year's and TET) for 
large scale movement and preparation of their forces for further military 

action. 

* 

I want to emphasize that we have had nothing yet from Hanoi. They 
receive our messages - but thus far it has been a one-way conversation. 
Many intermedial ies have attempted, from time to time, to negotiate with 
us. Everyone seems to wish to negotiate except Hanoi. I wish saneone 
would produce a real live North Vietnamese prepared to talk. 

Understandably your present preoccupation is Kosygin 's attitude. But 
thus far, Kosygin has not transmitted one word from Hanoi except to endorse 
their Foreign Minister f s interview with Burchett in his own press conference 



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Frcm an operational point of view, we cannot stop the bombing while 
three (possibly four) divisions dash south from the EMZ before - underline 
word their rpt their - promise is to take effect. I hope you will see 
the importance of this for the men out there who are doing the fighting. 

We do not accept the view that our statement to you of our position 
on February 7 is inconsistent with either our message to Hanoi or our 
formula for you and Kosygin of February 10. We asked on February 7 for 
an "assured stoppage" of infiltration. In your version of an A-B formula 
it was transmuted to an assurance that infiltration "will stop". This, 
in our view, is a quite different matter. We so recognized promptly on 
receipt of your formula and telephoned Burke Trend that we were drafting 
and would transmit our response shortly - 

The problem of substance is that no formula can be satisfactory to 
us - and perhaps to Hanoi - unless there is clarity about two matters: 

- The timing of a cessation of bombing, cessation of infiltration, 
and no further augmentation of forces. 

■ 

- How assurance in the matter of infiltration will be established, 
you have correctly pointed out that the cessation of bombing and the 
stoppage of augmentation by us will necessarily be public. 

I would not expect Kosygin to come in at Chequers with anything firm 
and definitive by way of a positive response. In that case we can take 
stock and see where we go from here on the diplomatic tract. If he does 
respond positively and constructively, we can then proceed to the clarifi- 
cations that both sides will surely require. . 



Hanoi has received our messages and has just today informed us that 
a direct response to us from Hanoi will be forthcoming. We suppose that 
we shall not hear from them until your talks are concluded. There is 
importance, then, in our staying together. We must not let them play one 
position off against another. 

Let me add that I much appreciate your dedicated effort during this 
week - and will, of course, express publicly our thanks. I'm always glad 
to know that you are in my corner but I would have some difficulty, in view 
of my responsibilities and problems here, in giving -anyone a power of 
attorney. I hope for peace more than you can possibly know and will be 
much interested in what happens at Chequers. 

(Text received from White House) 






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STATE 13573^ (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent l8l5, 12 Feb 6j, 

For Monday morning delivery to Ambassador unless instructed otherwise 
by SEPTEL- 



• * • 



3- State of play in London is that British on Feb- 7 gave Kosygin 
as their own draft a summary of the proposal contained in the President's 
letter to Ho. However, unlike that letter, the British draft of that 
date clearly separated the stopping of the bombing from the actual stop- 
ping of infiltration, although it required assurance of the latter before 
the former would be done. This differs from the President's letter to Ho, 
which of course spoke of assurance that infiltration had stopped already. 

h. This difference has since caused difficulty with the British. On 
Feb. 10, Wilson repeated the substance of the British Feb. 7 version to 
Kosygin, who expressed real interest • . . . — we corrected the British 
draft so that it insisted that we have assurance* that the infiltration had 
stopped. . . . the British. . . . caught Kosygin just as he took his train 
that evening, but it is possible, indeed probable, that the earlier "will 
stop" version was transmitted by the Soviets to Hanoi. 



6. From your standpoint; the important thing is whether the Soviets 
may have been misled at any stage. From a direct Dobrynin reference with 
the Secretary on Friday evening, we now know that the Soviets are familiar 
with the contents of the President's letter to Ho, and this direct state- 
ment means that you can assume this in any conversations with the Soviets. 
In short, they knew our position very. shortly after the President's letter 
was delivered, and again had it in clear form when we cleared the authorized 
version for transmission to Kosygin on the evening of the 10th. At most, 
they may have been very briefly misled on the afternoon of the 10th .... 



. • 



RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



STATE 135735 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/lfodis, Sent l8l6, 12 Feb 67. 

For Monday morning delivery to Ambassador unless instructed otherwise 
by SEPTEL. 



I Relevant texts to go with our septel on dealings with the British 

are as follows: 

1. Oral text used by Wilson on Feb. Jz 

■ 

QTE- I am now satisfied that the Americans would now be prepared 



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to move to further actions to strengthen mutual confidence if they were 
able to secure some assurance that this move would be reciprocated by the 
other side. For instance, I believe that they are now seeking to get word 
to Hanoi on the following lines. They recognize the need for a first and 
visible step. They further recognize that this step must mean the cessa- 
tion of the bombing. This I believe they would do, and they recognize that 
it must be presented as being done unconditionally- Therefore we have to 
use our ingenuity to divorce in presentation the stopping of the bombing 
from the consequential actions. Yet you and I know that the consequential 
actions are essential if we are to get the bombing stopped. 

The consequential actions are as follows. The US are willing to stop 
the buildup of their forces in the South if they are assured that the move- 
ment of Worth Vietnamese forces from the Worth to the South will stop at 
the same time. Essentially therefore the two stages are kept apart. But 
because the US Govt know that the second stages will follow, they will * 
therefore be able first to stop the bombing, even if there is a short 
period between the first stage and the actions to be taken by both sides 
in the second stage. There would be balanced concessions in the second 
stage; the first stage would be carried out by the US alone; but the US 
would only carry out the first stage because they would know that the 
second stage would follow within a short period of time. 

The entry of American reinforcements to Vietnam can be easily observed. 
Therefore there could be no doubt on the part of the Worth Vietnamese that 
the Americans were keeping their part of the bargain. The Worth Vietnamese 
action in the second stage would be seen as in response to the US action 
in the second stage but it would be the result of a prior secret assurance. 
EWD QTE. 

2. Original British written text of Febl 10, given the Soviets at 
the reception that eventing: 

QTE. (A) The US will stop bombing Worth, Vietnam as soon as they 
are assured that infiltration from Worth Vietnam to South Vietnam will 
stop. This assurance can be communicated in secret if North Vietnam so 
wishes, * ■ 

(B) Within a few days (with the period to be agreed between the 
two sides before the bombing stops) the US will stop further augmenting 
their forces in South Vietnam and Worth Vietnam will stop infiltration and 
movement of forces into the South. 

(C) The cessation of bombing of Worth Vietnam and the cessation 
of build-up of US forces in the South are actions which will be immediately 
apparent . 

(D) A cessation of infiltration is more difficult for the world 
to observe. Nevertheless the US will not demand any public statement from 
North Vietnam. 



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1 



(E) Any secret assurances from Hanoi can reach the US direct,, 
or through Soviet channels, or through the Soviet and British Governments. 
This is for North Vietnam to decide. EI© QTE. 

■ ■ 

3» Final version cleared by us and given to Kosygin late on the 
evening of Feb* 10; 

* 

QTE. (A) The US will order a cessation of bombing of North Vietnam 
as soon as they are assured that infiltration from North Vietnam to South 
Vietnam has stopped. This assurance can be communicated in secret if 
North Vietnam so wishes. 

(B) Within a few days (with the period to be agreed with the 
two sides before the bombing stops) the US will stop further augmenting 
their force in South Vietnam. The cessation of bombing of North Vietnam 
is an action which will be immediately apparent. This requires that the 
stoppage of infiltration become public very quickly thereafter. If Hanoi 
is unwilling to announce the stoppage of infiltration, the US must do so 
at the same time it stops augmentation of US forces. In that case, Hanoi 
must not deny it. m • 

(C) Any assurances from Hanoi can reach the US direct, or through 
Soviet channels, or through the Soviet and British Governments. This is 
for North Vietnam to decide. END QTE. 

RUSK (Drafted by W. p. Bundy) 









STATE 1357H (to Amembassy Saigon), S/Nodis, Sent 2^39, 12 Feb. 
E^es Only for Ambassador 

1. Situation in London, is that at his suggestion we have just author- 
ized Wilson to tell Kosygin that if Hanoi accepts our proposal by 10 a.m. 
tomorrow London time we would continue bombing suspension. Requirement 
remains that Hanoi assure us that infiltration has ten stopped, with our 
cessation of augmentation to follow in a few days. 

" 2. Military orders have now gone out for operations to be planned 
for execution at 2^00 February 13 your time, subject to final execute 
message to be sent at 2030 your time. . . . 



• . 



RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 






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STATE 1357W (to Amembassy London) , TS/Nodis, Sent 0205, 13 Feb 6j. 

The following message from the president was sent this afternoon by 
private wire to the Prime Minister: 

BEGIN TEXT 

As I pointed out early this morning, the A-B offer has been out- 
standing now for about three months. I gather frcm Cooper that as of ■ 
the time you went into dinner tonight, you had no reply from Kosygin. 
We have had no reply from Hanoi. 

Nevertheless, you have worked nobly this week to bring about what 
all humanity" wants: A decisive move towards peace. It is an effort that 
will be long remembered, I feel a responsibility to give you this further 
chance to make that effort bear fruit. We will go more than' half way. 
I am prepared to go the last mile in this week f s particular effort; although 
none of us can regard a failure tonight as the end of the. road* 



I must, of course, also bear in mind my responsibility to our men who 
are fighting there, to our allies, to the people of South Viet-Nam who 
are counting on us to bring about an honorable peace consistent with our 
commitments to them. 

Therefore I agree with you that you should go forward and try once 
again with Kosygin saying to him: 

BEGIN QUOTE 

If you can get a North Vietnamese assurance- -communicated either 
direct to the United States or through you—?before 10:00 a.m. British 
time tomorrow that all movement of troops and supplies into South Viet-Nam 
will stop at that time, I wiir get an assurance from the US that they will 
not resume bombing of North Viet-Nam from that time* Of course the US 
build up would also then stop within a matter of days. 

* - 
This would then give you and me the opportunity to try to con- 
solidate and build on what has been achieved l>y bringing the parties 
together and promoting further balanced measures of deescalation. END 
- QUOTE 

■ 

With this deal consummated, we would, of course, be prepared to move 
promptly to a neutral spot to engage in unconditional negotiations designed 
to bring peace to the area. 

■ 

• Herewith some further observations. 

It is significant that Kosygin reflects no further word from Hanoi. 
Our own private line with Hanoi remains silent- Actually, Kosygin may 
prefer that any final deal come bilaterally after he leaves London in 
view of his China problem. 



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presumably two co-chairmen would continue to be in touch with each 
other. It would be helpful if communique could express support of two 
co-chairmen for 195^ and 1962 accords and agreement that any differences 
arising out of these accords should be settled by peaceful means. 

END TEXT 

HJSK (Text from White House). 



STATE 135751 (to Amembassy London), S/Nodis, Sent 0210, 13 Feb 67. 

We plan announcement tomorrow about noon EST as follows: 

BEGIN QUOTE 

As you know, the South Vietnamese Government announced on the 11th 
that its forces and those of other nations assisting South Viet-Nam would 
resume normal operations during the day on February 12. This resumption 
was in accordance with the truce period announced by the South Vietnamese 
Government some weeks ago. As the South Vietnamese Government had made 
clear in early January and again last week, it was prepared to discuss 
extension of the truce period at any time. There was no response to this 
offer. 

During the Tet period, bombing and other military operations against 
North Viet -Nam were also suspended. This suspension was continued for 
short additional period in order to avoid any possibility that earlier 
resumption would be misconstrued in relation to Mr. Kosygin f s visit to 
London. Operations have now been resumed. ■ ESD QUOTE 

Press here is already printing large number of speculative stories 
that continued suspension is due to Kosygin visit. We assume press will 
eventually reach correct conclusion that we did not wish to make any 
announcement of added suspension in order to avoid implication of putting 
pressure on London decisions. 

RUSK (Drafted by J. P. Walsh) 

February 13, 1967 

* 
On February 13, Cooper reported that at 0955 London-time Wilson and 

Brown had queried Kosygin as to whether he had received an answer from 

Hanoi. Kosygin replied in the negative but said he was still trying 

(London's 6*1-98). 

+ 

On the same day, Cooper reported that he had been told in the Foreign 
Office that: (a) between 3-00 a.m. and 3:^7 a.m. London-time (13 February), 
three priority "president 1 s Cipher" telegrams were sent from the Soviet 



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delegation in London to Moscow; (b) at 9^30 a.m. today according to a 
telephone intercept Kosygin called Breshnev and said "a great possi- 
bility of achieving the aim, if the Vietnamese will understand the present 
situation that we have passed to them^ they will have to decide- All 
they need to do # is to give a confidential declaration"; (c) Breshnev 
confirmed that Kosygin f s telegram to the Vietnamese had been sent (London's 
6500). NSA also reported that the North Vietnamese transmitted a 201-group 
message from Hanoi to Moscow at I609Z (1109 EST); also a 500-group message 
was transmitted to Hanoi from Moscow at 0820Z (0320) EST)* Thompson was 
informed of these developments ( State f s 135853). 



STATE 135758 (to Amembassy London), TS/Wlis, Sent 0707, 13 Feb 67 

Literally IJyes Only f or Amb Bruce from Walt Rostow 

The following was transmitted to 10 Downing Street at 130120 A.M. EST. 

We have considered the case for further delay to receive a message 
from Hanoi beyond 10:00 a.m. British time, which you suggested. 

I have gone into this with my senior advisers and, after carefully 
considering your suggestion, the problems you presented, and the problem 
here — including the morale of our uniformed men — we are extending the 
time by 6 hours. This is as long as we believe is advisable. 

- 

I am sure you would want to know that our Joint Chiefs, CINCPAC, and 
General Westmoreland have unanimously opposed the Tet and other truces 
and extensions thereto -~ not only on the grounds of troop morale but 
because of the cost in human lives. We will wait, then, for information 
that may be forthcoming until 11:00 a.m. Washington time -- t:30 p.m. 
your time. Military operations against the North will be permitted to 
resume between 11:00 a.m. and noon our time. 

In making this decision I bore in Blind Moscow f s and Hanoi's problems . 
of transmittal two ways. But I also was conscious of the fact that they 
have had the possibility of responding to essentially this message for 
the 3 months since we gave it to the Poles and you gave it to the Russians; 
and the 5 days since It was transmitted direct to Hanoi and also given by 
you to Kosygin. 

If there is any interest In seme such A-B proposition, there has - 
and still is - been ample time for them either to agree or to come back 
with a counter-proposal. 

Your gallant last minute effort — which I consented to --- is one 
on which they must move. On receiving It they must be either ready to 



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make a response or not. A few hours either way cannot be significant* 
Bear in mind that the offer for a reciprocal de-escalation has not been 
withdrawn . It can be accepted any moment they may desire to do so, even 
though operations are in effect. They could be suspended momentarily. 
The channels for discussions on these or other lines will remain open. 

Right now supplies and weapons are moving down from the North at a 
high rate. While bearing in mind the safety of more than a half million 
of our men, I feel I should, nevertheless, go as far as possible to meet 
your suggestion and, therefore, am stretching the beginning of military 
operations by another 6 hours. 

Considering all the time and conversation that has gone on before, 
this allows added time for talk if they are really serious. 

I hope you have a good chance to catch up on sleep after this arduous 
and Interesting week which, I am inclined to believe, will prove in the 
end to have been most constructive. 

KATZENBACH 

(Text received from White House) 



SAIGON 17875 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1100, 13 Feb, Rec'd 1202, 13 Feb 

1. Pursuant to your 1357^ I flew to Dalat Monday afternoon and 
saw Ky. 



7. I said that many speculative press stories were now appearing, 
adding that General Westmoreland and I had made (and would make) no com- 
ment whatsoever about the matter before this statement is issued in 
Washington- I repeated that secrecy on this matter is of the highest 
importance. 

8. Finally I recalled his expression of concern Saturday regarding 
the effectiveness of the International Control Commission in verifying 
possible infiltration from the North. I said I would like to add to what 
I said then that in the unlikely event that Hanoi should take up the pro- 
posal we would expect ourselves to conduct expensive reconnaissance. Our 
reconnaissance capabilities together with other intelligence operations 
in Laos should^ I said, give us a virtual certainty of detecting any sub- 
stantial North Vietnamese violations of an undertaking to stop infiltration* 



... 



LODGE 



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STATE 135799 (to Amembassy London & Moscow),, TS/Nodls, Sent 1700, 13 Feb 67. 



3* For Moscow background, Wilson last night requested an additional 
2k hours of suspension, and we replied that we would extend only until 
l600 British time, which is of course 1100 our time- Time period was 
specifically conveyed to Kosygin by British this morning in London prior 
to Kosygin departure. Neither last night nor this morning, apparently, 
did Kosygin himself urge a longer period or object to the clearly implied 
time limit as in any sense an ultimatum. . . . 



!}••••-• British must realize that Soviets went out on a very long 
limb, and that any exposure of serious discussions in fact carried on 
could do serious and indeed irreparable harm to future Soviet role. We 
are deeply concerned that circle of British privy to discussions was not 
repeat riot small, and that some among these may succumb to long-standing 
British temptation to indicate through the press or leak that British 
were playing a significant role . ,. . . It goes without saying that British 
silence is imperative whatever. they think of positions we put forward or 
timing of our resumption. 



KATZEHBACH (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



L0ffl)0N 6516 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1735, 13 Feb; Ree'd 1909, 13 Feb 

* 

Ji^es Only f or Secretary and Rostow fran Cooper* 

1. Although some of the events of the past 2k hours have been over- 
taken, and seme other strain credulity, it migjit be well to try to recon- 
struct them for the record. 

2* As I indicated over the telephone to the Secretariat Duty Officer 
Sunday morning, the message from the President to the Prime Minister that 
had been just received in London seemed, on the basis of preliminary re- 
dactions, to have cleared the air. (This was confirmed later in the day.) 

3* In the early afternoon, I met Palliser at Downing Street (back 
door), and was then hustled out to Chequers (tradesmen's entrance). I was 
installed in the garret "prison room" (graced by Lady Mary Grey in 15&5)- 



7» After about an hour, Murray (FonOff) emerged with a draft com- 
munique on Vietnam which the Sovs proposed as an alternative to the British 
draft. Murray and I reworded the Sov submission and with one or two miniscule 
modifications, the Sovs bought the revised version — an anodyne and not 
very nourishing document. 

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8. Murray left a copy of the message the PM had sent to Washington 
earlier in the day (i had not seen it until then)* Hedging against the 
possibility of being queried later in the evening for a reaction to this, 
I called Washington (Read) and was informed that the first para (which 
acknowledged the danger to American Forces of the buildup North of the 
DMZ) had met with a favorable reception. Read was non-committal on the 
second para (i.e., Wilson f s proposal for a telescoped time period between ■ 
Phase A- Phase B), and I did not press him. However, I did suggest that 
the PM might , one last time, warn Kosygin about the implications of the 
buildup North of the EMZ and see if he could get Kosygin to pass his own 
warning on to Hanoi. Read indicated this would do no harm. 

9* .... Kosygin expressed concern regarding British press reports 
(Henry Brandon in the Sunday Times was a good example) that the "Hawks" 
in Washington were in the ascendancy. According to Kosygin, this would 
only result in permitting the "Hawks" (i.e.*, Chinese faction) in Hanoi 
to get a leg up on the "Soviet Wing", (incidentally. Wilson said that 
Kosygin was much more forthcoming about the "two factions" in Hanoi than 
he had been earlier in the week.) . . . . 

10 I suggested to Wilson that he might try to get Kosygin 

to press Hanoi to stand fast north of the EMZ. Wilson thought this would 
be worth a try. We then worked out a somewhat broader formula which Trend, 
Palliser and I was later spelled out in writing and checked with Wilson, 
I then transmitted this by telephone to Read and by teletape to Rostow. 
Wilson said he would not submit this proposition until he had the President's 
okay. 

11. Wilson obviously felt that even if Kosygin rejected the formula, 
he would be better off in the House of Commons for this last minute 
attempt . 



14. Wilson, Brown, Burke, Trend, Palliser, Murray, Arab Bruce, and I 
assembled at Downing Street shortly after midnight. Wilson was delighted 
with the message he received from Washington, and dashed out to Claridges 
with Brown and the interpreter at his heels. 

15. He returned at about 0215 to report that Kosygin had evidenced 
great interest in the proposal, Kosygin said he would transmit it to 
Hanoi but expressed concern about the brief time available before an 
answer was expected. Wilson reported that Kosygin was in fact writing a 
message as he talked. (We have had later confirmation of this.) 



KAISER 



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STATE 135973 (to Amembassy Buenos Aires ToSec), TS/Nodis, Sent 2l4l, 13 Feb 

Arab. Dean delivered following personal message from Foreign Secre- 
tary Brown to Secretary Rusk to the Acting Secretary at noon today. BEGIN 
TEXT of Message dated February 13: 

It has been a terrific week, and as I send this I still have my 
fingers crossed with five hours to go to the deadline on Vietnam. I am 
deeply Impressed by the length to which you have been willing to go to 
meet us, and I just want to say to you that I know how much you have been 
working on the side of the angels, as I have here, and I appreciate enor- 
mously all you have done. Chet and David have both been invaluable. 

+ 

END TEXT 

KATZENBACH (Drafted by B. H. Read) 



STATE 1381^2 (to Amembassy Saigon), TS/Nodis, Sent 2258, 13 Feb 67. 



3* For disclosure to Ky at your discretion and timing, fact is 
that we have not repeat not had any response whatever from Hanoi. We 
interpret Hanoi broadcast reply to the Pope, carried Hanoi Radio 1532Z 
on Feb 13, as a typical Hanoi method of signing off. This broadcast was 
made just a half -hour before the expiration of the time limit for response 
that we had given to Kosygin through the British. (FYI. Our plans had 
always run toward noon our time, but we formally extended the deadline to 
1100 our time at British request on Sunday night. End FYl) . . . . 

KATZENBACH (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



Hanoi. VMA International Service in English l6k2 (MT 13 Feb 67— B (FBIS, 
Far East, ik February 1967). 

(Text) 'Hanoi, 13 February — Pope Paul VI recently sent a message to 
President Ho Chi Minh, expressing the wish to see ail early peaceful solu- 
tion to the Vietnam problem- 

President Eo Chi Minh today sent a message of reply to the Pope. Full 
text of the reply message reads: 

I wish to thank Your Holiness for his message of 8 February 1967* In 
his message, Your Holiness expressed the wish to see an early peaceful 
solution to the Vietnam question. 



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Our people sincerely love peace in order to build our country in 
independence an freedom. However, the U.S* imperialists have sent to 
South Vietnam half a million U.S. and satellite troops and used more than 
600,000 puppet troops to wage a war against our people. They have com- 
mitted monstrous crimes* They have used the most barbarous arms, such 
as napalm, products, and toxic gases, to massacre our compatriots and burn 
down our villages, pagodas, churches, hospitals, schools * . . - Their acts 
of aggression have grossly violated the 195^ Gnneva agreements on Vietnam 
and seriously menaced peace in Asia and the world. To defend their inde- 
pendence and peace, the Vietnamese people are resolutely fighting against 
the aggressors* They are confident that justice will triumph* The U.S. 
imperialists must put an end to their aggression in Vietnam, end uncondi- 
tionally and definitively the bcmbing and all other acts of war against 
the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, withdraw from South Vietnam all American 
and satellite troops, recognize the South Vietnam National Front for Liber- 
ation, and let the Vietnamese people settle themselves their own affairs. 
Only in such conditions can real peace be restored in Vietnam. 

It is my hope that Your Holiness, in the name of humanity and justice, 
will use his high influence to urge that the U.S. Government respect the 
national rights of the Vietnamese people, namely peace, independence, 
sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity as recognized by the 195^ 
Geneva Agreements on Vietnam. 

With my high regards, Ho Chi Minh. 

February Ik, 1967 

SAIGON 179^9 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1050, 1^ Feb; Rec'd 1302, ik Feb. 



■ * * • 



2. I wonder . . . whether it might not be of greater value to equate 
the cessation of bombing and non-augmentation of forces not only with infil- 
tration but also with the ending of the assassination, torture, and kid- 
napping of village and other local officials. 



... 



9* D'Orlandi told me (septel) that he considers cessation of assass 
ination of local officials "much more feasible" than cessation of infil- 
j t rat ion. 

LODGE 



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LOMDON 



65^3 (to SecState), TS/flbdis, Sent 1053, I* Feb; Rec'd 12 59, ik Feb. 



For Acting Secretary and Rostov from Kaiser and Cooper 



2. The mood of Wilson and the others vas friendly, understanding, 
and cheerful. ... 



k. Wilson recognizes that he will have some difficult moments with 
his party in Commons (indeed 100 Labor MPs have already signed a petition 
against resumption of bcmbing) but he seems confident that in the light 
of everything that has taken place this past week he can deal with it. 

5* Wilson said he had given a background press conference to the 
lobby correspondents following his appearance in the House. He pointed out 
to them that Hanoi could have peace if they had shown any readiness to 
respond to the efforts that had been exerted to reach a settlement. This 
morning's London papers have taken this line and have given the US, the UK 
and the Russians very high marks for their efforts. Hanoi is universally 
regarded as the villain in the piece. ... 

■ 

KAISER 



BUENOS AIRES 3082 (to SecState), s/lfodis, Sent l62*f, ik Feb; Rec'd 1821, ik feb 

For Acting^ Secretary from Secretary 

I Please pass to Pat Dean following for George Brown from me: QTE 

Many thanks for your good message and, more particularly, for your 
extraordinary labors during the past week. I hope that the long and 
late hours invested in these probes may stir some response from Hanoi 
even though Ho's message to the Pope is not encouraging. I was much 
Interested in seeing that Kosygin a£ least seems to take their co- 
chairman role seriously and reflected a desire to bring this war to a 
conclusion. My own guess Is that the Russian position has in fact moved 
somewhat but they and we face the same difficulty in getting Hanoi to move, 
but we will do our best over here, both in the battle and on the diplo- 
matic front. Again my warm thanks. UNQTE. 

RUSK 






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STATE 136999 (to Amembassy London), TS/ltfodis, Sent 2415, ^ Feb Sj. 

i. You should know that both Michael Stewart, at our request, 
and later Walt Rostov have called Palliser to express our grave misgivings 
about extent of Wilson disclosure in House and particularly his statement 
that agreement appeared "very near," that there was some secret plan, etc. 

2. . . . , they have put us on the spot, since we had disclosed the 
whole proposal only to Ky personally, and had not told even such key allies 
repeat allies as the Australians and Koreans- . . • 

3 this has just got to stop repeat stop. 

KATZENBACH (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



February lg, 1967 



Letter to President Johnson from Ho Chi Minh. 

To His Excellency Mr. Iyndon B. Johnson, 

President, 

United States of America, 

Your Excellency: 

On February 10, 1967, I received your message. This is my reply. 

Vietnam is thousands of miles- away from the United States. The Vietnamese 
people have never done any harm to the United States. But contrary to the 
pledges made by its representative at the 195^ Geneva conference, the U.S. 
Government has ceaselessly intervened in Vietnam, it has unleashed and 
intensified the war of aggression in South Vietnam with a view to pro- 
longing the partition of Vietnam and turning South Vietnam into a neo~ 
colony and a military base of the United States. For over two years now, 
the U.S. Government has, with its air and naval forces, carried the war 
to the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam, an independent and soverei^i 
country* 

The U.S. Government has committed war crimes, crimes against peace and 
against mankind. In South Vietnam, half a million U.S. and satellite troops 
have resorted to the most inhuman weapons and the most barbarous methods of 
warfare, such ar. napalnij toxic chemicals and gasses, to massacre our com- 
patriots, destroy crops, and raze villages to the ground. In North Vietnam, 
thousands of U.S. aircraft have dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of 
bombs, destroying towns, villages, factories, schools. In your message, 
you apparently deplore the sufferings and destruction in Vietnam. May I 
ask you: Who has perpet rated these monstrous crimes? It is the United 
States and satellite troops. The U.S. Government is entirely responsible 
for the extremely serious situation in Vietnam. 



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The U.S. war of aggression against the Vietnamese people constitutes a 
challenge to the countries of the socialist camp,, a threat to the national 
independence movement, and a serious danger to peace in Asia and the world. 

The Vietnamese people deeply love independence^ freedom and peace- But in 
the face of the U.S. aggression, they have risen up, united as one man, 
fearless of sacrifices and hardships. They are determined to carry on 
their resistance until they have von genuine independence and freedom and 
true peace. Our just cause enjoys strong sympathy and support from the 
[ peoples of the whole world, including broad sections of the American people. 

The U.S. Government has unleashed the war of aggression in Vietnam. It 
must cease this aggression. That is the only way to the restoration of * 
peace. The U.S. Government must stop definitively and unconditionally its 
bombing raids and all other acts of war against the Democratic Republic of 
Vietnam, withdraw from South Vietnam all U.S. and satellite troops, recog- 
nize the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation, and let the Vietnamese 
people settle themselves their own affairs. Such is the basis (sic) content 
of the five-point stand of the government of the Democratic Republic of 
Vietnam, which embodies the essential principles and provisions of the 195^ 
Geneva agreements on Vietnam, it is the basic (sic) of a correct political 
solution to the Vietnam problem. 

In your message, you suggested direct talks between the Democratic Republic * 
of Vietnam and the United States. If the U.S. Government really wants 
these talks, it must first of all stop unconditionally its bombing raids 
and all other acts of war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. It 
is only after the unconditional cessation of the U.S, bombing raids and 
all other acts of war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam that the 
Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the United States could enter into talks 
and discuss questions concerning the two* sides. 

The Vietnamese people will never submit to force, they will never accept 
talks under the threat of bombs. 

Our cause is absolutely just. It is to be hoped that the U.S. Government 
will act in accordance with reason. 



. Sincerely, 

Ho Chi Minh 



MOSCOW 3501 (to SecState), TS/Eodis, Sent l(Aj, 15 Feb; Rec r d 1131, 15 Feb. 

Le Chang handed DCM at 1:00 p.m. Ho Chi Minh's reply to President's letter. 
Reply completely unyielding and in subsequent oral remarks, Le Chang said 
he could no longer meet with US representatives in Moscow. Text and full 
report follow. 

m 

THOMPSON 



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SAIGON 18022 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1130, 15 Feb; Rec f d 1359, 15 Feb 

1. The decision authorizing me to tell Ky about the episode involving 
Wilson and Kosygin was unquestionably vise. 

2. I also believe that it will save us a great deal of trouble in the 
end if we make it a practice to tell the GVN what we are planning to do 
ahead of time whenever it is likely that they will find out about it 
anyway. . • . 



• * • * • 



k* There is a strong streak of fatalism in these people and if they 
feel they are left out of decisions which vitally affect them, they are 
quite capable of desperate action which would be contrary to our interests 
Also this capacity for desperate action is what under other circumstances 
makes them valuable as allies, 

LODGE 



MOSCOW 3503 (to SecState), TS/lfodis, Sent 1150, 15 Feb; Rec'd 1257, 15 Feb- 

# 

Ref ; Moscow 3501 



2. Le Chang handed DCM Ho Chi Minh's reply to President's message 
delivered February 8, requesting that it be transmitted to President (sept el). 
Le Chang then made following additional oral statement: 

A. Position and attitude of DRV Govt are very correct and serious, 
and enjoy strong support of world public opinion, including American people* 
US, however, always obstinate and perfidious, and it continues advance 
conditions for cessation of bombings. 

B. US had made use of DRV representative's receiving US repre- 

- 

tentative in Moscow to deceive public opinion that secret negotiations 
going on while bombings continue, 

C* Lately, US extended so-called suspension of bombings during 
Tet. Less than two days later, bombings were resumed on pretext that there 
had been no response from Hanoi. This* constitutes insolent ultimatum to 
compel Vietnamese people to accept unacceptable conditions. 

- 

D. 2h such circumstances , DRV representative does not consider it 
possible receive US representative in Moscow on US proposal. Responsibility 
for this rests completely with us* 



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3» After making store he understood Le Chang's final statement 
correctly, DCM called his attention to President's February 13 state- 
ment and cited sentence stating that door to peace is and will remain 
open and US prepared go more than half way to meet any equitable overture 
from other side- 

h* In response, Le Chang quoted final portion Ho's message, begin- 
ning with sentence stipulating cessation of bombings and all other acts 
of war against DRV as precondition if US really desires conversations, 

THOMPSON. 



STATE 137^96 (to Amembassy Buenos Aires), TS/Nodis, Sent l8l8, 15 Feb, 

We are sending to you by separate cables in this series following 
immediately after this one Ho Chi Minh T s reply to the President and 

the report of the latest Guthrie conversation on February 15 « 

■ 

Paragraph f of the Ho letter is clearly a combination of the formu- 
lations used by the DRV in Ho f s February 13 reply to the Pope and the 
Trinh January 28 interview with Burchett. We find it interesting that in 
this post resumption period DRV is adhering to the exact formula in the 
Trinh interview, i.e. tr It is only after the unconditional halting of the 
American bombing and all other acts of war against the DRV that the DRV 
and the US could begin talks and discuss questions affecting the two 
parties." 

The President is anxious to have a "stocktaking" with you on where 
we go from here, and I think he would like to be assured that you will be 
back in time for luncheon next .Tuesday. . • . 



KATZEKBACH (Drafted by B. H. Read) 



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February 16, I967 

■ 

STATE 138755 (to Amembassy Moscow & Buenos Aires),, TS/Nodis 
Eef: Moscow 3525 



• • 



2. • . . . Here, we are evaluating the situation tomorrow and 
would much appreciate your over-all assessment of possible impact of 
last week*s events. To us it appears tentatively that. the Soviets went 
quite far in even offering to present our proposal and the variant intro- 
duced by the British with the highly specific time limit factor. (We 
were very struck at absence of any indication of Kosygin referring to its 
ultimatum flavor.) Moreover, if Soviets in fact urged acceptance of this 
proposition, they went even further. Thus, unless they had some indication 
from Hanoi of possible give, we are inclined to wonder whether they may 
not have strained their credit very heavily indeed in Hanoi and caused 
Li Hanoi (or at least Chinese- oriented elements in it) to consider them a 

solid but compromise-minded friend. In these circumstances, our minds 
run to the thought that Hanoi may now be assessing its position in the 
most basic manner against this reading of Soviet policy, and might even 
be making a somewhat desperate appeal to the Chinese Communists to pull 
themselves together and give the kind of full support the Soviets are 
clearly not now inclined to give. In short, we believe possibilities of 
last week's developments could be very far reaching indeed. 



KAIZBHBACH (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 

February 17, 1967 

MOSCOW 3533 (to SecState), TS/ttodis, Sent 0833, IT Feb; Rec's 0909, IT Feb. 

Eef: State 138T55. 



• . 



2. At film showing at Embassy last night Sukhodrev, Kosygin f s inter- 
preter, who was present at all important conversations in London, remarked 
to me QTE that was quite a switch you pulled on us in the text of your 
proposal UNQTE obviously referring to the change in tenses. . ♦ . 



• * 



4. Possibility open to Soviets to use excuse of Chaos in China to 
slow down deliveries to North Vietnam but I doubt that they will do this. 

THOMPSON 



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LONDON 6680 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1730, 17 Feb; Rec'd 2009, 17 Feb. 
Ref : State 136999 

1. I saw Michael Palliser today and conveyed the full substance of 
reftel. I emphasized the fact that Prime Minister's suggestion that there 
was "secret plan" and that peace was very near had put us on the spot with 
our allies and was causing us considerable embarrassment at home. . . . 



3» Palliser stated .... It would have been difficult for the PM 
to make so effective a case for the US and British positions without saying 
the things he did in public. Palliser also recalled that the excellent 
British press on Tuesday, from the US point of view, was due largely to 
the Prime Minister's backgrounder the evening before. . . . 

■ 

6. Comment. While Palliser was obviously genuine in expressing his 
understanding of the nature of our problems, he also made it clear that 
the PM was more bullish about the significance of last week than we were. 
Palliser stressed on several occasions the "dramatic" change in Kosygin's 
attitude in contrast to last July when the PM visited Moscow and even as 
late as November when Brown was there .... It is also the firm conviction 
of the British that Kosygin did transmit our last proposal to Hanoi and 
very possibly with the recommendation that "they give it serious considera- 
tion." 



... 



KAISER 



STATE 139631 (to Amembassy Moscow & Buenos Aires), TS/wodis, Sent 2333, 17 Feb. 

1. Bundy saw Zinchuk for private lunch today. Conversation made clear 
that Soviets were fully informed on Eo reply to us and on all our direct 
exchanges in Moscow, apparently in full detail. - . « 



3* Bundy then reviewed position we have taken on conditions for cessa- 
tion of bombing, starting with Goldberg speech of September and followed by 
presentation of Phase A/phase B formula through Brown to Soviets and simul- 
taneously through Lewandowski to Hanoi. He added that in January we had 
noted Ho conversation with Baggs and Ashmore in which Ho had referred to 
cessation of US reinforcement, in addition to bombing, while of course 
insisting that Hanoi could not reciprocate .... Thus, Hanoi had had a 
general proposal along these lines for three months and this specific ver- 
sion on February 7 or 8. 



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6. Zinchuk then said that the Soviets were "disappointed" and "uneasy" 
at our resumption of bombing- He did not repeat not charge us with any 
I breach of any undertaking in so doings but did say that the combination 

of our December 13-1^ bombings, causing Hanoi to reject the Warsaw proposal 
for quiet talks without condition, and our present action, bringing to an 
end for the time being any chance of a favorable Hanoi reply on the London 
proposal, had caused Moscow to wonder whether it had become the basic US 
view that the military situation was steadily improving from our standpoint 
and that we therefore did not really want negotiations at the present time 
in the belief that the situation had become steadily more favorable to us. 

7- There was then a long specific discussion of the December events, 



in which Bundy noted that the original message from the Poles has been 
exceedingly vague and had never made clear to us what Zinchuk was now 
asserting- -that Hanoi was definitely willing to talk. in the sense of ex- 
changing views. Zinchuk responded that they had gone back over this with 
Hanoi and had ascertained firmly that this was the Hanoi position at that 
time. Secondly, Bundy noted that Rapacki's behavior between December k 
and December 10 had been and remained inexplicable to us; we had thought 
our position in mentioning the necessity for interpretation was entirely 
reasonable and simply could not understand why Eapacki had not gone ahead 
in that period but had on the contrary conveyed a negative Hanoi view to 
us as late as December 10. In short, Bundy argued that we had simply had 
a clear misunderstanding as to what Zinchuk now described as Hanoi's intent 
at that time. 

8. As to the London outcome, Zinchuk argued that Hanoi had noted 
repeated statements by us that we had undertaken the bcmbing in order to 
get Hanoi to talk. Hence, Hanoi had supposed that its Burchett interview 
position of willingness to talk if we stopped the bcmbing was in direct 
response to our own position. Bundy noted that all our statements on the 
purposes of the bombing had stressed its necessity in order to counter 
and impede infiltration above all, and had placed its relevance to negoti- 
ation in a. much broader context than Zinchuk !s summary of Hanoi's view 
would suggest. . . . 



12. As between these two approaches, Bundy said we saw some advantage 
in the latter. He pointed out that to take a dramatic series of actions 
envisaged in the London proposal would inevitably create a glare of publicity 
that might be unfavorable for subsequent talks. Was it not then wiser to 
talk quietly so that we knew the outlines of where we might come out before 
dramatic and visible actions were taken. 

13* Zinchuk noted both these avenues, but went on to say that within 
the last 2-3 days the Soviets- had had a firm communication from Hanoi to the 
effect that they simply could not talk in any fashion as long as the bombing 






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was not stopped . Zinchuk argued — in the only faintly coluratura passage 
of the whole exchange — that Hanoi felt very strongly that it was inherently 
unequal for two competent nations to talk while one was hitting the other's 
territory but the other, by force of circumstances, was not hittin"g the 
first. Hanoi felt that to talk in these circumstances had the flavor of 
capitulation. ... 

Ik. Bundy then asked whether Hanoi's message to the Soviets had con- 
veyed any suggestion that Hanoi was displeased with the Soviet handling in 
London. In blunt terms, had the Soviets lost credit in Hanoi? Zinchuk 
promptly and apparently frankly replied that this had not repeat not been 
the case — that on the contrary Hanoi continued to look to the Soviets to 
arrange a settlement that would protect their interests, and the Soviet 
standing had progressively increased in Hanoi over the past several months. 
He cited the fact that Hanoi had kept the Soviets fully informed on the 
direct US channel, and said that this showed Hanoi's desire to deal with 
and through the Soviets. 



15- Bundy then asked whether the change of tenses between the British 
version of our proposal and our own final version had in, any way thrown the 
Soviets off: he noted that our letter to Ho had used the "has stopped" 
language, so that we did not repeat not suppose Hanoi had been misled. 
He explained that our reason for this language was our belief that two or 
three DRV divisions were poised just north of the DMZ and might have been 
moved into South Viet- Nam before the cessation of infiltration went into 
force. Zinchuk expressed no surprise at this explanation, and said frankly 
that the change of tenses had not significantly disturbed the Soviets . . • 



17- Bundy then said that it seemed to us barely conceivable that 
Hanoi would conclude that we now had in mind some sharp change in our 
military operations or even some change in our objective vis-a-vis Forth 
Viet-Nam. While making clear that he could not exclude seme additional 
actions on our part, Bundy said that he hoped Hanoi had no such view, since 
the US continued to have no intention of destroying Korth Viet-Nam or changing 
its path of action in any drastic fashion. ... 

18 the conversation moved to China. Bundy said that we had no 

clear view, even among ourselves, as to whether a Mao or a Party victory 
would be better from our standpoint, ... * 



21 Bundy f s dominant impression was that it underscored increasing 

Soviet concern to find a Viet- Nam settlement and their belief that they had 
increasingly strong standing with Hanoi to achieve this. Zinchuk also re- 
marked at one point that *a "solid group" in the Hanoi leadership now really 
wanted peace. . . . 

KATZEHBACH (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



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STATE 1^0121 (to Amembassy Moweow), TS/Nodis, IT Feb 67. 

* 

Buenos Aires for Secretary only repeat only 
Ref : State 139631 

1- In your conversation with Kosygin tomorrow, you should raise the 
subject of Vietnam. 

2. For your own information, you should know that the situation will 
be reviewed here next week in an effort to assess where we are and what 
act ions j political and military, seem most desirable. We will be consid- 
ering a wide range of proposals, including significant additional actions 
against North Vietnam. These could include new targets for aerial bom- 
bardment such as power stations, cement plant, etc., and mining of inland 
waterways and Haiphong harbor. Some targets could be within 10-mile 
radius of Hanoi. Accordingly, nothing that you say to Kosygin should be 
open to interpretation which would foreclose any of these options. 



h Since there was no response from Hanoi to 10-mile radius, 

we have not for some time regarded our prior statements in this connection 
as limitation on our freedom of action, although we have not in fact bombed 
within the radius 

5* . . •• you will note para 15 reftel dealing with change of tenses, 
and same para dealing with position of 2 - 3 DRV divisions .... 



KATZENBACH (Drafted by W, P. Bundy) 

- 

February l8, 1967 

MOSCOW 3562 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1737; 18 Feb; Rec'd 2108, 18 Feb. 

1. I broached Vietnam by saying .... we had had a very direct 

and negative reply to what we believed was reasonable proposal. We did not 
know if other side had been serious in starting discussions in first place 
. . . . In any event, people in Washington were pleased to see indication 
that USSR also wanted to see problem settled. I said I did not know where 
we should go from here .... 

* 

2. I then pointed out that during k or 5 day Tet holiday and estimated 

25,000 tons of supplies" had been sent southward, i.e., as many supplies 
had been shipped in h or 5 days as normally had been. sent in a month. 
Thus we wondered what the purpose of this exercise was .... 






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3- Kosygin said he wished make it clear he not authorized negotiate 
for Worth Vietnam and therefore could not say his remarks would repre- 
sent Vietnamese point of view. He did not wish tc mislead us. However, 
he could state his own views. His estimate of latest events was as follows: 
Vietnamese had for first time stated they ready negotiate if bombings were 
stopped unconditionally; this was first time they had done so and it was a 
public statement. When he came to England, he supported this proposal pub- 
licly. He did it because he had good reason for taking such a step. Although 
he believed that mediators in this situation either complicated the problem 
or merely pretended they doing something, he took that step because he had 
seen a basis for US- Vietnamese talks. Wilson had been in touch with Washing- 
ton but not on his, Kosygin 's initiative. However, Wilson kept him inforaed 
and he was in touch with Hanoi. Then came latest message, which had nature 
I °? ultimatum. It said that if by such and such time, i.e., ten o'clock, 

| ^ Hanoi failed to do certain things, bombings would resume. Time given to 

Hanoi was very short — just a few hours — and situation was even more compli- 
cated because of time difference between London and Hanoi. Thus there was 
no opportunity for Hanoi to consider message and conduct necessary consul- 
tations. In fact, US received Ho Chi Minh's reply after bombings had already 
resumed. Kosygin continued that in his view US had made basic mistake. First, 
nothing would have happened if US had delayed bombings another three or four 
days. Second, US had couched its message in temis of an ultimatum. Third, 
US talked about 25,000 tons going to South — nature of which he did not know — 
but US said nothing about its own reinforcements* During that period US 
had sent additional troops, had moved its naval vessels to Worth Vietnamese 
shores, and had increased number its aircraft carriers in area from three 
to five. US accusing other side of having sent 25,000 tons but US itself 
probably sent as much as 100,000 tons. In other words, US seems believe 
its infiltration is all right but infiltration by other side is not. Thus 
other side has no confidence in US intentions. Moreover, US seems discount 
China, which grave error. China wants continuation and expansion of con- 
flict. In this connection, he wished point out that his remarks in London 
that negotiations should take place had provoked fury in China. This was 
another proof of his step having been a deliberate and responsible one. 
Yet what he received from US was message that bombings would be resumed if 
something wasn't done by 10 o'clock. If US wanted to conduct bombings it 
was of course its own decision. Kosygin then said that he had also advanced 
that thought that infiltration by both sides should cease. He repeated that 
, he did not understand how US could object to infiltration frczn Worth while 
continuing its own Infiltration- After all, Vietnam, was one country and 
Vietnamese were one people, whereas US infiltration was of interventionist 
character. 

k* After reiterating that he not authorized represent Vietnamese views 
and that his remarks reflected only Soviet views > Kosygin said Soviets not 
confident US proposal had been very serious. Confidence was most important 
in this situation. While it perhaps inadvisable to rake up history, he 
wished recall that he, Chairman of USSR Council of Ministers, had been in 



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Hanoi when US started bombings. Why did not US turn to him at that time 
and explain to him its problems? Another example of this need for confi- 
dence was fact that despite fact US and USSR had reached understanding 
to reduce their military expenditures US raised its budget without informing 
USSR. As for USSR, it kept its word; in any event, if it had deemed 
necessary to take certain steps it would have infoimed other side* 

5 US was helping those forces by its actions; US left USSR 

open vis-a-vis China, it also left North Vietnam open vis-a-vis China, 
Net result is that Chinese view has triumphed, and Chinese can now say 
that all those efforts were nothing but a masquerade. Thus problem was 
now to find way toward unconditional cessation of bombings so as to start 
negotiations- He wished to stress, however, that question was only of 
direct US-North Vietnam contact, for North Vietnam's prestige was involved 
here. In addition, he wanted to say frankly that no third party must 
seek gain advantage from its activities in this situation; much more impor- 
tant thing was a stake here, i.e., search for peaceful settlement. As 
to how to proceed further, he did not know. Road he had conceived of had 
been disrupted by US ultimatum. Chinese now very happy for they seek 
increased tension and hope for US-Soviet confrontation. US assisting them 
and this alarming to USSR. Kosygin said he could not venture to propose 
anything constructive now. He had no basis for doing so and he did not wish 
to make unrealistic propositions. He had spoken very frankly with me — 
as he would have not spoken with anyone else — because he knew that I would 
transmit his views only to President. 

5- (sic). After thanking Kosygin for his comments, I said I wished to 
make a few remarks of my own. I said I did not believe it justified com- 
pare other side's infiltration with sending of our own reinforcements. 
For one thing, we were in South Vietnam at request SVN Govt. Moreover, our 
bombings were for purpose of impeding North Vietnamese supplies to South, 
whereas North Vietnamese could not stop our own supplies. Thus stopping 
of our bombings gave advantage f to North Vietnamese. 

6. Kosygin interjected that this interesting reasoning, after all, 
NLP — which certainly more solid organization than US puppets in Saigon and 
which controlled three fourths of SVN territory — also asking North Vietnam 
for support. 

7. I continued we had told North Vietnam that if they stopped infil- 
tration we would stop our reinforcements. Important point here was that 
North Vietnam should not gain any advantage. 

8. Kosygin again interrupted by asserting US was talking from posi- 
tion of strength. 



11. I said .... if in face certain US steps, such as restriction 



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of bombings around Hanoi, other side continued killing people, including 
Americans, in South, US would feel free take any action necessary to stop 
infiltration - . . • . 

12. • . . Kosygin said US must realize its bombings, defoliation; 
operations, etc., not successful. Thus US must look for constructive 
steps. US must realize North Vietnam between hammer and anvil- It must 
look forward and also look back, for Chinese want to heat up situation* 
This was why he had made his statement in London. In fact, he could tell 
me that even earlier USSR had sought a political settlement. China, which 
strictly nationalistic, was expansionist aspirations in Asia, including 
such countries as India, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, etc. Thus US 
must keep this in mind — it must take account of these sharp corners in 
international situation. He continued that he knew that objectively we 
would agree there was no Saigon Govt even though we would of course never 
admit that. Saigon regime was sitting on island surrounded by sea of civil 
war. Its situation could be compared to that of Kolchak or Denikin during 
Russian civil war. ... Of course, there was internal dissent in US over 
this problem. There were Goldwaters and Nixons in US, but he was confident 
that they would not be supported by US people if a settlement were reached. 
He said he wished repeat that what should be looked for. were constructive 
steps, certainly not ultimata: US should not send messages stating that 
something should be done by ten o'clock for it would receive reply that 
would make it necessary start all over again .... 



14. • . • he wished to stress that USSR favored political rather than 
military solution. He emphasized, however, that this statement was 
strictly private and not for publication. . . . Referring again to message 
he had transmitted to Hanoi from London, he said he knew it was hopeless 
the minute he had read it. 

15 • As Kosygin indicated he wished break off discussion on Vietnam, 
I raised another subject, leased line for our Embassy. However, after my 
initial remarks on this subject, Kosygin apologized and said he wished 
ask me a question relating to Vietnam. He then asked me directly if 
Chinese had approached US re possibility of negotiations on Vietnam. 
When I said that to best of my knowledge they had not, he asked me if I 
was absolutely certain, noting that perhaps there were channels with which 
I not familiar. I told him I had seen all reports of our conversations 
with Chinese in Warsaw and could tell him that they did not amount to any- 
thing; they consisted essentially of constant Chinese accusations of US 
for helping Taiwan, having aggressive designs, etc. 
* 

16. Discussion then turned to leased line (septel). 

THOMPSON 



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February 19,. 1967 



MOSCOW 3568 (to SecState), TS/Wis, Sent 1330 ; 19 Feb; Rec'd 1334, 19 Feb. 
Eef : State lhOlSl 



2. So far as our bombing is concerned, . ♦ . I hope that foil owing 
will be taken into consideration, Kosygin made quite a point of the 
shift in the Soviet position which he had publicly made clear in London. 
British Ambassador thinks Kosygin probably went considerably beyond any- 
thing that had been agreed upon before he left Moscow and he is concerned 
that Kosygin may be in some trouble with his colleagues • Any early escala- 
tion of our bombing pattern will make more difficult his getting support 
j within the Soviet regime as well as any pressure Soviets may be willing to 

bring on Hanoi to work for a political settlement. 



h. Mining of Haiphong Harbor would provoke a strong reaction here and 
Soviets would certainly relate it to their relations with China. Kosygin ! s 
startling question to me about China shows depth of their suspicions. (I 
hope Dept can put me in position to give categoric answer should occasion 
arise.) They would consider that we are quite willing to make Forth Viet- 
nam entirely dependent upon ChiComs with all which that would imply. 



8. Only explanation I can think of for Kosygin f s question about China 
j is that he may have thought Chinese encouraged US to start negotiations 

knowing they would fail and that this would lead to actions increasing like 
lihood of U.S. -Soviet confrontation. Might also be related to possibility 
that he was personally led to go out on a limb. . . . 

THOMPSON 



STATE 1^0351 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/lfodis, Sent 2002, 19 Feb. 



3* . - - , you should know that Soviet people here and in New York 
have been nosing around quite a bit about our attitude toward Communist 
China, and at lower levels have expressed to private contacts suspicion 
(though possibly'for bait) that we were dealing covertly with Peking. 
Bundy mentioned this to Zinchuk in lunch talk Friday, and said in casual 
fashion that Soviets could hardly think we had capacity for such dealing 
even if we wanted them* However, this falls short of clear negativity 
you now suggest, which we shall consider further for possible additional 
talk by you with Kosygin. 

k. .... it surprised us Sunday, and continues to surprise us> 
that Kosygin agreed to forward t'ne Sunday proposal without making the 
ultimatum objection to it, and this might fit with your conjecture that 



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he vent out on a limb even with his colleagues. 
KATZENBACH (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) . 

February 20, 1967 

MOSCOW 357O (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 0920, 20 Feb; Rec'd 1009, 20 Feb 

Bef : State 1^0351 



« • 



2. My guess is that for the moment Soviets will do nothing except 
perhaps to express their disappointment to Hanoi and possibly take their 
time in sending by sea any Soviet supplies that Chinese may have delayed 
or prevented from going to rail or failed to supply themselves 



■ • • • 



THOMPSON 



February 22 , 1967 

New York Times , 23, 2k February 

In a conversation with Mew York Times 1 reporters on February 22, 
MAI VAN B0 said the recent Trinh statement on the possibility of negoti- 
ations 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 KFISV 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 2k , Cambodia's Prince SIHANOUK 
stated Mai Van Bo had asked him to clarify tha*c "the only condition the 
DRV poses for eventual conversations between North Vietnam and the United 
States is a definitive and unconditional cessation of banbing 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: 'it would be impossible for the Government of 
Hanoi to stop helping and aiding its brothers in the South who must liberate 



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themselves from invasion and American occupation 



% t! 



During a television interview on February 22, AMBASSADOR HAHRIMAN 
said "there's some indication that they'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 wiU not, of course, accept them as 
a government" but "they could cane with Hanoi •" 

In late February, Hanoi protested to the ICC about US artillery 
bombardment across the EMZ (called a "new and extremely serious step of 
war escalation"); on 1 March, Nhan Dan termed the Viet Cong attacks on 
Danang and movements 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 pecce a "mere hoax" and said the real US aim was to 
"cling to South Vietnam at any cost and perpetually partition Vietnam," 



The New York Times, Thursday, February 23 , 1$&J 

HANOI OFFERS ANEW TO JOIN U.S. IN TALKS IF BOMBING IS ENDED, by Henry Tanner 
(Special to The New York Times ) 

PARIS, Feb. 22 - A spokesman for H3noi reaffirmed today its offer to enter 
into talks with the United States if American bombing attacks against North 
Vietnam were unconditionally and permanently halted. 

Mai Van Bo, the North Vietnamese representative in Paris, indicated 
that his Government's position on this point had not changed in spite of 
the resumption of American bombing Feb. Ik following a six-day suspension. 



Before his statement, there had been widespread speculation for several 
days that the North Vietnamese position had hardened after the resumption 
of the bombings and the failure of the mediation attempted in London by 
Prime Minister Wilson and the Soviet Premier, Aleksei N. Kosygin. 

The principal reason for this speculation was a message from President 
Ho Chi Minh to Pope Paul VI on Feb. 13 restating Hanoi's four-point demands, 
including withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam. 



• . • 



President Ho Chi Minh, in his message to the Pope, phrased the demands 
as follows: 



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"The U.S. imperialists must put an end to their aggression in Vietnam, 
end unconditionally and definitively the bombing and all other acts of 
war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, withdraw from South Vietnam 
all American and satellite troops, recognize the South Vietnam National 
Liberation Front and let the Vietnamese people themselves settle their 
own affairs . " 

Mr. Bo said today that the President's message had referred to the 
terms of a settlement and not to the process of getting peace talks started 
Therefore > he added, it did not constitute a change in the Vietnamese 
position. 

Mr. Bo repeated over and over that the halt of American bombing had 
to be "permanent and unconditional." 

He said the Worth Vietnamese would not talk "under bombs" or "the 
threat of bombs." He said that any cessation of bombing that was not 
clearly labeled "permanent and unconditional" would leave the "threat of 
bombing" intact and thus would constitute an unacceptable interference 
with the negotiation. 

Asked how a distinction could be made between a temporary and a 
permanent halt to bombing, he answered that the United States would have 
to declare at the outset that the halt was "permanent and unconditional." 

Mr. Bo said that Hguyen Duy Trinh, the North Vietnamese Foreign 
Minister, made an important gesture of goodwill toward the United States 
in late January when he told Wilfred Burchett, an Australian correspondent, 
that talks between Washington and Hanoi would be possible if the bombing 
stopped. 

The North Vietnamese representative said that that had constituted a 
basic change in Hanoi's position. Earlier, he said his government's stand 
was that if the United States stopped bombing unconditionally, this new 
fact would be studied and that, if Washington then proposed to negotiate, 
this proposal also would be studied. 



• • 



He asserted that neither president Johnson nor Secretary of State 
Dean Rusk had ever quoted Mr. Trinh* s statement fully or accurately. 

This, he added, was proof of bad faith since Hanoi's real position 
was fully known and understood in Washington. 



.... 



He made it clear that this was a "conversation" and not an "interview." 
He said that for an interview he would have insisted on written questions 
and would have given written answers. He asked that his remarks be reported 
fairly and correctly. 



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Mr. Bo indicated, but did not specifically say, that the four point 
program of Hanoi was subject to negotiation once United States-North 
Vietnamese talks had started, 

> 

VThen asked whether the four points constituted absolute terms for a 
settlement or whether a compromise might be possible, he answered that 
he could not say what would happen in any talks since no talks were now 
taking place, 

Mr. Bo called the four points "the most correct" solution. Asked 
whether this could be translated into English as "the best" solution, he 
said "no." 



It is "the most correct" solution, he declared, because it would assure 
the North Vietnamese people the full exercise of their national rights, 
• . real independence and lasting peace, 

Mr, Bo was asked about the third of the four points, which calls for 
the settlement of the affairs of South Vietnam according to the program 
of the National Liberation Front, 

He said that the North Vietnamese Government regarded the National 
Liberation Front as the only "authentic representative" of the South Viet- 
namese people. 

He said the program of the front was to give South Vietnam inde- 
pendence, democracy, peace and neutrality. He added that Hanoi supported 
this program and regarded all the problems of South Vietnam as the sole 
concern of the front. 

Therefore, he stated, there could be peace only if the United States 
settled South Vietnamese problems with the front. 



* * 



February 23, J.967 

JCS 6957 (to CINCPAC; info CQMUSMACV), TS/UMDIS. 

* 

Subj: Employment of Artillery Fire 

1. You are authorized to conduct artillery fire from positions in 
SVN against valid military targets in Laos, in the DMZ both north and 
south of demarcation line, and in NVN north of EMZ. 

1 2. State concurs. 

C. M. Gettys, Brig. Gen., USA 

(Drafted by VAdm Mustin, USN, Dir, J-3) . 



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MOSCOW 3622 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1520, 23 Feb; Rec'd 1735* 23 Feb 
Ref : Moscow 356S 

- 

1. At no point did Kosygin mention necessity of US withdrawal. 
This may not be particularly significant in view my having mentioned 
our public declaration of willingness withdraw under certain conditions, 
but it is interesting when taken in connection with his admonition we 
must not discount Communist China and its expansionist ambitions in Asia, 
and more particularly his list of countries against which, he said, China 
harbors such ambitions. With exception India, all countries he mentioned 
have security arrangement with us* 

2. Kosygin T s statement that we disagreed on whether there were one 
or two Vietnams appears a step backward. 



3* I believe this is not the first time Kosygin has mentioned that 
we started bombing North Vietnam without consulting ham when he was in 
Hanoi. He brought this up in context of importance of mutual confidence. 
Implication is however that had we consulted him, Soviet Union would at 
that time have been willing to do something about North Vietnamese inter- 
j vention in South. It might also indicate that purpose of Kosygin 1 s visit 

at that time was to damp down situation that was developing ther* 



•e. 



THOMPSON 



February 24, 1967 



STATE 143101 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent 1530, 24 Feb Gf. 
Secretary saw Dobrynin February 23 to discuss Viet-Nam. 



4 Hanoi had our 14 points, the Lewandowski 10-point draft, 

and at an earlier time we had proposed a possible revision of Hanoi's 
third point along the lines of paragraph 5 of the Lewandowski draft. With 
such formulations, we could either start by stages of action, or could "go 
to the end and work back. 11 For example, the Secretary noted that Kosygin 
in London had expressed concern about the fate of the men fighting in the 
South if our London proposal had been accepted (calling for an end to infil- 
tration of supplies as well as men). To deal with this problem, it might 
be possible to work out amnesty arrangements for the southerners fighting 
in the South and safe conduct for the northerners to return home, although 
we recognized that Hanoi might not wish to admit the presence of the latter. 



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5. . - . . The Secretary wondered whether there might be some signifi- 
cance in the fact that Ho did not make his reply to the president public; 
did this mean that Hanoi's rejection of continued talks might not- be final? 
Dobrynin said he saw no connection- . - . 

6 The DRV Charge had given the Soviets the message that 

Hanoi felt that our resumption of bombing meant we were not repeat not 
interested in talks* Therefore, Hanoi was breaking off the Moscow 
channel . • • • 

7* The Secretary then said that it was out of the question for us to 
stop bombing and see a completely new military situation develop without 
knowing at all what talks would produce. Dobrynin responded that we 
could try and asked what would we lose- . . . 



9» The Secretary reiterated that there were very important military 
considerations behind our position, and noted the massive re- supply that 
Hanoi had made during the TET period. Dobrynin objected that the US too 
had re-supplied its forces. He said that this really could not be the 
major point behind the US position, and that there must be something more 
(this presumably implying that the US was really resolved to get a mili- 
tary solution). The Secretary quickly rejoined that we drew a distinction 
between our activity in support of South Viet-EJam and North Viet-Nam 
activity against South Viet-Nam- Dobrynin said that the Soviets likewise 
made a dist junction, but not the same one we did* He added that our disagree' 
ment on this had been fully discussed and further discussion would not lead 
anywhere . 



12 Dobrynin responded that Hanoi's objection to talking unless 

the bombing stopped was a major difficulty and a real one. He then recounted 
that on the 15th (apparently of December) the DRV Charge had come to the 
Soviet Foreign Ministry to tell the Soviets that they had told Rapacki to 
break off his talks with us, on the ground that the US bombing just before 
that date meant the US thought it could pressure Hanoi to talk, and this 
they would not do. 



13- Dobrynin then went on that Hanoi (and by implication the Soviets 
as well) took an unfavorable view of our refusal to accept the 7-day TET 
truce period proposed by Hanoi. The Secretary said that we were bound to 
be influenced by how they would have used the longer period. Dobrynin 
argued that nonetheless the impression was left that the US wished a mil- 
itary solution and not talks. He noted that Hanoi was angry on this 
point as well .... 



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15- The Secretary then noted that Hanoi would not even tell us 
what the three divisions just north of the DMZ would do if the bombing 
stopped, Dobrynin queried whether the divisions were not fully north 
of the DMZ, and the Secretary responded that some elements were south 
of the DMZ, some were in the DMZ and some to the north. 



■ 

i . 17* The Secretary then asked whether the appointment of a new DRV" 

Ambassador in Moscow might make a difference to Hanoi's willingness to 
talk in some fashion. Dobrynin said that of course an Ambassador would 
have more authority than a Charge, but the decisions would still be made 
in Hanoi and an Ambassador would be acting under instructions, . . . 

18. The Secretary then noted that Ho's message to the Pope really 
j r . asked for capitulation and US withdrawal. Similarly, Mai Van Bo appeared 

to be referring again to our recognizing the WLF as the sole legitimate 
representative of the South, . . . 



21. The Secretary concluded that we continue to wish to stay closely 
in touch with the Soviets, He noted that there had once been a time 
when it had seemed clear that the Soviets did not wish to discuss the 
problem with us, referring to his talk with Kosygin in New Delhi. Dobrynin 
agreed. Now, it seemed clear that the Soviets were prepared to discuss the 
matter with us, and perhaps it would have helped if we had been in touch 
with them on one or two specific occasions. The Secretary emphasized that 
we really did wish to see the conflict finished, and noted that a general 
feeling of impatience was our real problem, not the views expressed by 
such people as Senator Fulbright. If the other side kept up and increased 
its military activities, as it appeared to be doing, it was inevitable 
that we ourselves would take action. 

RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 

February 25, 196? 

IOKDON 6893 (to SecState), s/Nodis, Sent 13^, 25 Feb; Rec'd 1539> 25 Feb. 



2 Rostow read substance of STATE 1*0029 and explained back- 
ground which led to Presidential decision to undertake this new series of 
actions. Brown took news calmly and left room to call Prime Minister so 
that he would not hear about artillery bombardment across DMZ over radio. 
Brown observed that since Kosygin departure, Vietnam issue had quieted down 



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in UK, but he thought this new action would be interpreted as "escalation" 
and could stir people up again — not just left wingers, but also "soft" 
groups and elements in the center of Labor's political spectrum. 



k. Rostow also stated that the Russians now feel that negotiations 
will not come about through intercession of a mediator, but rather through 
direct contact between Hanoi and Washington* Rostow reminded Brown that 
the American Government and the American people were very conscious of 
the Korean experience when negotiations were carried on for two years while 
the fighting continued. During the two-year period, American casualties 
more than doubled. We were determined to prevent that from happening again 
in Viet-Nam. Brown said in reply to this point that the important thing 
about Korea was that negotiations were going on. "Fighting while negoti- 
ations were taking place was preferable to fighting without negotiations." 



KAISER 



March 1, 1967 

L0HD0N (^98 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1656, 1 Mar; Rec'd 1830, 1 Mar. 

1. Viet Nam was subject of two conversations with Rapacki during 
London visit. On first day (22nd) .... Thomson got strong impression 
Rapacki felt he had taken a personal risk in December project, had gotten 
burned, .... 

* 

2. Rapacki version to Brown of December events was that after firm 

agreement on original 10-point package, Lodge had consulted Washington 
and then reneged by raising new (unspecified) questions and points of inter- 
pretations. Before the Poles had chance to do anything with these the 
December 13-14 bombings occurred, killing entire project. 

3- Rapacki T s general attitude was illustrated by two minor exchanges. 
When Brown asked Rapacki f s judgment on degree of Kosygin's quote authority 
unqte in Hanoi Rapacki replied quote not less than yours unquote and when 
Brown asked what country had more influence in Hanoi, China or Russia, 
Rapacki replied quote North Viet Nam unquote. 

k* In luncheon conversation between PM and Rapacki on 23rd Wilson 
opened with question of how the quote misunderstanding unquote of November- 
December arose, observing that Lewandowski in Hanoi must have gone beyond 
what Lodge had said. Rapacki replied vehemently that no misunderstanding 
was possible. Lewandowski had gotten Lodge f s approval of his written version 



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of what Lodge had said. Only problem was bombing of Hanoi just before 
Warsaw talks of two principals scheduled to begin. In response to Wilson's 
question as to why things went wrongs Rapacki quote hinted unquote that 
sabotage by quote Saigon hawks unquote was responsible, referring again to 
December 13-1^- bombings. When Wilson suggested failure of quote human 
communication unquote Rapacki again insisted there had been no misunder- 
standing or inaccuracy in transmission of messages. 

■ 5* On Wilson's suggestion, Rapacki agreed a more detailed post mortem 
between British and Poles on the December affair would be useful. The 
British Embassy Warsaw had subsequently been informed Poles will give 
them a more detailed account of their version, though how specific and 
whether in writing is not clear. UK Ambassador Brimelow, who not well 
informed on Viet Ham issue, has been instructed only to listen and not talk. 

6. When Wilson referred to Harriman talks in Warsaw a year ago re 
possibility of misunderstanding Rapacki was equally categoric in insisting 
there had been no misunderstanding or garble of Harriman suggestions 
declaring he had personally initialed written record of Harriman talks. 

, | - 7* Rapacki argued that Hanoi policy is not made in Peking but that as 

long as US bombing continues North Viet Nam has quote no liberty of either 
action or speech and unable to divulge its views even to its closest friends. 
Unquote. While taking usual hard line that cessation .of bombing is essential 
pre-condition for any progress, Rapacki gave no hint of what might happen 
if bombing stopped. But he declared that if bombing continues, scale of 
hostilities will grow, and US will find itself involved in Laos, possibility 
also in Cambodia, Thailand and directly in North Viet Nam. He argued 
Chinese could not permit North Viet Nam to collapse and Soviets would not 
permit China to collapse. 



KAISER 



March k, 1967 

MOSCOW 3756 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 0930, k Mar; Rec'd 1204, h Mar. 



. . * . 



2. Yesterday when discussing China with Kuznetsov he jokingly stated 
we should be well informed in view of our several hundred secret talks 
with Chicoms. A number of my diplomatic colleagues have mentioned Soviet 
suspicions of our relations with Chinese. 

THOMPSON 



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STATE 149089 (to Amembassy Moscow) , TS/Nodis, k Mar 67. 

You are hereby authorized at your discretion to deny flatly that 
we had any approach from the Chicoms on negotiations with North Vietnam 

■ 

RUSK (Drafted by J. P. Walsh) 



March 11, 1967 

STATE 153528 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent 0123, 12 March. 

Bef: Moscow's 3501 

1. We have transmitted to you USUN's 4318 in which Kulebiakin . 
expressed view to Buffum and Finger that now is good time for talks between 

l • US and Worth Vietnam and that these could take place without stoppage of 

bombing. Moreover, fact that new DRV Ambassador Nguyen Tho Chan, has 
presented his credentials provides opportunity to try to establish the 
direct line of communications between Ambassadors to which we had hoped 
the Guthrie -LeChang talks would lead. We realize that Le Chang's February 15 
statement appears to close door on further conversations and Ho's message 
seems adamant on ruling out talks while bombing continues. Nevertheless, 
in earlier Guthrie-Le Chang conversations it seemed implicit that they 
were going through exercise which might be regarded as preparatory to 
direct contacts at Ambassadorial level when DRV Ambassador arrived on 
scene and Kulebiakin in NY has specifically suggested level of talks in 
Moscow should be raised. Therefore , request you seek meeting with Chan 
and make following points: 

2. Basic message we would like to convey to Hanoi via Ambassador Chan 
is that we continue to favor prompt peaceful settlement and we remain 
persuaded that the shortest road is through direct talks between our repre- 
sentatives. Would not appear from record that we and DRV disagree on this 
point but rather that we have been unable to find way of moving toward talks. 

3* You should point out that in the President's press conference of 
March 9 the President said in answer to a question with respect to Quote 
reciprocal action Unquote that he would be ready to entertain Quote just 
almost any reciprocal action on the part of North Vietnam ... We are 
prepared to discuss anything they are willing to discuss. Unquote. 

k-. FYI We recognize that the new DRV Ambassador is probably under 
instructions not to establish contact with you at this time. Thus even 
if he provides an opportunity for a brief call, he is likely to reiterate 
, the stand the Charge made to Guthrie at their last meeting. We recognize 

that we have to give the DRV Ambassador enough ammunition to warrant his 
requesting a change in instructions. For this reason you should emphasize 
that we are ready now, without preliminaries, to get down to serious sub- 
stantive and entirely secret discussions on all questions involved in a 
peaceful settlement itself, in order to.bring this matter to a prompt 



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conclusion. We will provide further instructions along this line if your 
initial talk indicates the possibility of establishing a dialogue. 

RUSK (Drafted by Unger) 

March 13, 196? 

MOSCOW 3880 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent O93O, 13 Mar, Rec T d 10^7, 13 Mar 

Ref : State 153528 



2. In view our recent escalation bombing, this strikes me as a 
singularly inappropriate time make this approach. It will almost cer- 
tainly be rebuffed by DRV who will not wish to give appearance of sub- 
mitting to increased military pressure. More importantly believe our 
approach at this time will be interpreted by Soviets as cynically timed 
to insure refusal and merely build up our record of peace efforts. (I am 
inclined by skeptical Kulebiakin). Moreover, failure arrange discussion 
now will make more difficult approach at more opportune time. Nevertheless, 
will endeavor carry our instructions unless cancelled hy department. 

THOMPSON ' * 



STATE 15^303 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, 13 Mar 6?. 

- 

For the Ambassador from the Secretary 

a 

Despite your 3880 I believe that you should suggest to the DRV Ambassa 
dor that a private talk might be constructive. 

As far as recent bombings are concerned^ there is very little prospect 
that we will let up in bombing unless we see some response through private 
contacts. We have been maintaining the ten nautical mile radius around 
Hanoi but cannot guarantee to do so indefinitely. 

We, too, are inclined to be skeptical about Kulebiakin. The fact that 
he was accompanied on his second talk by another Russian and his greater 
detail of suggestion about procedure indicates the possibility that he was 
in fact acting under instructions. 

The immediate result might well be a preemptory refusal by the DRV 
Ambassador to talk but if he attributes his refusal to our bombing, we 
might as well follow through and tell him that we are prepared to discuss 
that problem. Given the potentialities which lie ahead, we are not indif- 
ferent to establishing a record if that is all that Hanoi will permit. 



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I fully understand the considerations underlying your 3880 but 
believe you should know that we do not see a better time, so far as 
bombing is concerned, coming up in the near future unless we see some 
indication that the other side is prepared to do business. 

RUSK (Drafted by D. Rusk) 
.' March 16, 1967 

On March 16, Prime Minister Wilson sent a communication to President 
Johnson (State's 158*4-62, March 20), recalling that he had been worried 
during the Kosygin visit about a misunderstanding with the USG which had 
risen. He asked if Pat Dean could see the President around April 1 to 
discuss this problem "and to make sure that there is no question of a similar 
situation arising in the future. He also asked for confirmation that the 
message which the President had sent him to hand to Kosygin on the night 
of February 21 still represents the US position. 



MOSCOW 39^7 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1350, l6 Mar; Rec f d 1558, 16 Mar 
Ref : State 15U303 

1. . . . Akalovsky reached Hoang Manh Tu by phone today at 11:^5 
and conveyed my request for meeting with DRV Ambassador .... 



2. Tu said would check and asked Akalovsky call him again . 



. * 



3* Tu . . . was in his office at lk:k^. Said his Ambassador not 
available "for the moment" and therefore he could give no answer at this 
time. When asked if this meant answer could be expected later in day, Tu 
said Ambassador might not be available until Saturday, and suggested 
Akalovsky call him Saturday morning (March 18). 

k. It clear Ambassador Chan asked Hanoi for instructions. Noteworthy 
-is fact that, contrary to his past practice of calling back himself, Tu 
now unwilling do so and asking Akalovsky call him. 

THOMPSON 



March 17, I9&7 

STATE 157597 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, Sent 2258, 17 Mar. 

■ 

Ref: Moscow 3963 

. * . , .we now see some advantage in delaying your session with the 



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DRV Ambassador for several days while developments in connection with 
the U Thant initiative mature to the point where we know the nature of 
our own response and perhaps that of Hanoi. Nonetheless, if Akalovsky 
gets a call on Saturday, March l8, and you have an appointment, the 
Secretary General's proposal might provide a useful opening gambit. 
We would suggest that you simply mention that we have gotten the pro- 
posal from the Secretary General and you have been informed that Washing- 
ton is studying it carefully. 

FIT. We have strong indications from Saigon that if anything more 
formal than the kind of talks you might be engaged in in Moscow were 
to take place the GVN would want to participate. 

RUSK (Drafted by C. L. Cooper) 

March 21, 1967 

- 

MOSCOW ^020 (to SecState), TS/Wis, Sent 113^, 21 Mar; Rec'd 1251, 21 Mar. 
Ref: State 157597 

1* Having delayed contact with DRV Bab assy for several days per 
reft el, I had Akalovsky phone Hoang Manh today . . . . , latter said he 
had been authorized give following response .... 

2. At present , US carrying out every day new steps of grave escala- 
tion of aggressive war against people of NVN. At same time, US is mounting 
a game of contacts with DRV reps in order to deceive world public opinion 
and to cover its criminal acts of war. In view of this, DRV Ambassador 
in Moscow cannot receive US Ambassador. 



THOMPSON 



.LONDON 7602 (to SecState), s/Nodis, Rec'd 1020, 21 Mar. 
For Walsh to hold for Secy return or relay as desired 
Ref: State 158^62 



* • 



2. ... in my private talk with Brown last night ... he made 
clear that what is still botliering Wilson and him is the change of tenses 
in the message we gave them on Friday, as compared to the a/b formula and 
the draft that they had made and of course actually gave the Russians on 
Friday without our authority. 



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3- I told Brown flatly that I was absolutely sure this change 
of tenses had nothing whatsoever to do with the outcome. . - # 



5* • * * > Brown asked earnestly whether the President's attitude 
remained as he had stated it to Brown in October, that he was ready to 
seize even a kO percent chance for peace. I did not try to gloss this 
remark, but did assure him categorically that the President was absolutely 
determined to follow any road that could lead to peace and that there had 
been no change whatever in this attitude. I noted that the Bunker appoint- 
ment placed in Saigon our most experienced field negotiator, and that this 
was simply another evidence of our position. I do not think this got across, 
but it is apparent that Wilson and Brown do a lot of churning over the 
Kosygin visit and may still have some scars from our having given the 
Phase A/phase B formula to the Poles in November .without telling Brora . 

KAISER 



March 23, 1967 

MOSCOW 4069 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1530, 23 Mar; Rec'd l8ll, 23 Mar, 

1 

Ref: State 149089 

- 

During my call on Gromyko today, I . . . said that my inquiry with 
Department confirms my response to Kosygin, i.e., that there had been no 
such suggestions. 

THOMPSON 

; March 2k, 1967 

I -, STATE 162&3 (to Amembassy Moscow) > TS/Nodis, Sent 2302, 2h Mar. 

Ref: State 1^3101 

Xq Bundy/Dobrynin conversation on evening March 23, following . -. * 
were highlights: 

1. Dobrynin stuck throughout to same basic line as in reft el, that 
Hanoi simply would not repeat not talk unless we stop the bombing. He 
repeated argumentation that Hanoi could not possibly accept our insistence 
on reciprocal action without accepting whole US view of nature of conflict. 



... 



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2. Conversation then got onto U Thant proposal, as to which 
Dobrynin had already indicated that Hanoi response would be negative. . . . 

3* Bundy then said that Hanoi revelation of letters continued to 
puzzle us very m ich, as we had formed clear Impression that if Hanoi 
ever wished to move seriously it would do so in some secret and private 
manner. Hence we were genuinely distressed that Hanoi had damaged, if 
not destroyed, privacy of Moscow channel. Dobrynin did not respond 
directly, and did not take possible occasion to indicate any hope Moscow 
channel could be resumed. . . . 

k* » . . . Bundy noted that Hanoi had never responded to our January 20 
message, and that this had been one of major negative factors, together 
with lack of any response to President's letter, that had led us to go ^ 
ahead with resumption on February 13 . He stressed that discussion of 
January 20 topics need not be described as "talks" but could simply be 
exploratory "non- conver sat ions. " If we were able to arrive at a clear 
picture of an agreed final settlement, question of more formal talks and 
even of stopping the bombing might take on different hue. Dobrynin 
obviously understood the point, but did not respond in any hopeful way, 

5* Bundy then remarked that if Hanoi were so insistent that we stop 
the bombing before any talks could take place, it was hard to suppose that 
there could have been any substance to what the Poles told us in December 
about a willingness to meet in Warsaw. Dobrynin shrugged this off with the 
perhaps revealing remark that Poles had given Soviets an entirely different 
picture than the one we had presented of who had taken the initiative for 
the Warsaw contacts and by implication the statement of US position. The 
inescapable implication was what Poles had represented to Soviets that USG 
had initiated Lewandowski channel and that USG had either drafted or endorsed 
Lewandowski formulation and urged that it be presented to Hanoi. Bundy 
merely said Soviets knew facts as we clearly understood them. In this 
exchange, Dobrynin returned to theme that our bcsibing on December 2 and k 
and thrown Rapacki off, and that bombing of December 13-1^ had caused clear 
Hanoi rejection of Warsaw meeting. ... 

6. In commenting on our February 13 resumption, Dobrynin did complain 
that we had not given additional time for Hanoi response .... our resump- 
tion had given impression in Moscow that USG or some elements in it, were 
impatient and anxious to press forward with military pressures, 

7. Dobrynin expressed hope that there would not be "dramatic develop- 
ments" in USG actions against NVN. * • * 

8. . . . . Bundy noted that there now appeared to be at least temporary 
settling down in cultural revolution, perhaps related to need to concen- 
trate on planting season. Dobrynin expressed strong agreement that latter 
was key factor, and stated judgment that resumption of struggle highly 
likely in view of deep-seated views held by Mao personally. 



... 






RUSK (Drafted by W. P. Bundy) 



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April 5, 196? 



On April 5, Thompson was instructed to arrange delivery to the 
DRV mission by the means he deemed best suited to maximize the chances 
of early transmission to Hanoi of a letter dated April 6 from President 
Johnson to President Ho Chi Minh (State's 169339). The following points 
were made in the letter: (l) the President was disappointed that Ho did 
not feel able to respond positively to his letter of February 8; (2) we 
remain prepared to talk quietly with Ho's representatives to establish 
the terms of a peaceful settlement and then bring the fighting to a stop; 
or we are prepared to undertake steps of mutual deescalation which might 
make it easier for discussions of a peaceful settlement to take place. 
Talks could take place in Moscow, Rangoon, or elsewhere; (3) it is clear 
that we must one day agree to reestablish and make effective the Geneva 
Accords of 195^ and 1962; let the people of SVN determine in peace the 

I ' kind of government they want; let the peoples of Worth and South Viet -Nam 

determine peacefully whether and how they should unite; and permit the 
' peoples of SEA to turn all their energies to their economic and social 

] development; (k) the President, and Ho will be judged in history by whether 

they worked to bring about this result sooner rather than later; (5) Ho f s 
views were invited on these matters . 



April 6, 1967 

+ 

MOSCOW ^284 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1353, 6 Apr; Rec'd 1521, 6. Apr. 
Ref : State 169339 ■ * 

1. I had Akalovsky deliver President's message to DRV Embassy today 



• ■ 



• « * 



3- While there is good chance letter will be returned, hopefully DRV 
Embassy will make copy before doing so. 

THOMPSON. 



MOSCOW 429^ (to SecState), TS/Wodis, Sent lGh5, 6 Apr; Rec'd 1808, 6 Apr. 

* 

Ref: Moscow's 1 28k 

President's message returned by DRV Embassy. Original envelope which 
had been opened, found in Embassy mail box at 17^5 an ^ bore following in 
French; "lion conformel Ret our a l'expediteur. " 

THOMPSON 



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April 10, 1967 

STATE 172325 (to Amembassy Moscow), TS/Nodis, 10 Apr, 

Info: USDEL PUNTA DEL ESTE 

PUNTA: Eyes only for Secretary Rusk 

MOSCOW: For Ambassador Thompson Only 

Request you seek early appointment with Gromyko to make following 
points: 

5* A few weeks ago Mr, Kulebiakin of USSR Mission in New York 
mentioned to a representative of our UN Mission that Mr. Pham Van Dong 
would soon be in Moscow and suggested that we might wish to contact him 
there. My Government is ready to establish such a contact . - . . 

6. . . . , you would appreciate Gromyko f s reaction to this proposal 
and most especially any assistance that he could render to facilitate 
confidential discussions with Mr. Pham Van Dong or members of his party. 



KATZENBACH (Drafted by C. L. Cooper) 

* 

April 12, 1967 

* 

Dept of State Memorandum of Conversation, 1815 12 Apr 67 
Place: Sovi.et Etabassy, Washington, D.C. 
Participants: Soviet Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin 

Deputy Under Secretary Foy D. Kohler 

During my long luncheon conversation with Ambassador Dobrynin .... 
I asked him about the reports of a new agreement between Moscow and Peking 
to facilitate the transit of Soviet arms aid to North Viet-Nam. 

.... I said that some of the present interpretations speculated 
- that the new arrangement was a precursor to a considerable increase in the 
quantity and quality of Soviet arms aid to North Viet-Nam. I hoped that 
this was not the case because escalation on their side could only add to 
the pressures for further escalation on our side. He replied that in fact 
pressures on then to increase their aid resulted from our escalation. He 
knew that Moscow wanted to avoid any direct conflict with us in Viet-Nam 
and was sure that care would be exercised. On the other hand, he could 
not say categorically the Vietnamese were not even now asking for new 
quantities and forms of arms and that Moscow did not feel under considerable 
pressure to provide them. 

.... I was sure the President ... . • did not want war to spread 
or any direct conflict to develop. However, he certainly could not feel 



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himself bound to any previous restraints so long as all his attempt t.o 
find a way to reduce the intensity of the battle or bring it to a peaceful 
conclusion had been rejected. 



• ■ 



(Initialed by Kohler) 



April 13, 1967 



MOSCOW U378 (to SecState), TS/Nodis, Sent 1300, 13 Apr; Rec'd 1713, 13 Apr. 
Kef: State I72325 

1. I met with Gromyko ten a.m. today and made presentation along 
lines re ft el. 

2, Gromyko said Sovs "of. course" could not assume role of inter- 
mediary between US and DRV and NLFSV, for reasons explained to US Govt on 
number of occasions. US should address itself to Vietnamese re any matter 
it may wish discuss. ... 

3* • * • , Gromyko continued, there are ways of establishing US-DRV 
contact, and first prerequisite for this is unconditional cessation of 
bombings. . . . 



6. I pointed out that we prepared have .military actions and bombings 
as priority item for discussion with DRV, and that we also prepared have 
de-escalation even without any agreement. Yet whenever we had suspended 
bombings in part, other side had sought to use pause to increase its strength 
in south. All we want is assurance — not necessarily public — that this would 
not, happen again. . 



. • 



7. Gromyko pointed out .... US had begun contact with DRV in 
Warsaw and elsewhere, but they had been stopped by US actions. . . . 



• . 



THOMPSON 



April 20, 1967 



The exchange of views with Brown and his approaching visit to Moscow 
prompted Thompson to express his views on our negotiation posture (Moscow's 
J+491) - He suggested that we shqiild consider whether in present circumstances 



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f 

* 

our continuing campaign of peace moves really serves to further the 
possibility of peace negotiations. He doubted that further initiatives, 
insofar as US public opinion is concerned, could be helpful. Insofar as 
the Soviets are concerned, initiatives that have little chance of success 
are positively harmful, particularly if we are trying to involve them. 
In respect to the DRV and KLF our continued peace moves must be counter- 
productive by suggesting to them that we will not stay the course. On the 
other hand, Thompson did not think an escalation of bombing was the answer 
to the problem. He suggested that consideration be given to a presidential 

" statement listing all our recent moves combined with a resolute declaration 

that, while we will always be prepared to move to the conference table, we 
have no course open to us but to step up our operations in SVN and to con- 

I tinue to use our bombers to hold down infiltration from the north. Against 

this background, Thompson suggested that Brown should convey to the Soviets 
a sense of our determination to see this affair through rather than making 
peace noises when he visits Moscow. 



April 25, 1967 

MOSCOW 4590 (to SecState), s/Nodis, Sent 1030, 25 Apr; Rec'd 12l8, 25 Apr. 



2. Dobrynin remarked that he had known that his government felt 
strongly about Vietnam but had not realized how strongly until his consul- 
tations here. 



THOMPSON 



BOM 



12782 (to SecState), s/Nodis, Sent 2123, 25 Apr; Rec f d 2259, 25 Apr. 



For the Acting Secretary from the Secretary 

Referring to the last sentence of Moscow's h590 } y°u might wish to 
prepare a telegram for Thompson, asking him to have a further talk with 
. Dobrynin to clarify the elementary situation on Viet-Nam. If the Soviet 
Union is concerned about the fact that a fellow Socialist country is 
being bombed by the US, there is no quarrel between Washington and Moscow 
on that point- This bombing could be stopped immediately, as far as we 
are concerned. If, however, the Soviets are determined to support North 
Viet -Nam in a seizure of South Viet-Nam by force, we have a major issue 
with the Soviet Union. As we see it, the Soviet Union does not have 
sufficient influence in Hanoi to cause Hanoi to take the steps which would 
result in a complete cessation of US bombing of North Viet -Nam. Perhaps 
we should try to break through this fundamental policy point with the 
Soviets so that at least we and they can fully understand exactly where we 
are* 



McGHEE 



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May 13, 19&T 

STATE 19^9^6 (to Amembassy London), TS/Nodis, Sent 0200, 16 May. 

For the Ambassador from the Secretary 

Please pass the following message" from me to Foreign Secretary Brown 

1* QUOTE- Dear George: We welcome your trip to Moscow and wish 
you well- I would like to pass along some views and a suggestion or two 
which might be of some use. . 



• * 



• • 



5» There is one central point which 3 if clearly accepted by the USSR, 
could move us a long way toward peace- We are prepared to recognize the 
interest of the Soviet Union in the safety of a Communist regime in North 
Viet-Nam, They must recognize our interest, confirmed hy treaty, in the 
safety of South Viet- Mam and the ability of the South Vietnamese to have 
their own government. Surely, if we and the Soviets recognize each other's 
important interests here, we ought to find a way to pull Worth and South 
Viet- Nam apart militarily. 

"■ 6, We recognize that our' military actions against North Viet -Nam 

j present many problems for the Soviet Government, We are prepared to cease 

such military actions at any time, but cannot do so without some serious 
military response on the part of the North Vietnamese - . . . 

T» Perhaps you could press the Soviets as to what Hanoi's reaction 
would be under any. of the following alternatives: 

(a) A ccmbination of our stopping the bombing of North Viet-Nam, 
their stopping their infiltration and our stopping augmentation of forces, 

; If the Russians have any variant or counterproposal on this formula, we 

would be glad to take a look at it. 

■ 

(b) Pulling apart our opposing forces at the EMZ. This would 
be following up on our offer of April 19 which has been rejected, but which 
might lead to some count ersuggest ion on the Russian side. 

• . (c) A partial suspension of bombing such as the 4-month stand- 
down in over 300 square miles around the center of Hanoi in exchange for 
some serious gesture of de-escalation in the South. We were disappointed 
that Hanoi showed no interest in this act of restraint, and no reciprocity, 
because we are prepared to use this device on an expanding scale as a means 
of de-escalation- 

8. On the military side, we just cannot accept a permanent uncondi- 
tional cessation of bombing in the Worth while they continue unabated 
with their armed assault on the South. The large North Vietnamese forces 



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in and on both sides of the EMZ are at this moment heavily engaging our 
Marines is the border provinces of South Viet-Nam. They are firing 
artilleiy from well across the Seventeenth Parallel. We expect a major 
attack in the Central Highlands from forces now in refuge in Cambodia. 



9* Another issue that may well arise in your conversations is the 
matter of laos. • . . I have long felt that reconvening the 1962 Laos 
Conference might offer some opportunities for dealing with the problem 
of South Viet-Wam as well as Laos. 



• ■ 



12 Good Luck. Dean UNQUOTE 

RUSK (Drafted by C. L. Cooper) 

May IT, 1967 

STATE I96078 (to Amembassy London), TS/Nodis, Sent 2053, IT May. 

Info: Amembassy Moscow 

Following message from Foreign Secretary Brown received by Secretary 
Rusk today transmitted for your information: 

QTE My Dear Dean, 



In my judgment your alternative (b) - separation at the DMZ - is not 
a starter and I cannot at present see what sort of opportunity there might 
be to put it. Moreover, as it has already been rejected, I doubt very 
strongly whether the Russians would want to use it as a basis for any 
counter- suggestion. We may get to this sort of situation in the end, but 
not I believe at the present . 

This leaves me with (a) and (c). On both of these I really need to 
know your position in greater depth before I start talking to people in 
Moscow. 

Your (a) in of course a compound of the elements in the package which 
has had various shapes in the last six months. If your thinking is that 
all the elements must now be run together, I would judge that this shape 
of package will have absolutely no attraction for the Russians and that 
I would serve you ill by exposing it In Moscow. But would I be right in 
reading from the second sentence of your (a) that if the Russians were to 
revert to the original package which I put to Gromyko at your suggestion 
in November, then you would still be in the market with it? .... If this 
is the case, I would certainly try hard to put it into a Russian mouth. 



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On your (c) - partial suspension of bombing - I really need to know 
more* First, how would you envisage this developing in terms of a pro- 
gressive expansion from the Hanoi area? Secondly, what sort of serious 
de-escalation in the south could you visualize at each stage? Also, 
what about Haiphong while it is still outside the expanding area? The 
Horth Vietnamese now seem to be as sensitive about this place as Hanoi 
itself. 



■ * 



Yours, George, May 16, 19&J UNQTE 
RUSK (Drafted by B. H. Read) 

May 18, 1967 ' - 

STATE 196827 (to Amembassy London), TS/Nodis, Sent l6l^, 18 May. 

Info: Amembassy Moscow 



Please deliver following message from Secretary Rusk to Foreign 
Secretary Brown: 

QUOTE: Dear George: 

■ 

I find it difficult to reply precisely to the questions put in your 
message of May l6. What we really need is some indication that Hanoi is 
prepared to talk business. 



. • * 



- . . no one has been able to tell us of any military move which 
North Viet- Nam is prepared to make if we take steps on your side to de 
escalate, - • . 



. . 



Is it not really better for you, with a briefcase full of interesting 
proposals on our side, to explore the situation with the Soviets to find 
out if there are any points anywhere on which some progress might be made? 
This you can do on your own responsibility as Co-Chairman. 

I hope I do not appear to be unresponsive but I rather feel that 
until we get seme word from the North Vietnamese we are talking in a 
vacuum - a vacuum created by Hanoi. 

With warmest regards, Sincerely, Dean. UNQUOTE, 

RUSK (Drafted by D. Rusk) 



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* * 

September l8, 1967 

"Chronology of Viet Peace Efforts, " by Chalmers M- Roberts, The Washington 
Post , 18 September I967. 

The record indicates that the Ashmore-Baggs peace effort ran afoul of 
a change in American policy which occurred at the moment they were involved 
in Vietnam diplomacy. 

This is the record, as far as it is now known, of the pertinent events; 

December k, 1966 - Poland reported to the United States that North 
Vietnam was prepared to send a man to Warsaw to meet an American repre- 
sentative and to do so without demanding as a pre-condition an end to the 
American bombing of the North, 

American officials subsequently contended that independent checks 
showed this to be a Polish view, not that of North Vietnam. 

December 13-l^j 1966 - American planes raid near Hanoi. Poland later 
privately blamed the raids for ending chances for a meeting. After the 
raids Hanoi began to stress the demand that bombing must cease unconditionally 
before there could be talks. 

December 26 - January 6, 1967 - Harrison Salisbury of the New York 
Times created a furor over dispatches from Hanoi picturing civilian destruc- 
tion from the American raids. Officials here said , Hanoi had let Salisbury 
in as part of a campaign to force an end to the bombing. Ashmore and Eaggs 
arrived in Hanoi the day Salisbury left. 

» 

January 12, 1967 - Ashmore and Baggs met Ho Chi Minh who stressed an 
end to the bombing Ashmore now writes that "we had not brought back" from 
this interview "any hard proposal" from Ho "beyond the reiteration of his 
unqualified commitment to enter into negotiations" if the U.S. halted the 

bombing. 

Ashmore reported to State Department officials that he and Baggs felt 
that "Ho seemed prepared to consider a specific proposal based on a formula 
of mutual de-escalation" of the fighting. 

■ 1 

Early January to early February — The United States secretly sent four 
memoranda to Hanoi describing, officials say, possible methods of deescala- 
tion. These messages, yet to be made public were handed by an American 
embassy official in Moscow to a North Vietnamese representative. 

January 27, 1967 * Hanoi's man in Moscow gave a reply to the American 
official. Later the State Department described the reply as "a diatribe 
against the United States." 



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January 28 , 19 67 - North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Buy Trinh 
in an interview with Australian Communist journalist Wilfred Burchett said 
that "it is only after the unconditional cessation of U.S. bombing and all 
other acts of war against the DRV (North Vietnam) that there could be talks 
between the DRV and the U.S." 

February 2> 1967 - President Johnson prepared a letter to Ho in which 
he took up the Burchett interview points. Mr- Johnson said he would "order 
a cessation of bombing" and also halt "further augmentation of U.S. forces in 
South Vietnam as soon as I am assured that infiltration into South Vietnam 
by land and sea has stopped." These "acts of restraint , " he said, "would 
make possible serious private discussions." This letter, however, was not 
turned over to Hanoi's man in Moscow until Feb. 8 and the delay has never 
been explained. 

February h, 1967 - Ashmore and Baggs met at the State Department with 
Undersecretary Nicholas deB. Katzeribach and other top officials but not 
including Secretary Dean Rusk. 

A letter from Ashmore to Ho was drafted with Assistant Secretary 
William P. Bundy, whose area includes Vietnam, as the chief department • 
draftsman . 

■ 

The key sentence in the letter stated" that "senior officials" at 
State "expressed opinion that some reciprocal restraint" was necessary 
along with a halt to the bombing and an end to the influx of American 
troops if talks were to take place. 

February 5 , 19 67 - The draft letter was delivered to Ashmore at 
Fulbright T s house. Ashmore mailed it that afternoon. The letter did not 
specify the "reciprocal restraint" although the President's letter of 
three days earlier had specified an end to North Vietnamese infiltration 
into the South. 

In addition, on the day (Feb. 2) the Administration said the Presidential 
letter was drafted, Mr. Johnson told a press conference that "just almost 
any step" would be a suitable response from Hanoi. He also had said that 
"we would be glad to explore any reciprocal action." Sometime between 
Feb* 2 and 9 the official American terms were hardened. 

■ 

February 8, 1967 " Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin, who was in London 
Feb. 6-12, said at a press conference that the Trinh interview with Burchett 
"boils down" to saying that if the U*S. unconditionally stopped the 
bombing, "then i': would be possible" to open talks. Kosygin thus publicly 
changed Trinh *s crucial word "could" into "would." He was never contra- 
dicted by Hanoi on this. Furthermore^ Kosygin passed the word to Washington, 
which had inquired as to when talks would begin, that they could start in 
three or four weeks. 






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February 9* 1967 - Secretary Rusk at a press conference which had 
; "been announced by the White House, said that "for some time now there has 

been evident a systematic campaign by the Communist side to bring about 
an unconditional and permanent cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam 
without any corresponding military action on their side, in exchange for 
the possibility of talks — talks which are thus far formless and without 
content/ 1 

Rusk also distinguished between a "pause in the bombingf' (here he seemed 
to indicate he would agree to a pause in exchange for talks) and a "permanent 
cessation." For the latter to take place, he said, "we must know the mill- 
J tary consequences." The U.So, he said, cannot stop the bombing without 

reciprocity for that would be "closing off one-half of the war while the 
rest of it goes on full force." 

+ 

■ In short, Rusk was surfacing the central point of the President's letter 
to Ho, the contents of which were not made public until Hanoi broadcast it 
March 21. 

February 10, 19&7 - Ho said he received the Johnson letter on this 
day. Ashmore assumes it arrived before his own letter with the less specific 
request on the point of reciprocity. 

During this period, February 8-l4, there was a pause in the bombing 
over the Tet holiday in Vietnam, including a Presidentially ordered short 
extension. 

February 13, 19^7 - Ho in a letter to Pope Paul VI assailed the U.S. 
He coupled an unconditional end to the bombing with the withdrawal of 
American forces and the recogntion of the National Liberation Front, the 
political arm of the Vietcong. In Washington this was taken as a reply 
to the President. .Resumption of the bombing was ordered. 

February 1$, 1967 - Ho replied to the President in words similar 
to the Pope. "A little later," writes Ashmore, he and Baggs received a 
reply to the Ashmore letter saying there did not seem to be any point to 
their making a second visit to Hanoi. 

. September 18, 1967 

"Text of State Department Comment on Peace Feeler, " The New York Times , 
Sept. 18, 1967- * 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 - Following is the text of a statement issued by 
the State Department today regarding a report that President Johnson had 
undermined a peace approach to North Vietnam: 

* 

We have had a number of inquiries concerning news stories published 
today, based on an article by Mr. Harry Ashmore in a publication of the 
Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (C.S.D.I.). 



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The facts concerning the department's contacts with Messrs. Ashmore 
and Baggs ^ftfilliam C. Baggs, editor of The Miami News/ are as follows: 

(l) During the summer of 1966, Mr. William Baggs told the department 
that C.SoD.I. was planning a major conference in May of 1967 in Geneva, to 
follow up on the first Pacem in Terris meeting held in New York in February 
of 1965- Mr. Baggs disclosed to us efforts that the center was making to 
invite Worth Vietnam to attend, and the department responded sympathetically 
to the idea of the conference and to these efforts- These initial contacts 
were with Mr. George Ball and Mr, William Bundy. The president and Secretary 
Rusk were informed, and Mr. Ball was elected to handle contacts with Mr. Baggs 
on behalf of the United States Government. 



(2) In mid- November and again in early December, Mr. Baggs was joined 
by Mr. Ashmore in calls at the department. In these calls, the progress 
of the conference plans was reviewed, and the two visitors indicated that they 
had a tentative invitation to go to Hanoi, with Mr. Luis Quintanilla of 
Mexico. Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore also suggested that, if they were able to 
conduct useful explorations of Worth Vietnamese views wards peace (sic). 

j Mr. George Ball having then left the department, the primary responsibility 

for these conversations passed to his successor, Mr. Katzenbach, who kept 
the President and the Secretary of State informed as a matter of course. 

In these conversations, department representatives accepted the 
i Baggs-Ashmore suggestions and undertook to cooperate fully. Accordingly, 

the position of the United States Government on key issues relating to 
peace was discussed at some length, so that Baggs and Ashmore could repre- 
sent it accurately in Hanoi. 

(3) On Dec. 23, Baggs visited the department just prior to the 
departure of the three-man group on Dec. 28. At that meeting, the basic 
understanding of the United States Government position was reaf filmed, and 
it was further agreed that Baggs and Ashmore would report confidentially 
what they were able to pick up in Hanoi. 

(h) Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore visited Hanoi from Jan. 6 to Jan. ik. 
They then returned to the U.S. and on Jan. 18 dictated for the department 
a full and confiden- ticular (sic) a conversation with President Ho on 
Jan. 12. In this conversation, Ho had insisted that there could be no 
* talks between the U.S. and Hanoi unless the bonbing were stopped, and 
unless also the U.S. stopped all reinforcements during the period of the 
talks. Ho was reported to be adamant against any reciprocal military 
restraint by North Vietnam. The record does not show that he solicited any 
U.S. Government response to these remarks. 

• (5) Concurrently, prior to Jan. 18 on U.S. initiative and without any 
connection to the Baggs-Ashmore actions, U.S. Government representatives 
had established a direct channel for communication with North Vietnamese 
representatives in Moscow. With the apparent agreement of both sides, 



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this channel was being kept wholly confidential, and was therefore not 
revealed to Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore in their discussions at the depart- 
ment- r 

It is, of course, fundamental to the U.S. Government dealings with 
Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore that there existed at the time this direct and 
secret channel. Exchanges through this direct channel continued through 
January and early February and culminated in President Johnson's letter to 
President Ho of Feb. 8 (mistakenly stated by Mr, Ashmore as Feb. 2). As 
has been stated by representatives of the department, a wide variety of 
proposals was put before Hanoi in these Moscow contacts, without at any 
time producing any useful response. 

(6) Toward the end of January, Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore returned to 
Washington and expressed to the department the strong hope that they 
could be given a message for transmission to Hanoi. The department decided 
that, while the direct channel in Moscow was crucial and must at all costs 
be preserved, it would be useful to send a more general message through 
Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore, which would be consistent with the important 
messages being exchanged in Moscow. In view of this channel (of which 
Baggs-Ashmore were unaware) there was some question as to the further utility 
of detailed informal communications. 

It seemed clear from the account given by Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore 
that their channel of communication had been established with the primary 
purpose of exchanges concerning North Vietnamese attendance at the May 
conference. Nevertheless, Baggs and Ashmore said they could send any 
messages for Hanoi through the regular mail to a North Vietnamese repre- 
sentative in Pnompenh, who In turn would relay it to a North Vietnamese 
official who had been the principal contact of Messrs. Baggs and Ashmore 
in Hanoi. Accordingly, the letter now published by Mr. Ashmore worked 
out with the representatives of the department, and authorized to be 
sent on Feb. 5- W e were subsequently informed by Mr. Ashmore that this letter 
reached Pnompenh on Feb. 15- 

(7) No useful purpose could be served by giving further details on 
what took place in the Moscow channel. We can say, however, that on Feb. 7j 
while that channel was still open and in operation, separate discussions 
were Initiated in London between Prime Minister Wilson and Premier Kosygin 
of the U.S.S.R. 

The combined reading of the Moscow channel and of these discussions 
led to the dispatch on Feb. 8 of President Johns on r s letter to President Ho. 
This letter was of course published unilaterally by Hanoi on March 21, and 
is a matter of public record. It rested on, and was of course read by Hanoi 
in relation to, the various proposals that had been conveyed in the Moscow 
channel. There rcas no change of basic position whatever between Feb. 3 and 
Feb. 8, but President Johnson's letter did include a specific action pro- 
posal that speaks for itself, as does the tone of his communication. 



• F 



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(8) As already noted*, Hanoi had not responded in any useful way to 
the variety of suggestions conveyed in the Moscow channel. Its sole and 
apparently final response was reflected on Feb. 13, in a letter by President 
Ho to Pope Paul VI. This letter , in the words of one press account today , 
"coupled an unconditional end to the bombing with the withdrawal of American 
forces and the recognition of the National Liberation Front*" On Feb. 15 , 
President Ho replied forroal3y to the president in similar terms. At the 
same time, Hanoi broke off the Moscow channel. 

| ' (9) Hanoi's attitude remained negative throughout. The Baggs-Ashmore 

efforts were necessarily handled by the department with an eye to the direct 
and then-confidential channel that existed concurrently to Hanoi. The 
latter appeared to be by far the more reliable and secure method of ascer- 
taining Hanoi's views. 



(10) Finally, we note with regret that Mr. Asfamore is apparently 
ignorant of the subsequently published reports of the Moscow contacts, and 
of their confirmation by department representatives. We noted with still 
greater regret that at no time since has he consulted with the department in 
order to attempt to understand the interrelationship that necessarily obtained 
between the Moscow channel and his own efforts. As this case shows, the 
Administration has been prepared at all times to cooperate with private 
individuals who may be in contact with Hanoi in any way, and who are prepared 
to act responsibly and discreetly. This policy continues, although it 
seems clear that the present disclosure will not reassure Hanoi that such 
private contacts will be kept secret. 



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