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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963
Volume IV, Vietnam, August–December 1963, Document 270


270. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State11. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 S VIET. Secret; Flash. Received at 11:38 p.m. and passed to the White House at 11:42 a.m.

875. Your Deptel 683.22. Document 269.

1. Agree we should move promptly to support and recognize. We should decide to resume commercial import payments but on a periodic and selective basis without public announcement so as to avoid appearance of blank check or of pay-off. We should not be first to recognize but should assure other friendly Embassies that this is our attitude that we will recognize as soon as a few others have done so. We should, of course, give unmistakable signs of our satisfaction to the new leadership.

2. Believe the very great popularity of this coup should be stressed. Every Vietnamese has a grin on his face today. Am told that the jubilation in the streets exceeds that which comes every new year. The Vietnamese employees at the Embassy Residence, whom I know well, have an entirely different look on their face today. When I drove to the office with a very small US flag flying, there were bursts of applause from the sidewalk, people shaking hands and waving. The tanks which were standing at the street corners were being covered with garlands of flowers and the Army was evidently immensely popular with the people. At the big circle in which [stands] the statue of the Trung sisters which was modeled in the image of Madame Nhu, young men were busy with acetylene torches cutting the statues off at the feet and putting cables around the necks so as to topple them to the ground.

3. Do not think the President should be identified with the story of the desire of the Diem regime to negotiate with the Army. I know of no hard evidence of such a desire.

4. Otherwise line proposed in reftel seems satisfactory.

Lodge

1 Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 S VIET. Secret; Flash. Received at 11:38 p.m. and passed to the White House at 11:42 a.m.

2 Document 269.