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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume VII, Vietnam, September 1968–January 1969

October 2-15, 1968: The Breakthrough in Paris


Document 44: Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 9:25 a.m. Repeated to Paris for the Vietnam Mission. This telegram is printed in full in Pike (ed.), The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 588-593.


Document 45: Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan/Plus. Repeated to USUN for Secretary Rusk.


Document 46: Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Nixon, Richard—Vietnam. Secret; Sensitive. A notation on the memorandum by the President reads: “Walt—Call me about last paragraph. L.”


Document 47: Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Re: Communications to Soviet Union on Vietnam, 10/2-4/68. Top Secret; Literally Eyes Only.


Document 48: Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Trueheart) to the Director of Intelligence and Research (Hughes)

Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, East Asia Country Files, Vietnam 1968. Top Secret. Drafted by Richard K. Stuart of INR/DDC.


Document 49: Memorandum for the Record

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. I [1 of 3]. Secret; Harvan. Prepared by Rostow. In an attached covering memorandum transmitting this memorandum to the President, October 21, Rostow wrote: “Herewith memoranda for the record on your talks with Harriman (September 17) and with Vance (October 3). Also attached are the outgoing and incoming cables which confirm Harriman-Vance support for a bombing resumption if ‘our understandings’ are violated. You will note that I included the very sensitive reference to the Dobrynin communication of September 16. This means, of course, that these memoranda for the record should be handled with the highest security.” The notation “ps” on the covering memorandum indicates that the President saw the attached memoranda.


Document 50: Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Secretary of State Rusk

Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between Johnson and Rusk, October 3, 1968, 10:15 a.m., Tape F6810.02, PNO 4-5. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared specifically for this volume in the Office of the Historian. Rusk called from New York, where he was attending the UN General Assembly. The President was in Washington. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


Document 51: Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Secretary of State Rusk

Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between Johnson and Rusk, October 6, 1968, 10:49 p.m., Tape F6810.02, PNO 6-7. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared specifically for this volume in the Office of the Historian. Rusk called from New York, where he was attending the UN General Assembly. The President was in Washington. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


Document 52: Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Secretary of State Rusk

Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between Johnson and Rusk, October 7, 1968, 10:02 a.m., Tape F6810.02, PNO 8. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared specifically for this volume in the Office of the Historian. Rusk called from New York, where he was attending the UN General Assembly. The President was in Washington. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


Document 53: Editorial Note


Document 54: Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan/Plus. Received at 11:25 a.m. On a covering note transmitting a copy of this telegram to the President, October 9, 1:15 p.m., Rostow wrote: “the most forthcoming business yet with Hanoi—but still utterly inconclusive.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. I, [3 of 3]) In a memorandum to the President, October 9, 10:15 a.m., Rostow summarized Vance's initial telephonic report on the tea break meeting. (Ibid., Harvan Misc. & Memos, Vol. VII) Jorden's notes of the formal session are ibid., William Jorden Papers, William J. Jorden Notes, 25th Meeting. The delegation summarized the formal session in telegram 22109/Delto 807 from Paris, October 9. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968)


Document 55: Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan Misc. & Memos, Vol. VII. Secret; Nodis; Harvan/Plus.


Document 56: Memorandum From the President's Counsel (McPherson) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 3 F, Memos on Bombing in Vietnam, 3/67-10/68. No classification marking. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it. A separate notation in an unknown hand reads: “To Rostow for comment.”


Document 57: Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 23-9 VIETS. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by John Burke of the Vietnam Working Group, cleared by John Walsh of S/S, and approved by Bundy.


Document 58: Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968. Secret; Flash; Nodis/Harvan/Plus. Received at noon. In a covering note transmitting this telegram to the President, October 11, 1:20 p.m., Rostow noted: “Herewith Harriman and Vance's report of their conversation. The marked para. 12 is, perhaps, the critical statement.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. I [2 of 3]) An 11-page memorandum of conversation containing literal notes of the meeting drafted by Davidson is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG59, S/AH Files: Lot 71 D 461, Sept. 11-Meeting XXI) 22253/Delto 817. Distribution only as directed by the Secretary. From Harriman and Vance.


Document 59: Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. I [3 of 3]. Top Secret; Literally Eyes Only. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


Document 60: Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan/Plus. Received at 8:35 a.m.


Document 61: Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Bunker Files: Lot 74 D 417, Vietnam Telegram Chrons—1968, 1969. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan/Double Plus.


Document 62: Telegram From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson in Texas

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan/Double Plus, Vol. I. Secret; Sensitive; Literally Eyes Only. Received at 1438Z at the LBJ Ranch, where Johnson stayed October 11-13.


Document 63: Editorial Note


Document 64: Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan/Double Plus, Vol. I. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan/Double Plus. Received at 9:35 a.m.


Document 65: Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-October 1968. Secret; Flash; Nodis/Harvan/Double Plus. Drafted by Katzenbach and Bundy, cleared by Rostow and Read, and approved by Rusk.


Document 66: Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-October 1968. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Text as received from the White House and approved by Read.


Document 67: Draft Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Secret; Eyes Only for the President. Christian and Tom Johnson joined the meeting at 10 a.m., and it concluded at 12:07 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) These notes, drafted by Rostow on October 16, cover only the part of the meeting prior to 10 a.m. For the rest of the meeting, see Document 68. A complete transcript is in the Johnson Library, Transcripts of Meetings in the Cabinet Room.


Document 68: Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Eyes Only for the President. These notes, taken by Tom Johnson, cover only the portion of the meeting after 10 a.m.; for the earlier part of the meeting, see Document 67. The President temporarily left the meeting at 11:21 a.m. and returned at 11:30 a.m. The meeting concluded at 12:07 p.m. (Johnson Library, President's Daily Diary) A complete transcript of the meeting is ibid., Transcripts of Meetings in the Cabinet Room.


Document 69: Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Eyes Only for the President. The meeting began at 1:38 in the Cabinet Room. Christian joined the meeting at 2:17 p.m., Russell entered at 2:22 p.m., Rusk at 2:45 p.m., and Westmoreland at 3:15 p.m. The meeting ended at 3:40 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) Bromley Smith's notes of the meeting are ibid., Meeting Notes File, 7/68-12/68, and a complete transcript of the meeting is ibid., Transcripts of Meetings in the Cabinet Room.


Document 70: Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Eyes Only for the President. Eyes Only for the President. The meeting lasted from 7:15 until 8 p.m. and was held in the Cabinet Room. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) A full transcript of the meeting is ibid., Transcripts of Meetings in the Cabinet Room.


Document 71: Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 9/30- 10/22/68, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. I [3 of 3]. Secret; Harvan/Double Plus. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


Document 72: Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. Rusk and Clifford left the meeting at 1:50 p.m.; Helms, Wheeler, and Rostow departed at 2:20 p.m.; Christian and Tom Johnson remained until 2:35 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


Document 73: Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. The meeting was held in the Oval Office, where the President and McPherson had been since 7:25 p.m. Rusk, Clifford, and Read arrived at 7:32, Tom Johnson at 7:33, and Bundy at 7:34. The President called Rostow at 7:55 p.m. Rusk, Read, Tom Johnson, and Bundy left at 7:50, and Clifford remained until 8:12. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


Document 74: Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-October 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan/Double Plus. Drafted by Read; cleared by Rostow, Bundy, Katzenbach, and Read; and approved by Rusk.