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X. Implementation of the Taylor Mission Report November 15-December 15, 1961


257. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-1561. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Cottrell and Heavner on November 14 and cleared with McConaughy, U. Alexis Johnson, Rusk, and the President.


258. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-1661. Secret. Repeated to Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Geneva for FECON, Bangkok, Paris, London, CINCPAC for PolAd, Manila, Tokyo, and Hue.


259. Memorandum From the Director of Intelligence and Research (Hilsman) to the Secretary of State

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series, Presidential Status Reports. Top Secret. No drafting or clearance information is given on the source text, which is attached to a brief covering memorandum from Hilsman to McGeorge Bundy, dated November 16, which reads:

“Alex has passed the attached to Max Taylor and Walt Rostow. The main study and a summary of lessons and findings should be ready by Monday [November 20].”


260. Memorandum From Robert H. Johnson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow)

Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 67 D 548, R. Johnson Chron. Secret.


261. Memorandum From the Legal Adviser (Chayes) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-1661. Top Secret. Drafted by Chayes and sent to the Secretary through S/S and Johnson (U). Initialed by both Chayes and Johnson. Attached to the source text is the following note of November 16 from Chayes to the Secretary: “This preparation of this memorandum and its attachments was undertaken before yesterday’s NSC decisions. I believe that the analysis and observations given below will continue to be relevant, both in the carrying out of those decisions and in deliberations on further steps in the future.”


262. Letter From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163, JFK-Khrushchev 1961-62. Top Secret.


264. Memorandum From Robert H. Johnson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow)

Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 67 D 548, Sept.-Dec. 1961. Secret.


265. Memorandum From the Assistant Director, Far East (Neilson), to the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 306,USIA/TOP Files: FRC 67 A 222, IAF Defoliation 1963. Secret. A note on the source text indicates that copies were sent to Wilson, Sorenson (IOP), and Slaton (IAF). The source text is Sorenson’s copy and bears his typewritten name in the margin and the handwritten notation, “TCS. Must reading. BY.” “BY” has not been identified.


266. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-1861. Top Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Repeated priority to Bangkok and CINCPAC for PolAd.


268. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00.11-2161. Secret. Repeated to CINCPAC for PolAd, New Delhi, Ottawa, Bangkok, Vientiane, London, Paris, Geneva for FECON, and Phnom Penh.


269. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow) to the President

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series, Memos and Reports. Secret. Initialed by Rostow.


270. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 66 A 878, 350 GVN. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bangkok and to CINCPAC for PolAd.


271. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-185-69. Top Secret. Attached to a brief covering memorandum of November 28 from Lemnitzer’s staff assistant, Richard R. Day, to Taylor, indicating that Lemnitzer had asked that the memorandum be sent to Taylor for his information. For William Bundy’s comments, in a memorandum to McNamara, November 25, see United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, Book 11, p. 449.


272. National Security Action Memorandum No. 111

Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAMs. A note on the source text indicates that information copies were sent to the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and General Taylor. Printed also in United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, Book 11, pp. 419-421, and in Declassified Documents, 1979, p. 107A.


273. Memorandum From the Counselor of Embassy in Viet-Nam (Mendenhall) to the Public Affairs Officer in Viet-Nam (Anspacher)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 66 A 335, GVN-Government of Viet-Nam 1961. Secret. Initialed by Mendenhall; also addressed to McGarr, Gardiner, and Colby.


274. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow) to the President

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series. Top Secret. The source text is neither signed nor initialed by Rostow and bears no indication that the President saw the memorandum. Under cover of a brief letter of November 25, Rostow sent to Galbraith a copy of his memorandum to the President and of a memorandum from McGhee to McGeorge Bundy on “Counter-Guerrilla Campaigns in Greece, Malaya and the Philippines.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Department of Defense) In the letter to Galbraith, Rostow wrote: “Whatever we achieve or fail to achieve with respect to Vietnamese administration and politics, we should not kid ourselves that we are up against a serious and major offensive mounted from Hanoi; and it will take hard and purposeful labor on many fronts, both inside and outside South VietNam, to save that area without a war.” (Ibid., Meetings and Memos Series, Staff Memos-Rostow-Guerrilla and Unconventional Warfare)


275. Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series, Reports &Memos. Top Secret. A handwritten note on the source text indicates that the “original” was given to Rostow and the “enclosure” to McGeorge Bundy. A draft of the memorandum, prepared by U. Alexis Johnson, was submitted to the Secretary of State for his signature under cover of a memorandum of November 22, in which Johnson wrote:


276. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-2461. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by U. Alexis Johnson, cleared with McConaughy, and initialed by Johnson for the Secretary. Repeated information to CINCPAC for PolAd.


277. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.56311/11-2561. Top Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bangkok and to CINCPAC for PolAd.


278. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.5/11-2561. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bangkok, London, Paris, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Geneva for FECON, and CINCPAC for PolAd.


279. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to the British Ambassador (Ormsby Gore)

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, Correspondence with UK Officials-Vol. 1. Secret. Drafted by McConaughy and C. Chapman of the Viet-Nam Task Force.


280. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-2561. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Wood; cleared with Cottrell, McConaughy, U. Alexis Johnson, and the Office of the Secretary; initialed by Pezzullo of the Executive Secretariat for the Secretary. Repeated to CINCPAC for PolAd.


282. Telegram From the Embassy in India to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-2661. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Saigon and to Geneva for Harriman.


283. Memorandum From the Under Secretary-Designate for Political Affairs (McGhee) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 67 D 548, HO Chron. Secret.


284. Memorandum From the President’s Military Representative (Taylor) to the President

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-185-69. Secret. An attached note indicates that copies were sent to Rusk, McNamara, U. Alexis Johnson, Lemnitzer, Bundy (apparently McGeorge), and Rostow.


285. Notes of a Meeting, The White House

Source: National Defense University, Lemnitzer Papers, L-217-71. Top Secret. Handwritten by Lemnitzer. According to the source text, the following people were present: Rusk, Johnson, McNamara, Lemnitzer, Taylor, William Bundy, Rostow, McGeorge Bundy, Hamilton, and Lansdale. Neither Lemnitzer’s nor Taylor’s Appointment Books at the National Defense University lists the participants at the meeting. Rusk’s Appointment Book lists as participants the President, Rusk, McNamara, Lemnitzer, Taylor, Johnson, Bell, Rostow, Hamilton, and Bundy (without specifying William or McGeorge). (Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Books) The President’s log indicates that the meeting was off the record and was attended by the President, Rusk, U. Alexis Johnson, McNamara, William Bundy, Lemnitzer, Lansdale, Hamilton, Dulles, Taylor, Rostow, and McGeorge Bundy. (Kennedy Library, JFK Logs) The source text seems to indicate that the President joined the meeting in progress.


286. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11 2261. Secret; Niact; Eyes Only. Drafted by U. Alexis Johnson and Rostow, cleared with S/S and initialed by Johnson for the Secretary. Repeated to CINCPAC for PolAd and Bangkok.