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IX. United States Government Consideration of the Taylor Mission Report November 3-15, 1961


210. Letter From the President’s Military Representative (Taylor) to the President

Source Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series, Taylor Report A & B. Top Secret. No drafting information is given on the source text, but in his memoirs Taylor states that the letter was drafted by both Rostow and him. (Swords and Plowshares, p. 243)


211. Memorandum for the Record

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-127-69. Top Secret. Prepared by Bagley; the date on the source text is apparently the drafting date rather than the date the conference took place. The subject matter, the participants, and the course of the discussion suggest that the conference took place November 4.


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/10-461. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Wood, cleared with McConaughy and S/S, initialed by Johnson (G) for the Acting Secretary, and repeated to CINCPAC for PolAd.


213. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs(Johnson) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-561. Top Secret. Drafted and initialed by Johnson and sent through S/S. Rusk returned to Washington on November 5 from his trip to Japan.


214. Draft Memorandum From the Secretary of Defense (McNamara) to the President

Source: Department of State, Bundy Files, 1961 Chron. Top Secret. Drafted by William P. Bundy on November s and attached to Bundy’s memorandum of that date to McNamara, in which he asked whether the draft “at least raises the basic points you wanted” and noted that “one possible omission is the issue of nuclear weapons as part of a punitive action.” On the source text are McNamara’s handwritten revisions and interpolations, apparently done on November 6 since he wrote November “6” over the “5”. McNamara’s changes are described in footnotes below.


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-661. Top Secret; Niact.


217. Notes by the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470, SE Asia 1961. Handwritten by McNamara. The source text does not indicate whether the views of the Joint Chiefs were communicated orally or in writing, but they may have been given to McNamara by Lemnitzer at a luncheon meeting which, according to Lemnitzer’s journal, took place in the Secretary of Defense’s dining room at 1 p.m. on November 6. (National Defense University, Lemnitzer Papers, L-419-71)


218. Memorandum of a Conversation, The White House

Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 65 D 366, CF 1990. Secret. Drafted by Talbot and approved in the Office of the Secretary on November 26 and in the White House on December 4. (Kennedy Library, JFK Appointment Books) For Galbraith’s account of the conversation, see Ambassador’s Journal, p. 248.


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

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/11-761. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution; Eyes Only. Repeated to CINCPAC for PolAd. Received in the Department of State at 3:30 p.m.


221. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State

Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 65 D 366, CF 1990. Confidential. Drafted by Horgan, approved in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs on November 17, and in the Office of the Secretary on November 26. The time of the meeting is taken from Rusk’s Appointment Book. (Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Books)


222. Draft Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President

Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 66 D 150, Taylor Report on VN. Top Secret. Drafted by U. Alexis Johnson. The similarity between certain sections of the source text and Document 214 suggests that Johnson consulted with William Bundy in the preparation of this draft.


223. Note From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Bundy) to the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470, SE Asia 1961. Secret.


224. Memorandum From Lieutenant Commander Worth H. Bagley to the President’s Military Representative (Taylor)

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-127-69. Top Secret.


226. Draft Memorandum From the Secretary of Defense (McNamara) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Lemnitzer)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 64 A 2382, Viet-Nam 092 Nov. 1961. Top Secret. Drafted by William Bundy on November 8. A handwritten note in the margin reads: “Not used. All other copies destroyed.”


227. Memorandum From the Secretary of Defense (McNamara) to the President

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470, SE Asia 1961. Top Secret. Also printed in United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, Book 11, pp. 343-344.


228. Draft Memorandum for the President

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-2~71. Top Secret. No drafting information is given on the source text except for the date, but the memorandum was apparently drafted in the Department of State. Document 230 refers to what apparently is this draft memorandum as the “State SEA Paper”. Moreover, it seems to be an enlarged version of Document 222, which is five pages in manuscript form. A handwritten notation on the source text indicates that it is the “initial draft” of the November 11 memorandum to the President (see Document 234). Another handwritten notation indicates that the source text was discussed at the meeting with the Secretary of State on November 9, apparently a reference to the meeting described in Document 232.


229. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State

Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 6s D 366, CF 1990. Secret. Drafted by Horgan and approved in the Office of the Secretary on November 17. The time of the meeting is taken from Rusk’s Appointment Book. (Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Books)


230. Memorandum From Lieutenant Commander Worth H. Bagley to the President’s Military Representative (Taylor)

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-127-69. Top Secret.


231. Memorandum From the Acting Secretary of Defense (Bundy) to the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470, SE Asia 1961. Top Secret. The time of receipt in the Office of the Secretary of Defense is stamped on the source text as 2:20 p.m., November 9.


232. Notes of a Meeting, Department of State

Source: National Defense University, Lemnitzer Papers, L-216-71. Secret. Handwritten by Lemnitzer. According to the source text, the following people were present at the meeting: Rusk, McNamara, Gilpatric, Nitze, Lemnitzer, William Bundy, Harriman, Ball, U. Alexis Johnson, Taylor, and Rostow. According to Rusk’s Appointment Book, he met at 4:36 p.m. on November 9 to discuss Viet-Nam with Ball, McNamara, Gilpatric, Lemnitzer, Rostow, Nitze, Taylor, William Bundy, and U. Alexis Johnson. Harriman joined the meeting at 5:06 p.m. The next appointment shown was a 6:41 p.m. meeting with McNamara alone. (Johnson Library, Rusk Appointment Books)


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

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-628-71. Top Secret. A handwritten note on the source text reads: “Gen. Taylor only-no further distribution.” Neither the original nor any other copy of this memorandum has been found at the Kennedy Library.


235. List of Questions Prepared by the President

Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-642D-71. Secret. Also printed in Declassified Documents, 1976, p. 210F.


236. Notes of a Meeting, The White House

Source: National Defense University, Lemnitzer Papers, L-214-71. Top Secret. Handwritten by Lemnitzer. According to the notes, the meeting was attended by the President, Rusk, U. Alexis Johnson, McConaughy, Robert Kennedy, Cabell, Taylor, Rostow, McGeorge Bundy, Nitze, Lemnitzer, and McNamara. According to the President’s log book, he met on November 11 from 11:50 a.m. to noon with Taylor and Rostow and from noon to 1:55 p.m. with Rusk, McNamara, Lemnitzer, and Taylor. (Kennedy Library, JFK Log Books) No other record of this meeting has been found.


238. 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. Initialed by Rostow.


239. Letter From the Ambassador at Large (Harriman) to the President

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series. Personal. Handwritten by Harriman.