144. Memorandum for the Record by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • Planning Group Luncheon, Tuesday October 3, 19612


  • Mr. Rostow
  • Mr. Johnson
  • Mr. McGhee
  • Mr. Amory
  • Mr. Bissell
  • Mr. Fowler
  • Mr. Nitze
  • General Parker
  • Mr. William Bundy

1. VietNam. There was a prolonged discussion of whether we were taking all the possible actions, and whether the existing organization was effective. Several specific measures were suggested, including the expediting of junk-force action and the lengthening of MAAG tours. On the broader front, the suggestion that talking direct to the Soviets might have some use was pretty unanimously rejected. The possibility of going to the UN, if the contents of the Jorden report were strong enough, was discussed as a real possibility. As far as the course of developments within Viet-Nam was concerned, there was a general feeling that on the present basis we were doing badly, and that the outcome would be unfavorable in the absence of a major change of course. (This discussion helped to trigger Mr. Rostow’s proposal for SEATO forces in VietNam, which is now under urgent JCS consideration.)

[Here follows discussion of Syrian-Egyptian relations and possible future subjects for consideration by the Planning Group.]

William P. Bundy 3
  1. Source: Department of State, Bundy Files, 1961 Chron. Secret. Copies were sent to Parker, Nitze, Rowen, Williams, and the Coordination Staff.
  2. Apparently at the instigation of William P. Bundy, an interagency group began to meet informally over lunch on Tuesdays in the summer of 1961 to discuss various foreign policy questions. Only Bundy’s records of these meetings have been found. Some are in the Bundy Files at the Department of State, and others are scattered in the various files in RG 330 at the Washington National Records Center. No complete set of records of these meetings has been found.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.