Learn about the beta

260. Memorandum From Robert H. Johnson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow)1

SUBJECT

  • India and the Viet Nam ICC

I have been thinking about the President’s remark that you reported to me on India’s role in the Viet Nam ICC.2 Although I am not sure of the precise context in which it was made, I have been disturbed by its possible implications.

As I understand it, we and the Vietnamese will announce that we are no longer bound by certain provisions of the Geneva Accords. (This subject is not covered in yesterday’s messages to Saigon; [Page 629] 3 I don’t know why.) We believe that it will then be up to the ICC to establish that North Viet Nam as well as we are violating the Accords.…

In my opinion, when we announce that we are no longer bound by the Accords the ICC will be pretty well washed up in Viet Nam. To hope that following such an event it will become a much more effective instrument for the sole purpose of establishing North Viet Nam as an aggressor seems to me quite optimistic. Perhaps the Indians… have indicated that they will take the ICC more seriously, but did he commit himself to such action in the context of a decision by the U.S. to state that it is no longer bound by the Accords? … How much of value can we hope to get out of the ICC? At best, we might get a judgment by the Indian and Canadian members substantiating some of the Vietnamese charges against North Viet Nam. It would be an important advance which would help us establish the basis for current and future U.S. actions,.…

Robert H. Johnson 4
  1. Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 67 D 548, R. Johnson Chron. Secret.
  2. Apparently a reference to the President’s remarks at the National Security Council meeting on November 15; see Document 254.
  3. See Document 257 and footnote 2 thereto.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.