279. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to the British Ambassador (Ormsby Gore)1

Dear David: I have considered carefully the points you raised in your note of November 172 referring to our assistance to the Government of VietNam.

I agree with you that we should try to see to it that our efforts to assist the Vietnamese Government do not reduce the chances for a negotiated settlement of the Laotian problem at Geneva. I also agree that we want to avoid any publicity which would be needlessly provocative.

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At the same time it seems to me that we cannot fail to take immediate action needed to lay a foundation for the prospective program of expanded assistance to VietNam. The contemplated publication of the “Jorden Report” exposing and documenting the North Vietnamese part in the Viet Cong guerrilla war is an essential prelude to the program.

I believe you will concur that the forthcoming publication is factual, objective and probably understated.

With appreciation as always for your comments,


  1. 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.
  2. Not printed. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.