306. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam1

725. Embtels 7542 and 756.3 While Diem has not gone as far as we would like in improving his public image and we will desire continue press specific matters in this field, we agree that text memo of understanding is sufficient basis upon which to move ahead. Therefore hope that you can arrange for prompt transmission of [Page 713] Diem’s letter to the President. Question public release exchange of letters not yet decided.

Subsequent message will give guidance on handling ICC questions raised Embtel 7204 as well as guidelines defoliant program, concept on use of US minesweepers and number of B-26’s under Jungle Jim program.

Believe it important that for moment you remain at your post for completion these initial steps in launching program. However, agree consultation desirable on USG mission organization for implementing program as well as how we can best keep pressing GVN on decisions and actions that will be required to maximize momentum and impact our joint effort. Will communicate further with you this regard.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/12-461. Secret; Niact. Drafted by U. Alexis Johnson; cleared with Harriman, Rusk, and the President; and initialed by Johnson for Rusk. Repeated to CINCPAC for PolAd and Bangkok. The time of transmission is illegible on the source text.
  2. Document 305.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 305.
  4. Not found.