106. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State1

1173. Deptel 1091.2 I saw Thuan at 4:30 today and spoke to him regarding Madame Nhuʼs speech, following more or less exactly third paragraph Embtel 1165.3 Thuan could not have taken protest better, and I had distinct impression that he was personally pleased that it had been made. He said that he himself had been “shocked” by speech and appreciated difficulties it caused for US. He recognized tremendous effort US making in Viet Nam and, referring to my remarks re problems posed for friends of Viet Nam, said that he thought US-Vietnamese relations had never been better. He attributed this in large part to attitude displayed by Ambassador Nolting, General Harkins, General McGarr, and myself.

Requesting that I treat his remarks with utmost confidence, he asked that we understand extreme delicacy of his position, insofar as doing anything about Madame Nhu is concerned. It was a family matter in which it was awkward to intrude.

Thuan concluded by saying that he would convey my remarks promptly to President Diem pointing out that they had been made on instructions. I thanked him and said that the fundamental purpose of the approach had been to facilitate American-Vietnamese cooperation.

Comment: I believe that it is of the utmost importance that fact that this protest has been made, and especially Thuanʼs reaction to it, be kept confidential.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/3-1362. Confidential, Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to CINCPAC for Polad, Baguio for Harriman and Nolting, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, and Vientiane.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 104.
  3. Document 104.