89. Letter From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Harriman) to the Ambassador in Vietnam (Nolting)1

Dear Fritz: In the light of todayʼs attack on the palace I have reviewed Walter McConaughyʼs letter to you of October 20, 1961 and the “Suggested Contingency Plan”2 of the same date which was enclosed with that letter.

It seems to me that the “Suggested Contingency Plan” is still valid. I regret that we did not have time to discuss it during your hurried visit to Washington.

If you have any comments to make on it in view of the present situation I would be glad to read them. Knowing that you are very busy I will assume that if I do not hear from you this plan remains satisfactory to you. We are very pleased with your handling of and reporting on todayʼs attack on the palace.

[Page 183]

With best personal regards,

Yours very sincerely,

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 68 A 5159, New Command Arrangements, 1962. Top Secret; Official-Informal. The source text was part of a package that included the original transmittal letter from McConaughy, October 20, 1961, and a copy of the contingency plan. In the margin is a handwritten note from Nolting to the DCM which reads: “(See Cont. Plan, if you have not done so already)”.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. I, Document 181.