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

1243. Deptel 1271.2 I expect to see Diem this afternoon.

In brief talk with Thuan this morning, he informed me that he had followed up on my suggestion and that GVN orders to provincial officials re implementation June 16 agreement would be published immediately. He also informed me in great confidence that President would shortly make visit to Hue with object of talking directly to people there.

In addition Thuan said President was contemplating a major address (whether in connection with Hue trip was not clear). Thuan said he was fairly well satisfied with draft of this speech but was still working to improve it. Present draft reaffirms each of five points and concludes with what Thuan described as ringing personal promise of President to see that agreement is carried out. I said I hoped Diem would not find it necessary to say again that he has “always” accepted five points in principle. Thuan indicated that elimination of this from draft was one of points he was still working on.

Finally, two Hue student leaders (one of whom previously alleged to have been tortured to death) have been released. According to Thuan, Diem had intervened personally to effect release.

Thuan said that he had reported to Diem my statements to him on June 25 (Embtel 1236),3 including remark I had made that President ought to “start acting like an American politician”. He said that he had [Page 423] endorsed this recommendation to Diem, and he implied latter had not rejected it out of hand. We shall see.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, AID (US) S VIET Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.
  2. Document 187.
  3. Document 186.
  4. In telegram 1283 to Saigon, June 27, the Department endorsed Trueheart’s “firm persistent efforts to encourage GVN to live up to its side of the bargain.” The Department noted, however, that “intelligence reports still indicate GVN not living up to spirit of agreement.” Trueheart was instructed to “discourage GVN from organizing phoney Buddhist demonstrations and seeking obtain signatures under pressure to documents critical of Buddhists.” Trueheart was also asked to assess reports that Buddhists in South Vietnam were divided between an older, moderate element and younger activists, and to weigh the implications of such a split. (Department of State, Central Files, SOC 14-1 S VIET)