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V. The Johnson Presidency, November 22-December 31, 1963: Lodge-Johnson Meeting on Vietnam, NSAM 273, McNamara Visit, Year-end Observations


324. Memorandum From the Secretary of Defense (McNamara) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vietnam Cables. Secret.


325. Situation Report Prepared in the Department of State for President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country File, Memos and Misc. Confidential. Transmitted to the President under cover of an undated memorandum from Rusk.


326. Briefing Paper Prepared in the Department of State for President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country File, Memos and Misc., 11/63-12/63. Secret. Transmitted to the President under cover of an undated memorandum from Rusk.


327. Memorandum of Conversation Between the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman) and the Ambassador to Vietnam (Lodge)

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 S VIET-US. Secret Limit Distribution. Drafted and initialed by Hilsman. Approved in FE on November 29. Lodge traveled to Washington after the Honolulu Conference. A typewritten note on the source text reads: “No additional distribution without authorization from FE>/MT. Hilsman.”


328. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman) and the Ambassador to Vietnam (Lodge)

Source: Kennedy Library, Hilsman Papers, Country Series-Vietnam. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted and initialed by Hilsman.


329. Memorandum of Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Harriman) and the Ambassador to Vietnam (Lodge)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vietnam Cables. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Harriman on December 7.


330. Memorandum for the Record of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Meeting Notes File, Meeting with Lodge and Vietnam Advisers. Secret. Drafted by McCone on November 25. The meeting was held in the Executive Office Building. Johnson describes this meeting in The Vantage Point, pp. 43-44.


331. National Security Action Memorandum No. 273

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSAM's. Top Secret. NSAM 273 grew out of the discussion at the November 20 Honolulu Conference. McGeorge Bundy wrote the first draft and sent copies to Hilsman and William Bundy, asking for their opinions. In fact, Bundy's draft was almost identical to the final paper. The major exception was paragraph 7 of the Bundy draft which reads as follows: “7. With respect to action against North Vietnam, there should be a detailed plan for the development of additional Government of Vietnam resources, especially for sea-going activity, and such planning should indicate the time and investment necessary to achieve a wholly new level of effectiveness in this field of action. (Action: DOD and CIA)” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series, Memos and Miscellaneous) Bundy thought that President Kennedy and Lodge might want to discuss this paper during their planned meeting on November 24. Hilsman responded on November 23 in a memorandum to McGeorge Bundy that he thought the draft was “fine” and he had made only minor changes. No record of Hilsman's changes have been found. (Ibid., Hilsman Papers, Country Series-Vietnam) Hilsman also sent a copy to Rusk under cover of a memorandum of November 23 and suggested the Secretary might find it of use at the Cabinet meeting scheduled for that afternoon. (Department of State, Cabinet Meeting Files: Lot 68 D 350) At the November 23 Cabinet meeting, Vietnam was not discussed.


332. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 29. Secret. Drafted by Mendenhall and cleared by Hilsman. Repeated to Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Vientiane, London, Paris, and CINCPAC for POLAD.


333. Memorandum Prepared for the Director of Central Intelligence

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54, POL 26 Rebellion, Coups, Insurgency. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. McCone sent this memorandum to Rusk under cover of a December 2 memorandum, which reads as follows:

“You will recall at our recent meeting in Honolulu spokesmen from Saigon mentioned that the Viet Cong were engaged in such activities as defended hamlets, school and medical programs, etc.

“In view of the above the attached memorandum representing the views of the CIA staff on these activities may be of particular interest to you.”

For the discussion at the Honolulu meeting, see Document 321.


334. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26 S VIET. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Bangkok, and CINCPAC.


335. Central Intelligence Agency Information Report

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vietnam Memos. Secret; Routine; No Foreign Dissem/No Dissem Abroad/Controlled Dissem Background Use Only. A note on the source text indicates this information was acquired in Saigon on and before November 30; as it was commentary, it was unappraised. Also published in Declassified Documents, 1975, 56 E.


336. Memorandum From President Johnson to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAMs. Secret.


337. Memorandum From President Johnson to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 69 A 3131, Vietnam 210. Secret.


338. Letter From M. Lyall Breckon of the Vietnam Working Group to the First Secretary of the Embassy in Vietnam (Miller)

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54, POL 27 Coups, Rebellion, Insurgency. Secret; Official-Informal.


340. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Felt)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 71 A 6489, Viet Sensitive. Top Secret. Drafted by Krulak. Repeated for information to Harkins.


341. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27-13 CAMB. Secret; Immediate; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bangkok, London, Paris, Vientiane, Ottawa, Phnom Penh, New Delhi, Moscow, and CINCPAC. Passed to the White House.


342. Letter From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Harriman)

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 72 D 219, TIGER Basic File. Secret; Eyes Only.


343. Telegram From the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Harkins) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 71 A 6489, Viet Sensitive. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Also sent to CINCPAC eyes only for Felt.


344. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27-13 CAMB. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.


345. Telegram From the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Felt) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 71-A-6489, Viet Sensitive. Top Secret; Routine. Repeated for information to the White House eyes only for Bundy; to the Department of State eyes only for Rusk, Ball, Harriman, and Hilsman; and to the CIA for McCone and Helms. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 S VIET, and Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vietnam Cables) Also published in Declassified Documents, 1976, 250D.


346. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Harriman) and the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Library of Congress, Harriman Papers, Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Dolores Perruso of Harriman's staff.


347. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman) to the Secretary of State

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Memos and Misc. Top Secret. Sent also to the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development.


348. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Memos and Misc. Secret.


349. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Central Intelligence Agency's Working Group on Vietnam (Cooper) to the Director of Central Intelligence (McCone)

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54, POL 1, General Political. Secret/Sensitive; Eyes Only.


351. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15 S VIET-US. Top Secret; Immediate; Eyes Only. Drafted by Hilsman and cleared in draft with Rusk, in substance with Krulak, and with Bromley Smith. Repeated to CINCPAC eyes only for Felt. Also published in Declassified Documents, 1975, 212D.


352. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 26-1 S VIET. Secret; Limit Distribution. In The Vantage Point, pp. 62-63, Johnson recalls that Rusk sent him this cable and quotes from paragraph 1.