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

396. Eyes only for Ambassador Lodge from the President. Your 4782 is a major paper and has stirred a corresponding effort to concert a proper response here.

Since it is one thing to talk of these matters and quite another to put them into effective step-by-step operation, we cannot make the big decisions until we have sorted out the staff work. The difficulties and intricacies which your message points out seem to be at least as bad as you think, so this process will take several days.

While we are working, I want you to know that your courageous and searching analysis has already been of great help, and that the strength and dignity of your position on the scene are clear.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 S VIET Top Secret; Priority. The text of this message was sent from the White House.
  2. Document 86.