338. Letter From M. Lyall Breckon of the Vietnam Working Group to the First Secretary of the Embassy in Vietnam (Miller)1

Dear Bob: We were intrigued, in your interesting memorandum of a conversation with [less than 1 line not declassified], November 17,2 at [less than 1 line not declassified] statement that friends of his had seen papers indicating the late Brother Nhu had reached an advanced point in negotiations with the DRV and that terms had been set under which Ho Chi Minh would be President of reunified Viet-Nam, and Nhu Vice President. Both for the historical record and as an indication of how eager the DRV was for a negotiated settlement, it would be [Page 652] interesting to have further details or even copies of such papers. Do you think it would be feasible to pursue the matter, either with [less than 1 line not declassified] or through CAS channels? It seems curious that the Generals have not made public the proof they say they have (“Big” Minh to the Ambassador November 30, Embtel 1093, for example3) of Nhu’s dealings with the North, as further justification for the coup.

From various references I gather [less than 1 line not declassified] interests have taken a strong political turn. Please remember us to him and [less than 1 line not declassified].

Incidentally, on the subject of the ancien regime, you might be interested to know the New York Times yesterday published two pictures of the bodies of Diem and Nhu. They were radiophotos, however, and scarcely recognizable.

Claire joins me in sending our best regards to you, Kaity, and the children. We hope you survived the change of government without trauma. Our own chagrin at leaving two months too early is still very much alive.4

Yours very truly,

M. Lyall Breckon5
  1. Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54, POL 27 Coups, Rebellion, Insurgency. Secret; Official-Informal.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Document 334.
  4. No reply has been found.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.