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

1235. CINCPAC for POLAD. Your 988.2 I have already on several occasions explained to General Minh the importance of making a major declaration which would clearly and eloquently state aims to remove inequities and grievance and to open up an attractive future. I have also specifically mentioned the question of land reform. He knows my views and has told me that he is going to try to do just this in his January 2 speech. I really do not think it would be suitable for me to dash in on New Year's eve and repeat the advice I have already given. I think it would appear rather breathless and ineffective. I believe he is going to make a real attempt in his speech on January 2, that it is not going to be particularly good, but that it will be a first step, and that I can carry him along a little further when we have our next meeting, which he himself wants to have after, and not before, January 2.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15-1 S VIET. Confidential; Limit Distribution. Repeated to CINCPAC.
  2. Telegram 988, December 27, reads as follows: “Since General Minh's January 2 speech to Council of Notables represents in sense inaugural address, we wonder whether you are consulting with him on substance. Would seem particularly helpful and appropriate for him to outline in specific concrete terms actions being taken to improve conduct of war and program for attracting support of rural population. Hope you can advise him on this.” (Ibid.)