88. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


B said Pres’ reaction on Lodge message2 is he is personally inclined to think this assessment is most powerful he has seen on this situation. Mtg of Standing Group at 6 and Pres will join.3

B asked if Sec were coming to teal of payt mtg at 5 and Sec said he understood only Ken Galbraith would be there. B said it is Sec’s choice. B replied he does not think there will be decisions and Sec decided he better stay with Viet-Nam.

B said yesterday’s session4 was difficult: McNamara and Taylor just don’t buy the assessment this is going to get worse and something serious must be done. Bob said after reading Lodge’s cable that while he did not agree with it and Max did not either he was going to mobilize the Dept to do this if the Pres decides to. B said that may be easier for Bob to do than the Dept. Harriman just says the decision has been made and this is the way we want it. Sec will spend rest of the day on it. Sec said it bothers him because Lodge has not laid it out before Diem. B said he does not think he has had a chance. Referred to what he said in message. B said Hilsman knows the rest of the details.

  1. Source: Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Phyllis D. Bernau.
  2. Document 86.
  3. See Documents 93 and 94.
  4. See Document 83.