86. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State0

1646. CINCPAC for POLAD. Re Embtel 1569.1 On June 20, I raised again privately with Diem (Thanh being third person present) question possible GVN plotting against RKG. I told President that I had reported fully his categoric denial of any GVN complicity in any plot to overthrow Sihanouk. Since our talk, I had received from various sources other evidence2 which I felt compelled to bring to his attention. This evidence involved the training of certain cadres from SVN in Taiwan for subversive political activity in Cambodia, and the sending, or facilitating the visit of, Son Ngoc Thanh to Taipei to take part in or to direct, such plotting. I was greatly disturbed by this, particularly in view of the President’s recent assurances to me, and I asked him to look into the matter to verify that there is no action on part any branch GVN along these lines.

Diem responded immediately and without any hesitation that he had, after our last talk, checked into the matter thoroughly and was assured that nothing was going on along the lines I described. He said he could not guarantee what the Thais might be doing nor the Chinese, but that so far as GVN was concerned his original assurances to me stand. He did not press for source of my information, nor did I volunteer it.

Having given the above reassurance, Diem then launched, as is his wont, into lambasting RKG for constant provocation against GVN, the latest being the raid of members Cambodian armed forces into Viet Nam and the stealing of 100 or so cattle. At the close, he said again he realized this sort of thing, while extremely annoying, would not justify any such foolish move in present tense conditions as an attempt from outside to unseat Sihanouk.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 651H.51K/6–2262. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Taipei, and CINCPAC.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 84.
  3. [text not declassified]