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VI. The Second Rusk Visit To Saigon; The Honolulu Meeting; The De Gaulle-Ball Conversation; Seaborn’s Discussions in Hanoi, May 26–June 25


181. Message From the President to the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge)

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Eyes Only. Drafted by McGeorge Bundy and initialed and approved by Rusk. Transmitted as telegram 2087 to Saigon, which is the source text.


182. Memorandum for the Record of a Conversation Between President Johnson and Prime Minister Pearson

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL CAN–US. Top Secret; Exdis. Drafted by McGeorge Bundy on May 30. The President was in New York for a Democratic Party fundraising dinner and gala.


183. Memorandum From Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff to the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vol. X, Memos. Top Secret. In White House telegram CAP 64144, May 29, McGeorge Bundy sent the text of this memorandum to the Johnson Ranch in Texas. Bundy described the memorandum as “the most sensitive account I have yet seen of the probable balance of forces in South Vietnam.” (Ibid., Southeast Asia, Vol II, Memos CB)


184. Summary Record of a Meeting, Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret. Drafted by Benjamin Read, Executive Secretary, on May 30. The source text indicates that Ball served as chairman of the meeting. There are several handwritten editorial changes in the source text, presumably by Read.


185. Letter From the Under Secretary of State (Ball) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Ball Files: Lot 74 D 272, Manila Folder. Top Secret.


186. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State

Source: Department of State Central Files, PSL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to Saigon. Passed to the White House on receipt in the Department of State. Rusk, accompanied by William Bundy, was in New Delhi, India, May 28–30. He flew to Saigon and Bangkok on May 31 and then on to Honolulu on June 1.

McGeorge Bundy sent a copy of this telegram to the President on June 2. His transmittal memorandum reads in part as follows:

“You may also be interested in the Secretary’s summary of the things the U.S. had to bear in mind at the end of Section 3 and the beginning of Section 4. The Secretary’s emphasis here, as in other conversations in Asia, is more military and strategic than diplomatic and political. In particular, he does not address the question of international justification for action, an omission noted in the closing comment of the cable (which was probably drafted by my brother Bill.” Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 5)


187. Summary Record of a Meeting

Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAMs. Top Secret. Prepared by CINCPAC. An attached list of partidpants is not printed. In all, 55 persons attended the conference. After this plenary session, a group of approximately 15 principals met in restricted discussions (see Documents 188 and 189). The rest of the participants formed four working groups, each to discuss one of the following issues: Program for wider actions; Matters pertaining to South Vietnam; Logistical support problems; and Psychological and informational actions. Summary reports of these working groups, prepared by CINCPAC, are not printed.


188. Summary Record of a Meeting

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470, Southeast Asian Strategy. Top Secret. The source text does not indicate who drafted this account of the meeting.


189. Summary Record of Meetings

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470, Southeast Asian Strategy. Top Secret. The source text does not indicate who drafted this record of the meeting.


190. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 23–9 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Also sent to CIA. the Office of the Secretary of Defense. the White House, JCS, and CINCPAC.


191. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor) to the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 69 A 7425, Vietnam 381. Top Secret. A note on the source text indicates that McNaughton saw this memorandum.


192. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File. Memos to the President. McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 5. Top Secret


193. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Bundy) to the Secretary of State

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Southeast Asia, Vol. II, Memos (A). Secret. According to a June 3 covering note to McNamara, Bundy sent copies of “his personal notes” of the Honolulu conference to McNamara, Taylor, and McCone with the qualification that they did not necessarily reflect the views of Rusk who approved the distribution. (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 69 A 7425, Vietnam 381)

A note on the top of the source text in McGeorge Bundy’s hand reads: “Hitting the North is required.”


195. Memorandum of a Conversation, White House

Source: Department of State, President’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 66 D 149. Confidential. Drafted by Sullivan on June 5. The time of the meeting is taken from the President’s Daily Diary. Johnson Library)

Quat was in the United States to attend the sessions of the United Nations. On June 3, he met with Secretary Rusk who urged Quat to try to eliminate political quarrels in Saigon, defuse religious differences, and encourage Vietnamese politicians to drop their business-as-usual attitude.

Quat promised to take this message home and to try to improve South Vietnam’s diplomatic representation and its information policies and programs. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S) A subsequent discussion of Vietnamese information policies and program is in a memorandum of conversation between Quat and Rowan. June 5. (Washington National Records Center, RG 306, USIA Psychological Operations Files: FRC 68 A 4933, INFO–PSYCH Operations, 1964) Quat also met with Senator Humphrey on June 5; see footnote 4, Document 208.


196. Memorandum From the President to the Under Secretary of State (Ball)

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL FR–US. Top Secret. The unsigned White House copy of this memorandum is published in Declassified Documents, 1978, 315A.


197. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Rowan) to the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Southeast Asia, Vol. 11, Memos (A). Secret. Rowan sent this memorandum to the President with a covering memorandum explaining the issue was discussed at Honolulu. Rowan believed the steps proposed were “of great importance” and hoped that the President would find time to read the report. It is uncertain whether the President did so. McGeorge Bundy received the original and Forrestal got a copy.


198. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret; Nodis Received at 4:18 a.m.


199. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor) to the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 69 A 7425, Vietnam 381. Top Secret.


200. Letter From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vol. XI. Top Secret. Also published in Declassified Documents, 1984, 001490.


201. Paper Prepared for the President by the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country File, Vol. XI, Memos. Secret. Published in part in Declassified Documents, 1978, 62C. A title page indicates that this memorandum was for the President’s use at a meeting at 6 p.m. on June 5. The President met with Rusk, McGeorge Bundy, and McNamara from 6:52 to 7:43 p.m., June 5. Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary) No record of this meeting has been found.


202. Telegram From the Under Secretary of State (Ball) to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated priority to Saigon. Received at 10:30 p.m., June 5, and sent to the White House.


203. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, INF 8 US–VIET S. Confidential. Drafted by Rowan and Sullivan and cleared by Forrestal and McNamara. Repeated to CINCPAC


204. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 5. No classification marking. A note on the source text indicates Bundy dictated, but did not read, this memorandum.


205. Memorandum by the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vol. XI, Memos. No classification marking.


207. Memorandum From the Ambassador in Vietnam (Lodge) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Correspondence—L. No classification marking. Lodge sent this memorandum to Rusk under a cover of a brief letter, June 8, which explained that the memorandum represented “some of the thoughts which I said I would send you regarding the job of the U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam.”


208. Memorandum From Senator Hubert H. Humphrey to the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Southeast Asia, Vol III, Memos (A). Secret.


209. Memorandum From the Board of National Estimates to the Director of Central Intelligence (McCone)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Southeast Asia, Vol. III, Memos (B). Secret. A June 11 covering memorandum from McCone to McGeorge Bundy reads as follows:

“Attached is a memorandum from Dr. Sherman Kent on the ‘doming effect’ in the Far East resulting from loss of South Vietnam and Laos.”

“You will recall the President made inquiry concerning this subject last Saturday. I call your specific attention to numbered paragraph 9, the final paragraph in the memorandum.”

On another copy of this memorandum, Forrestal wrote the following note: “Mac: This is obvious but good. Might help answer one of the Pres’s questions.”


210. Summary Record of a Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Aides Files, McGeorge Bundy, Meetings on Southeast Asia, Vol. 1. Top Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Smith. The source text indicates the President did not attend.