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

98. Re Embtel 81.2 Sullivan met July 13 with Seaborn to discuss Seaborn’s views re next encounter with North Vietnamese. According currently anticipated schedule, Seaborn does not expect visit Hanoi until first part of August. At that time, on basis previous conversation with Pham Van Dong, he expects have interview with Ho Chi Minh. However, despite his suggestions to Pham Van Dong, he has very little hope of seeing General Giap.

In general, Seaborn accepts idea that ball is now in Hanoi court and he will not solicit reaction to his previous approach to Pham Van Dong. His latest cable from Ottawa, which reflects conversations in Washington, suggests that he should refer to his previous conversations only indirectly in his next visit.

As for subject matter which he will wish to initiate in his discussion in Hanoi, Seaborn wishes to obtain from us the line we would like to pursue with respect to the National Liberation Front. He wishes to have, by pouch or cable: (A) [garble—latest?] intelligence information we have developed on the Front to demonstrate its DRV control, and which we would be willing to share with him, (B) talking points which we would wish him to use with respect to the Front, and (C) any information which we would like to develop on the Front, and which might emerge from discussions on this subject in Hanoi.

In dinner conversation after private meeting, Seaborn and Sullivan were joined by Canadian Brigadier recently returned from Hanoi, who reported considerable continuing anti-air raid precautions being taken in city and camouflage work being done on POL tank farm just outside city. This info being repeated in more detail by separate messages3 in order not compromise privacy this series of cables.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27–14 VIET S. Top Secret; Exdis.
  2. See footnote 5. Document 230.
  3. Not found.