235. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the President1

Here are three interesting dispatches from Max Taylor.

The first explains where the bad UPI story out of Saigon came from.2

The second gives the view of the experienced Chinese Nationalist Ambassador on the general situation.3

The third gives perhaps in more detail than you want an account of the effort which has been made to get the Saigon Government to do something serious about help from other countries.4 I concur in the last paragraph which says that they are doing all they can.

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There is just no comparison between the reporting we get from the Taylor-Johnson team and what we used to get from Ambassador Lodge. These are good examples.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Vol. XIII, Memos. No classification marking.
  2. In telegram 109 from Saigon, July 15, Taylor reported that General Stilwell held a background briefing with local correspondents in Saigon to eliminate speculation of a North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam. Reporters had received this impression from Khanh and other South Vietnamese officials. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S) On July 14, UPI wrote a story based on the Stilwell background briefing emphasizing that the North Vietnamese had stepped up their infiltration of regulars into the South. The President was not pleased with this result, according to telegram 131 to Saigon, July 14. (Ibid.)
  3. Ambassador Yuen Tse-kien’s view was guardedly optimistic as reported in telegram 112 from Saigon, July 15. (Ibid., POL 17 CHINA–VIET S; also published in Declassified Documents, 1976, 297A)
  4. Telegram 99 from Saigon, July 14. (Department of State, Central Files, AID VIET S)