329. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Spain1

188. For Ambassador Lodge. Concur in line you have taken in private and public conversations that present unrest in South Viet Nam cannot deter us from primary goal of resisting Communist aggression and achieving stability in that country. Buddhist and student demonstrations which have forced Khanh to abrogate August 16 Constitution spring from continuing religious tension which is one of numerous critical problems GVN must meet in order to preserve its independence.

We do not intend to make any public statement here today on the subject of whom we favor in the current crisis. We are taking line that it not appropriate for US Government to comment while Military Revolutionary Council still in session. We are pointing out that Khanh is still head of GVN, and as we have stated many times in past, we continue to support GVN.

FYI: Ambassador Taylor has made clear to Generals Minh and Khiem that we strongly favor General Khanh’s continuance as head of GVN. August 26 meeting of MRC was inconclusive, and next MRC meeting scheduled to begin 0100Z August 27. End FYI.

We shall continue to pass you most important messages from Saigon on situation.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US (LODGE). Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Breckon, cleared with William Bundy, and initialed by Forrestal.