179. Editorial Note
A mission headed by Army Chief of Staff Harold Johnson, which included U.S. Information Agency Director Carl Rowan and Assistant [Page 396]Secretary of Defense John McNaughton, left Washington on March 3 and arrived in Saigon the morning of March 5.
The Johnson party met with the U.S. Mission Council for about 3 hours the afternoon of March 5 primarily to discuss what was retarding the pacification program. For a summary of this discussion, see Document 186. The morning of March 6, Johnson, Rowan, McNaughton, and Taylor paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Quat, which was described in telegram 2877 from Saigon, March 6. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S)
Memoranda of conversation held March 8–10 between members of the Johnson party and various members of the Vietnamese Government, along with a memorandum for the record of General Johnson’s field trip of March 11–12 to Vinh Long, are in the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Johnson Papers, Miscellaneous.
The Johnson party left Vietnam on March 12 and arrived back in Washington on March 14. Johnson’s “Report on Survey of the Military Situation in Vietnam,” to which was appended a copy of telegram 2879 from Saigon (Document 186) and Westmoreland’s “Military Estimate of the Situation in Vietnam” that he submitted to Wheeler on March 6 (see Document 182) were transmitted to McNamara and the other Service Chiefs under cover of a memorandum of March 14. In the covering memorandum, Johnson wrote he had considered the recommendations of the Service representatives and representatives of the Joint Staff who had accompanied him, but the report “in its entirety is representative of my viewpoint alone.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 70 A 1265, Vietnam 333 Johnson) McNaughton sent an outline of the Johnson report to McGeorge Bundy on March 15 (Document 197).