189. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson1
Washington, March 8, 1965.
- Cabot Lodge
- Here are Cabot Lodge’s views, carefully drawn in the shape of an informal memorandum which has been handed to me and to no one else. He does want you to see them, and you have his promise that there will be no written “Lodge report” of any sort.
- I also told Lodge frankly that it might be troublesome in his and my Party if he were to be seen ostentatiously discussing Vietnam with you again. He said nobody understood this problem better than he, and of course he understood that he was not being consulted as a Republican but simply as a former Ambassador with relevant experience. He will quite understand it if you do not wish to see him tomorrow, but I believe it would be a graceful gesture to give him a phone call at least. Depending on your own earlier understanding with him, you might also wish to have him in to shake hands and to thank him for his work.
- In any case, I will talk with him at length about his recommendations tomorrow before he leaves, and I will also make sure that he is in touch with others around town informally.
- I repeat that Lodge was most understanding on this matter and that you have a free hand in whether you talk to him in any way tomorrow.2
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. XXX, Memos. No classification marking.↩
- On March 9 between 12:39 and 12:50 p.m., the President, McGeorge Bundy, and Henry Cabot Lodge went for a walk on the South Grounds of the White House. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary) No other record of their conversation has been found.↩
- Top Secret. A draft dated March 4 is in the Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Vol. XXX, Memos.↩
- “The Situation in South Vietnam,” February 24. (Ibid., Vol. XXIX)↩
- “The Situation in South Vietnam,” March 3. (Ibid., Vol. XXX)↩