212. Editorial Note

On March 23 the President, Rusk, McNamara, and McGeorge Bundy held their regular Tuesday luncheon meeting at the White House from 2:43 to 3:46 p.m. (Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary) A typewritten agenda for the meeting, apparently prepared by McGeorge Bundy, listed the following topics under Vietnam: the gas problem, the diplomatic program, Rolling Thunder for the upcoming week, the draft program of non-military actions, and the agenda for Ambassador Taylor’s consultations in Washington at the end of the month. On the agenda Bundy wrote the following record of what was apparently said at the meeting:

  • “P. [President] on British.
  • “P. Where are we going?
  • “RSM [McNamara]—our message may be getting thru.—Hanoi—China (French)
  • “DR [Rusk]—some signs: but no door for them to go thru.
  • “LBJ: Do they know we’re willin to talk.
  • “LBJ: You can revisit targets. I don’t wanna run out of targets & I don’t wanna go to Hanoi. I was a hell of a long time getting into this. But I like it.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of McGeorge Bundy, Luncheons with the Pres., Vol. I)