247. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rusk1

The President has directed me to emphasize again his continuing concern for more careful control of military information on operations in Vietnam. The President continues to believe that it is very unhelpful to have detailed accounts of the size and strength of air operations against North Vietnam, and does not understand why it is not possible to avoid giving out accurate information on numbers of aircraft and the weight of bombs dropped.

The President is also dissatisfied with the rapidity of release of information respecting further troop reinforcements to2 Vietnam and does not understand why there should have been an announcement on this subject from Saigon.3 This announcement seems to him inconsistent with the decisions reached on April 1 and reported in paragraph 11 of National Security Action Memorandum No. 328 dated April 6.4

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The President requests that the Department of State and the Department of Defense take further energetic action to improve our performance in these respects.5

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: Department of State,S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM 328. Top Secret; Exdis. Also addressed to the Secretary of Defense. A handwritten note on the source text indicates that copies were sent to FE, U, and G and one other component in the Department of State whose acronym is illegible, and that a copy was shown to Greenfield.
  2. The word “North” in the source text at this point was crossed out and “per White House” was handwritten in the margin.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. Document 242.
  5. A memorandum by Greenfield, in response to this memorandum, was sent to McGeorge Bundy under cover of an April 21 memorandum from Read. (Department of State, Central Files,POL 27 VIET S) No response by the Department of Defense has been found.