336. Telegram from the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State1

4083. Canadian ICC Commissioner Blair Seaborn told EmbOff this morning results of his latest week-long visit to Hanoi, from which he had returned yesterday.

Seaborn said that he is persuaded from his conversations with diplomats and DRV officials that DRV is not now interested in any negotiations. He said that he was able to see new Foreign Minister Trinh but that discussion had revealed nothing new. Trinh followed standard line that US offer of unconditional discussions was “deceitful” since US continued build-up in South Vietnam and bombing of North. Seaborn pressed Trinh to elaborate on “four points,” asking whether points intended to be seen as preconditions to talks or as result of talks or as ultimate goals. Trinh remained deliberately vague and gave no clear answers. Seaborn pressed specifically on point about withdrawal of US troops, but also only received vague and indefinite reply.

Seaborn said his discussion with PAVN liaison chief also turned into usual restatement of well-known positions.

[1 paragraph (6–1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

Seaborn said that his impression from all his meetings and discussions was that there had been no change in DRV position, or that it least they did not seem about to let such change be known.2

  1. Source: Department of State, EA Files: Lot 69 D 412, Vietnam Negotiations, Seaborn. Confidential;Limdis. Repeated to Ottawa, Moscow, Djakarta, Vientiane, Bangkok, Paris, London, and CINCPAC for POLAD. Printed also in part in Herring (ed.), The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War, p. 44
  2. In telegram 4084 from Saigon, June 6, Taylor added that when Seaborn discussed his trip with Johnson, they had agreed that, in the absence of an initiative on the part of North Vietnam, further efforts through the Seaborn channel would not be useful and could be counterproductive. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27–14 VIET) On June 8 the Canadian Embassy passed to the Department a copy of Seaborn’s June 4 telegram reporting on his trip to Hanoi. (Ibid., POL 27 VIET S)