The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. The editors believe that in terms of access this volume was prepared in accordance with the standards and mandates of this statute, although access to some records was restricted, as noted below.

The editors have had complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. Intelligence-related files maintained by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research became available to the Department historians only after this volume was compiled. Arrangements have been made for Department historians to have access to these records for future volumes; if any documentation relevant to this volume is found, it may be included in a subsequent volume.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of President Johnson and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from other federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Security Agency, and the United States Information Agency. All of this documentation has been made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies and the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Department of State has arranged for access to the audiotapes of President Johnson’s telephone conversations that are held at the Johnson Library. The first audiotapes became available to the editors in late 1994, with most audiotapes, including those for the year 1965, to follow during 1995 and 1996. The editors decided not to delay publication of this volume, [Page XIV] but if relevant records are found among these telephone conversations, they may be included in a later Foreign Relations volume.

Department of State historians also have access to records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Secretaries of Defense and their major assistants and the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The editors of this volume also had access to the Papers of General William Westmoreland at the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, the Papers of General Maxwell Taylor at the National Defense University, the Papers of General Harold Johnson at the U.S. Military History Institute, and the Files of Assistant Secretary of Defense John T. McNaughton at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library.

Since 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency has provided expanded access to Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from those records still in the custody of that Agency. Department of State historians’ access is arranged by the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, pursuant to a May 1992 memorandum of understanding. Department of State and CIA historians continue to work out the procedural and scholarly aspects of the access, and the variety of documentation made available and selected for publication in the volumes has expanded. The editors of this volume made particular use of the files of Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms.

The following are the particular files and collections consulted and cited in this volume.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
    • Subject-Numeric Indexed Central Files. In February 1963, the Department of State changed its decimal central files to a subject-numeric central file system. The subject-numeric system was divided into broad categories: Administration, Consular, Culture and Information, Economic, Political and Defense, Science, and Social. Within each of these divisions were subject subcategories. For example, Political and Defense contained four subtopics: POL (Politics), DEF (Defense), CSM (Communism), and INT (Intelligence). Numerical subdivisions further defined them.
      • The following were the most important files used in this volume:
        • EP 6-1 Hue, emergency and evacuation policy and plans
        • POLUK-US, political relations, U.S.-United Kingdom
        • POL 1 US-USSR, general policy, U.S.-Soviet Union
        • POL 1 VIET S, general policy, Vietnam
        • POL 1-1 VIET S, contingency planning and coordination re Vietnam
        • POL 12 VIET S, Vietnamese political parties
        • POL 15 VIET S, government of Vietnam
        • POL 15-1 VIET S, Vietnamese head of state/Executive Branch
        • POL 15-1 US/Johnson, Executive Branch, President Johnson
        • POL 23-9 VIET S, rebellions and coups in Vietnam
        • POL 27 VIET S, military operations in Vietnam
        • POL 27 VIET S/PINTA, peace negotiations during 37-day bombing pause
        • POL 27-7 VIET, prisoners of war
        • POL 27-14 VIET S, truce, cease-fire, and armistice
        • POL 27-14 VIET/XYZ, negotiations through Mai Van Bo
      • Lot Files. Documents from the Central Files have been supplemented by materials from decentralized office files, the lot files of the Department of State. A list of the major lot files used or consulted follows:
        • Ball Files: Lot 74 D 272
          • Files of Under Secretary of State George Ball, 1961-1966.
        • Bohlen Files: Lot 74 D 379
          • Files of Ambassador to France Charles E. Bohlen, 1961-1968
        • Bruce Diaries: Lot 64 D 327
          • Diaries of David K.E. Bruce while Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1961-1969
        • Bundy Files: Lot 85 D 240
          • Files of William P. Bundy as Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, 1964-1969.
        • EA/ACA-Vietnam Negotiation Files: Lots 69 D 277 and 69 D 412
          • Files on Vietnam peace negotiations, including material on the positions and efforts of Communist and non-Communist countries and groups, international organizations, and individuals, 1964-1968.
        • EA/VN-Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 72 D 219
          • Files of the interagency Vietnam Working Group, 1964-1967.
        • INR Files: Lot 81 D 343
          • Consolidated files of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
        • Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192
          • Files of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, 1961-1969, including texts of speeches, miscellaneous correspondence files, White House correspondence, chronological files, and memoranda of telephone conversations.
        • S/P Files: Lot 72 D 139
          • Country Files of the Policy Planning Council and memoranda to the Secretary from the Chairman, 1965-1968.
        • S/S Files: Lot 66 D 150
          • Record copies of policy briefing books and reports, including material on the President’s Panel of Foreign Affairs Consultants, 1965.
        • S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316
          • Master file of National Security Action Memoranda (NSAMs) for the years 1961-1968, maintained by the Executive Secretariat.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas
    • Papers of President Lyndon B. Johnson
      • National Security File
        • Country File, Vietnam
        • Files of McGeorge Bundy
        • International Meetings and Travel File
        • Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy
        • Name File
        • National Intelligence Estimates
        • National Security Action Memoranda
        • National Security Council Histories
      • Diaries and Appointment Logs
        • President’s Appointment File (Diary Backup)
        • President’s Daily Diary
      • John McCone Memoranda of Meetings with the President
      • Meeting Notes File
      • Office Files of the White House Aides
        • Horace Busby, Jr.
      • White House Central Files
        • Subject File
        • Confidential File
      • George Ball Papers
        • Notes on telephone conversations, 1963-1966
      • McGeorge Bundy Papers
        • Notes of meetings, 1963-1966
      • William P. Bundy Papers
        • Unpublished manuscript on U.S. policy in Vietnam, 1961-1965
      • Walt W. Rostow Papers
        • Southeast Asia file
      • Dean Rusk Papers
        • Appointment Books, 1961-1969
      • Paul C. Warnke Papers
        • Files of John T. McNaughton, 1964-1967
      • William C. Westmoreland Papers
        • History File, History Backup, and COMUSMACV Message Files, 1964-1968
    • Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia
      • DCI (McCone) Files
        • Files of John McCone as Director of Central Intelligence, 1961-1965.
      • DCI (Helms) Files
        • Files of Richard Helms as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, 1965-1966.
  • Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
    • Record Group 84, Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the United States
      • Saigon Embassy’s Coordinator Files: FRC 68 A 5612
        • Classified sensitive captioned files of the Coordinator, Embassy in Saigon, 1964-1965.
    • Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
      • McNamara Files: FRC 71 A 3470
        • Files of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, 1961-1968.
      • OSD/ADMIN Files: FRC 70 A 1265, 70 A 1266, 71 A 6489
        • Subject files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1965
      • OSD/General Counsel Files: FRC 75 A 0062
        • Files on the Pentagon Papers
  • Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.
    • Averell Harriman Papers
  • National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
    • Maxwell Taylor Papers
  • U.S. Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C.
    • William C. Westmoreland Papers
      • History File, History Backup, and COMUSMACV Message Files, 1964-1968.
  • U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
    • Harold Johnson Papers
  • John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts
    • James C. Thomson Papers
  • Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • Hubert H. Humphrey Papers
  • Mansfield Library, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
    • Mike Mansfield Papers
[Page XVIII]

Published Sources

Documentary Collections

The Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalog and microfiche. Woodbridge, Connecticut, 1975 onwards.

Herring, George, ed. The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War: The Negotiating Volumes of the Pentagon Papers. Austin, Texas, 1983.

Johnson, Walter, ed. The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson. Boston, 1972.

The Pentagon Papers: The Department of Defense History of United States Decisionmaking on Vietnam, The Senator Gravel Edition. 4 vols. Boston, 1971.

United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: Study Prepared by the Department of Defense. Washington, 1971.

U.S. Department of State. American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1965. Washington, 1969.

———. Department of State Bulletin, 1965. Washington, 1966.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. Washington, 1968.


The Department takes no responsibility for the accuracy of these memoirs nor endorses their interpretation of the events.

Ball, George. The Past Has Another Pattern: Memoirs. New York, 1982.

Bui Diem, with David Chanoff. In the Jaws of History. Boston, 1987.

Colby, William. Lost Victory: A Firsthand Account of America’s Sixteen-Year Involvement in Vietnam. Chicago, 1989.

Cooper, Chester. The Lost Crusade: America in Vietnam. New York, 1970.

Humphrey, Hubert. Education of a Public Man: My Life and Politics. Garden City, N.Y., 1976.

Johnson, Lyndon Baines. The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969. New York, 1971.

The Johnson Years: A Vietnam Roundtable. Edited by Ted Gittinger. Austin, Texas, 1993.

Nguyen Cao Ky. Twenty Years and Twenty Days. New York, 1976.

Race, Jeffrey. War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province. Berkeley, California, 1972.

Rostow, W.W. The Diffusion of Power: An Essay in Recent History. New York, 1972.

Rusk, Dean, as told to Richard Rusk. As I Saw It. New York, 1990.

Sharp, Ulysses S. Grant. Strategy for Defeat. San Raphael, California, 1978.

Stewart, Michael. Life and Labour: An Autobiography. London, 1980.

Taylor, Maxwell. Swords and Plowshares: A Memoir. New York, 1972.

Thant, U. View from the UN. Garden City, New York, 1978.

Valenti, Jack. A Very Human President. New York, 1975.

Westmoreland, William C. A Soldier Reports. Garden City, New York, 1976.

Wilson, Harold. The Labour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record. London, 1971.