168. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam1

4108. Literally eyes only for Ambassador. Embtel 5840.2 Italian Ambassador Fenoaltea came in today with Faroche, Italian Ambassador-designate to Canada, who had hand-carried message similar to that contained reftel and who said he was under instructions to hand-carry our reply back to Rome. We did not indicate that we had received Saigonʼs message. Main differences between two messages was that “participate” was used in place of “take part” with respect to role of NLF in negotiations.

We told Fenoaltea that, except for use of term “participate” with respect to NLF, which could have implication Hanoi was not insisting NLF [Page 471] be “sole representative” of SVN, and “suspension of bombing” in place of “cessation of bombing”, position Hanoi indicated to Pole was very similar to previous indications their position. Thus in light of various translations these words have gone through, it is not clear whether their use has any significance. Therefore, without indicating to Pole that message had been passed to USG, suggested Italian Government on its own responsibility, query Polish Rep on these two terms to determine whether formulations contained in Polish version of Hanoiʼs position were used advisedly by Hanoi and indicate some shift in position or were accidents of translation. We told Fenoaltea we would be in better position to give him reply after receiving answer, and Fenoaltea promised immediately to query DʼOrlandi.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27–14 VIET/MARIGOLD. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by U. Alexis Johnson and approved by Ball. Repeated to Canberra for Rusk.
  2. Document 167.
  3. In telegram 61 from Geneva, July 6, Goldberg reported that he had learned of the Polish-Italian approach through U Thant, whose source was Fanfani. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, United Nations, vol. 4) In telegram 145 from Rome, July 9, Goldberg transmitted a written summary of the Polish-Italian approach from June 27 to July 7, which had been provided by President Giuseppe Saragat of Italy. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27–14 VIET/MARIGOLD) Both telegrams are printed in part in Herring, Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War, pp. 242–243 and 245–247.