325. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Poland1
95711. Lewandowski has told Lodge that he has presented to Hanoi a ten point statement of our position on a possible Viet-Nam settlement. He has suggested that we confirm his statement of our position directly to the North Vietnamese Ambassador in Warsaw.
If talks should take place in Warsaw we would wish you to guide them. It is of the highest importance however that there be no leak and [Page 899] we are most anxious to avoid arousing any suspicion that we are in direct contact with North Vietnamese. We therefore believe that it would be too conspicuous for you personally to contact North Vietnamese if in fact they agree to talk in Warsaw. We would like your judgment as to whether Jenkins would be suitable to carry on these important discussions after appropriate briefing here or whether we should arrange to send someone with requisite background from Washington.
In any event Jenkins or any officer you select should endeavor to see North Vietnamese Ambassador on December 6 or as soon thereafter as possible. If received by him he should state that he has been instructed to inform North Vietnamese that Polish Representative in Saigon Lewandowski has informed our Ambassador that he had informed North Viet-Nam Government of our position on Vietnamese problem in a ten point statement based on his knowledge of our views. He should say that while Lewandowskiʼs report of what he says he told the North Viet-Nam Government is basically correct, certain of the points as phrased by him are subject to important differences of interpretation.
He should say that if North Viet-Nam is prepared to discuss the matter we would be glad to arrange to do so anywhere that is suitable to them. If they prefer Warsaw we would arrange for suitable officer to be briefed authoritatively to carry on discussions and inform them directly of our position.2
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27–14 VIET/MARIGOLD. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Marigold. Drafted by Thompson and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to Saigon.↩
- In telegram 1359 from Warsaw, December 3, Gronouski proposed that he, rather than Jenkins, make the initial contact and carry on subsequent discussions. He also proposed that Rapacki be asked to serve as an intermediary, given the considerable risk of detection and publicity if a U.S. Embassy officer made direct contact with the North Vietnamese Ambassador. (Ibid.)↩