14. Memorandum for the Record1

Michael Shenstone, First Secretary at the Canadian Embassy, came in this morning to report on developments with respect to the ICC. He [Page 34]said there would be a “little meeting” of the ICC in New Delhi tomorrow, January 10. The Canadian and Polish Ambassadors would meet with Kaul, the Indian head of the ICC. This represented a change in position for the Poles since they had recently tried to postpone any such meeting until their new Ambassador arrived in New Delhi. Shenstone said that, according to their information, the Indians were planning to have the ICC recommend a stop to the bombing, a ceasefire, and a negotiations session—in sequence. The Indians hoped that the ICC would also review its mandate and its resources for the policing of a ceasefire and a settlement. The Indians apparently were encouraged by the Mai Van Bo and Pham Van Dong interviews.2

I told Shenstone that while we were very much in favor of an ICC meeting, a report along the lines the Indians proposed could hardly be very useful. I said that the recent North Vietnamese statements were hardly forthcoming, and even certain Communist countries claimed they were not a change in Hanoi’s position. To base an ICC set of recommendations on them would destroy the credibility of any ICC report here. More than that, any ICC recommendations that took a one-sided view on our stopping bombing would be counter-productive.

At the end of our session Shenstone said that they had reason to believe that the Indian Ambassador in Warsaw had some knowledge of the Marigold exercise. According to the Canadian Ambassador in Warsaw, his Indian colleague pointed out in December that they couldn’t expect the Poles to agree to an ICC meeting since the Poles were already negotiating directly with the Americans to establish talks with the North Vietnamese.

Chester L. Cooper3

Note: I have since been informed by telephone that the New Delhi meeting has been postponed because the Pole “had not received instructions”.4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/MARIGOLD. Top Secret; Marigold. Prepared by Cooper. Copies were sent to Harriman, Bundy, Read, and Jorden.
  2. See Document 3.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  4. On January 1 the Polish ICC representative rejected the idea of meeting in New Delhi. In a draft telegram to Warsaw, January 14, which was apparently sent, the Department concluded that statements made by NLF representative in Algeria Tran Hoi Nam to Ambassador John D. Jernegan, as well as statements communicated through other channels, including contacts by the Government of India, which linked bombing and a cessation of hostilities to the opening of talks, were the foundation for the Polish diplomat’s backing away. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Bundy Files: Lot 85 D 240, Top Secret—WPB Chron, Jan/Apr 1967) The Algerian connection to the NLF was known as Primrose; it was followed through mid-March without success. Additional documentation on Primrose is ibid., Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/PRIMROSE.