204. Memorandum From the Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency (Carver) to Director of Central Intelligence Helms1


  • 15 June Meeting at State on Canadian Proposal
On Thursday, 15 June, Mr. William Bundy convened Mr. Cooper, Mr. Greene2 (of INR, representing Mr. Hughes), Mr. Habib and myself to discuss the Department’s response to a Canadian proposal.
In essence, Foreign Secretary Paul Martin had broached to Secretary Rusk the idea of our suspending our bombing in return for an ICC policing of the DMZ.3 The object of the meeting was to review this proposition and, specifically, work up the text of a “Dear Paul” letter from Rusk to Martin.
There was a wide range of discussion which I tried to bring into focus by insisting that we initially decide whether we wanted to make a pitch for international propaganda purposes (confident that Hanoi would reject) or wanted to make a serious overture that might be picked up. The consensus conclusion was that Hanoi was unlikely to accept any effective policing of the DMZ, but that our proposition should be one we could live with if Hanoi did take it up. Mr. Cooper raised the thought of our working through the Soviets, an idea the rest of us swiftly shot down. Mr. Habib and I stressed the need of advising the South Vietnamese early in the game if we did anything with the Canadian proposal, certainly before either the Indians or the Poles were informed since one of these two (if not both) could be counted on to leak our overture to Saigon.
We finally decided that the proposal was a non-starter if it involved nothing more than a few ICC observation teams in the DMZ. If, however, the ICC could, or would be willing, to put in a substantial force (a minimum of 3,000 men) which would engage in active patrolling by foot, jeep, boat and helicopter throughout the length of the DMZ, the proposition merited further consideration. We also decided that the first step should be to determine whether the Canadians were willing to talk in terms of—and help raise—a force of this size operating under a sufficiently broad charter.
The following specific immediate courses of action were agreed upon:
Bundy will draft a letter to Martin along the lines outlined above which we will then review.4
Bundy will endeavor to persuade the Secretary, and anyone else who needs to be persuaded, that under no circumstances should this Canadian proposal even be mentioned to the Soviets during Kosygin’s visit.
I will keep you advised of what, if anything, further develops on this activity.
George A. Carver, Jr.5
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, SAVA (Carver) Files, Job 80–R01720R, GAC Chrono, Jan 67–Sep 67. Secret; Sensitive. The previous day, George Carver briefed the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) on the situation in Vietnam. Carver responded to numerous questions about the ability of the U.S. Government to achieve victory in Vietnam. In response to Clifford’s noting of rising dissent in governmental circles, Carver rejoined that in his personal opinion more troops were needed but that “if we regain the strategic initiative, and make real progress in pacification, and avoid a political debacle, then the war can be won.” Asked about a bombing cessation, Carver stated his opposition to such a measure because the leadership in Hanoi would consider it “as a real political victory for them.” In response to a question by Taylor as to whether the bombing should be increased, Carver responded that the bombing program should concentrate in the South but that restrikes and some random bombing could occur in the North “to keep the enemy off balance.” (Ibid., Executive Registry Subject Files, Job 80–R01580R, PFIAB 14)
  2. Fred Greene, Director of Research and Analysis for East Asia and Pacific, INR.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 133.
  4. Not further identified.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.