326. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State1

3414. From Kissinger. I saw M this morning.2 He told me that A would not arrive until 0900 tomorrow morning (Saturday). He called Bo in my presence and asked for an appointment at 1200 tomorrow. Bo agreed and asked whether I had heard from Washington. As instructed by me M said that I was still waiting authority to transmit the message through A & M. He asked Bo whether he had any comments on the paper handed him yesterday. Bo replied that he would make his comments tomorrow. (Note: This was said even though he did not know whether A & M would have U.S. response to hand to him.)

M proposed to tell Bo (if A agrees) that should I leave Paris without having received a communication from Bo, A & M can only conclude that Hanoi does not want negotiations. I shall meet A’s airplane together with M and spend the time before the Bo interview with both of them.

Recommendation: (1) I wonder whether it might help to add the words “without time limit” to the next to the last sentence of the message which would then read: “This restraint has been maintained without time limit even though activities by opposing forces in the South have, in fact been stepped up since August 25.” The sentence would then be consistent with the phraseology of the message handed Bo yesterday (see Paris 3257).3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/PENNSYLVANIA. Top Secret; Flash; Nodis/Pennsylvania. Received at 8:56 a.m.
  2. In telegram 3383 from Paris, September 14, Kissinger reported on Marcovich’s meeting with Bo that day at noon. Marcovich told Bo that Kissinger had requested guidance from Washington, a ploy that Kissinger described as necessary “to gain time and to see whether delay might not produce a personal meeting.” Marcovich also handed Bo the message relating to procedures for exchanges. (Ibid.) In reporting this meeting to the President, Rostow wrote in a September 14 covering memorandum transmitting both cables: “I think Henry is playing it quite correctly.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Pennsylvania (continued)) The notation “L” on the covering note indicates that the President saw the cables.
  3. Document 324.