327. Telegram from the Department of State to the Embassy in France1

38057. For Kissinger. Ref: Paris 3414.2 We agree to the recommendation contained in the last paragraph of reftel.

We are concerned, however, about M and A expressing to Bo the view that if you leave Paris without having received a communication from Bo they would conclude that Hanoi does not want the negotiations. Even though they underscore the fact that it is their personal view, Bo might read it as having the flavor of an ultimatum and having come to him at the direction of the USG in spite of the disclaimer by M and A.

At the same time, we are equally concerned that there be no misimpression on the part of M and A or Bo that the USG has given a renewed assurance against bombing in the vicinity of Hanoi. We do not want them to think that they have such an automatic assurance valid indefinitely into the future. The mere fact that there has been no bombing in that area since the 24th of August must not be interpreted by them to constitute any such assurance. If you think that M and A are under any wrong impression in this regard or that they may have imparted to Bo any such view, we think it important that this point also be clarified in the discussions scheduled for September 16.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/PENNSYLVANIA. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Pennsylvania. Drafted by Read, cleared by Walt Rostow and Bundy, and approved by Rusk and Katzenbach.
  2. Document 326.
  3. Kissinger’s response in telegram 3486 from Paris, September 16, reads: “I will make certain that M and A do not relate need for an answer to my presence in Paris. With A’s return, conversations are likely to be more business-like and less emotional. M and A have been told nothing about bombing in the vicinity of Hanoi, except that the current restraint has no fixed time limit. The only other reference to the bombing of Hanoi was in the brief note handed to Bo on Thursday which M did not see. However, M and A believe that a new bombing of Hanoi would end their usefulness as a channel and they will then report to the Elysée. Though they have promised to let me vet their report, it makes it advisable not to let them see more than absolutely necessary. In my conversation with M and A tomorrow morning prior to the Bo interview, I shall take care to leave no ambiguity about the concerns expressed in reftel.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/PENNSYLVANIA)