53. Notes of Telephone Conversation Between the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Read) and Chester Cooper of the National Security Council Staff1

Chet Cooper called to double talk following message:

The UK and Cooper think that Kosygin may have indicated “a bite.” He indicated to Wilson in talks this afternoon (London time) considerable interest in our Phase A-Phase B proposal and committed himself to send it in cable form to Hanoi with his endorsement. Kosygin is leaving London at 10:30 p.m. London time tonight and wants an agreed text ASAP.

Suggested text (which will be flashed to us) consists of five short lettered paragraphs.2

The US will stop the bombing as soon as it has been assured that infiltration by the North will stop and this assurance can be given privately.
Within a few days to be agreed upon by the parties, the US will stop augmenting its forces in the South and North Viet Nam will stop infiltration.
What the US does will of course be immediately apparent but no public rationale will be stated at the time.
What North Viet Nam does will be more difficult to observe but the US will not demand a public statement that they have taken the required action.
These assurances can be given and exchanged by the USG and the DRV directly or through the Soviets and/or British.
Ben Read
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Sunflower & Sunflower Plus. Top Secret; Sunflower Plus. The document is undated but references in the text confirm the date as February 10. Cooper was in London; Read was in Washington.
  2. A Flash telegram, telegram 6456 from London, February 10, 1900Z, contained these five elements slightly rephrased. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/SUNFLOWER)