70. Telegram From President Johnson to Prime Minister Wilson 1

CAP 67045. As I pointed out early this morning, the A–B offer has been outstanding now for about three months. I gather from Cooper that as of the time you went into dinner tonight, you had no reply from Kosygin. We have had no reply from Hanoi.

Nevertheless, you have worked nobly this week to bring about what all humanity wants: a decisive move towards peace. It is an effort that will be long remembered. I feel a responsibility to give you this further chance to make that effort bear fruit. We will go more than half way. I am prepared to go the last mile in this week’s particular effort: although none of us can regard a failure tonight as the end of the road.

I must, of course, also bear in mind my responsibility to our men who are fighting there, to our allies, to the people of South Viet Nam who are counting on us to bring about an honorable peace consistent with our commitments to them.

Therefore, I agree with you that you should go forward and try once again with Kosygin saying to him:

[Here follows the verbatim text of the message in Document 69.]

With this deal consummated, we would, of course, be prepared to move promptly to a neutral spot to engage in unconditional negotiations designed to bring peace to the area.

[Page 150]

Herewith some further observations.

It is significant that Kosygin reflects no further word from Hanoi. Our own private line with Hanoi remains silent. Actually, Kosygin may prefer that any final deal come bilaterally after he leaves London in view of his China problem.

Presumably the two co-chairmen would continue to be in touch with each other. It would be helpful if communiqué could express support of two co-chairmen for 1954 and 1962 Accords and agreement that any differences arising out of these accords should be settled by peaceful means.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Sunflower & Sunflower Plus. Top Secret. Also sent as telegram 135748 to London, February 12, 9:05 p.m. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/SUNFLOWER)