9. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Poland1

114370. Ref: Warsaw’s 1646.2

In view of complex of developments relating to Viet-Nam problem we would like you to avoid for the present any further initiatives along lines section 2 reftel.3
If Poles come back to you on this matter please make clear, as you have already stated to them, that idea described Para 6 was entirely your own and that neither before presenting it nor since have you received any instructions in this regard.4 Naturally you would want to hear any reactions the Poles may be prepared to offer and report them to your Government.
Discussion Para 6 reftel concerning Phase A and B package prompts us to offer following clarification. It has been our conception that the totality of de-escalatory actions in Phases A and B taken together would be approximately equal in importance on both sides. In other words Hanoi’s action under Phase B would be expected to be generally equivalent to our actions in Phase B plus our cessation of bombing of North Viet-Nam.5
We are not suggesting that you take initiative with Poles to make the clarification along lines of preceding paragraph but rather that you bear this in mind in case, in any subsequent conversation, you have reason to believe Poles do not understand Phase A and B package in this sense.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/MARIGOLD. Top Secret; Priority; Nodis; Marigold. Drafted by Unger, cleared by Bundy and Rostow, and approved by Walsh.
  2. Telegram 1646 from Warsaw, January 6, reported a January 5 conversation between Ambassador Gronouski and Director-General of the Polish Foreign Service Michalowski relating to the breakdown of the Marigold initiative in Warsaw during the previous December. (Ibid., POL 27 VIET S)
  3. In this section of telegram 1646, Gronouski proposed that Poland get both sides to agree on specific and verifiable de-escalatory actions before actual direct talks between the United States and the DRV took place. Michalowski refused, citing Poland’s desire to remain as an intermediary and to avoid direct involvement.
  4. In paragraph 6 of telegram 1646, Gronouski suggested that Under Secretary Katzenbach meet with Michalowski during the latter’s upcoming unofficial visit to the United States.
  5. The Phase A-Phase B formula for getting the North Vietnamese to the negotiating table arose out of the Marigold contacts during the fall of 1966. It was an attempt to allow for mutual de-escalation, a move that Washington considered essential but Hanoi regarded as placing undue preconditions upon its involvement in peace negotiations, in two steps. In the first phase, the United States would cease bombing the DRV and talks would begin. The halt would be followed by the second phase, a series of mutually-agreed upon actions by both sides that would mark a reduction in hostilities.