Learn about the beta

May 4–31: Opening of the Peace Negotiations and the May Offensive


222. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Meeting Notes File. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Those attending were the President, Rostow, Wheeler, Clifford, Rusk, Fortas, and Christian. Taylor joined the meeting at 5:07 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


223. Memorandum From the President's Special Consultant (Taylor) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 74. Secret.


224. Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Crocodile—Paris to be filed. Secret. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


225. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Meeting Notes File. No classification marking. The meeting ended at 3 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) A summary of the meeting and a full transcript of it are ibid., Transcripts of Meetings in the Cabinet Room. Additional notes of the meeting, taken by Harold Johnson, are in the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Harold K. Johnson Papers, Notes on Meetings with the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the President, Dec. 1967–June 1967.


226. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. In a May 7 background paper for the President, Rostow listed as negotiating issues requiring policy guidance the right to undertake reconnaissance flights, the need to make explicit the assumptions upon which the halt was based, the “possibilities for significant formal chatter” regarding substantive issues, the participation of the GVN and NLF, further mutual de-escalation and the mechanisms for disengagement, allied participation in any settlement, and as proposed by Vance, the specific agenda and tactics to follow in the talks. (Ibid., National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Meetings with the President, May–June 1968 [2])


227. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret; Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Mansfield and Dirksen joined the meeting at 6:30 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) Harold Johnson also took notes of this meeting. (U.S. Military History Institute, Harold K. Johnson Papers, Notes on Meetings with the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the President, December 1967–June 1968) Johnson also summarized the meeting in a May 8 memorandum to Wheeler. (Ibid., 199–208)


228. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/CROCODILE. Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Crocodile. Received at 6:11 a.m. Repeated to Paris for the delegation. Bunker reported on the same subjects in his 50th weekly message to the President, telegram 26826 from Saigon, May 9. (Ibid., POL 27 VIET S) Bunker's weekly message is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 433–438.


229. Information Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Smith) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Crocodile-Paris General, 4/9/68–5/11/68. Secret. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


231. Memorandum From the President's Special Consultant (Taylor) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 8I, 1/67–12/68, Taylor Memos—General. Secret. In an attached note transmitting the memorandum to the President, May 16, Rostow wrote: “Herewith Gen. Taylor's thoughts, in support of Amb. Bunker, on the need to go slow on total bombing cessation.” A notation by the President on the covering note reads: “Walt—Review with Rusk & Clifford. L”


232. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The President's Daily Diary indicates the meeting lasted until 3:03 p.m. (Ibid.)


233. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret.


234. Memorandum From Daniel I. Davidson and Richard C. Holbrooke of the U.S. Delegation to the Vietnam Peace Talks to Ambassador Harriman and Ambassador Vance

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S-AH Files: Lot 71 D 461, Chron.-1968—Mr. Davidson. Secret.


235. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 11:25 a.m. The telegram is printed in full in Pike, The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 439–444.


236. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan Paris Todel-Delto 11, 5/17–24/68. Secret; Nodis; Harvan.


237. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan Misc. & Memos, Vol. I. Confidential. Extensive enemy rocket and mortar attacks on Saigon began on May 18, and a separate Capital Military District Command was set up to reduce or eliminate the attacks. Its mission later evolved into one of combating and infiltrating the VCI. (Memorandum from Helms to Rostow, June 17; Central Intelligence Agency, DDO/IMS Files, Job 79–207A, AA–3–FE Division 1968)


238. Notes of Secretary of Defense Clifford's Staff Meeting

Source: U.S. Army Military History Institute, Harold K. Johnson Papers, Notes on Meetings with the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the President, Dec. 1967–June 1968. No classification marking. The notes were taken by Johnson. According to a notation on the notes, the meeting began at 9:30 a.m. The participants are not indicated.


239. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense Clifford

Source: Department of Defense, Official Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 911/372 (13 May 68) IR 3945. Top Secret.


240. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, IS/OIS Files: Lot 90 D 345, Paris Peace Conference on Vietnam, 1968–1969, Delto Chron. Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Harvan. Received at 3:15 p.m. and repeated to Moscow.


241. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting lasted from 1:15 to 3:10 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) An agenda for the meeting, prepared on May 21 by John Walsh of S/S, was sent to Rusk prior to the meeting. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 74 D 164, Presidential Luncheon Memoranda)


242. Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan Misc.&Memos, Vol.II. Secret. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


243. Summary Notes of the 568th Meeting of the National Security Council

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings File, Vol. 5, Tab 63. Secret; Sensitive; For the President Only. Those attending were the President, Humphrey, Rostow, Katzenbach, Clifford, Fowler, Nitze, McConnell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Walter J. Stoessel, Christian, Smith, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Edward Fried. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) A summary and a partial transcript of the meeting are ibid., Transcripts of Meetings in the Cabinet Room. Nitze's notes of the meeting are in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Nitze Papers, Defense Department, Deputy Secretary of Defense Notes, 1968, 4 of 6.


244. Memorandum From the President's Special Consultant (Taylor) to President Johnson

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 8 I, 1/67–12/68, Taylor Memos—General. Secret. According to an attached note, the President requested Clifford's and Rusk's comments on the memorandum.


245. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 9:03 a.m. and repeated to Paris for the Vietnam mission. This telegram is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 2, pp. 445–451.


246. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-May 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan. Drafted and approved by John Walsh of S/S. Repeated to Moscow and London.


247. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, IS/OIS Files: Lot 90 D 345, Paris Peace Conference on Vietnam, 1968–1969, Delto Chron. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan. Received at 2:47 p.m.


248. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET. Top Secret; Nodis; Harvan; Limdis. Rusk's initials appear on the first page. A copy was sent to Katzenbach.


249. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Meeting Notes File. No classification marking. The meeting, which ended at 3:45 p.m., was held in the White House. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) These notes were taken by Christian. The previous day, Clifford sent a memorandum to Wheeler discussing alternative military actions in the event the Paris talks stalled or terminated. (Ibid., Alain Enthoven Papers, Strategy)


250. Paper by the Commander of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland)

Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History, Dep CORDS/MACV Papers, Komer-Westmoreland File, 1968. No classification marking. Westmoreland's commentary on his last days in Vietnam is in his historical summary for the month of May. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 407, Litigation Collection, Westmoreland v. CBS, History File #32, 1–31 May 1968)