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June 1–July 15: Soviet Involvement and Possible North Vietnamese Restraint


258. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson in Texas

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 8 I, 1/67–12/68, Taylor Memos—General. Secret. Received at the LBJ Ranch at 9:47 a.m. The President arrived in Texas on May 29 and returned to Washington on June 4. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


259. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson in Texas

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 80. Secret; Harvan. Received at 1:54 p.m. at the LBJ Ranch.


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

Source: Department of Defense, Official Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 911/305 (24 May 68), IR 4055–4057. Top Secret.


261. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. Fortas and Taylor are listed as attending but their presence was not recorded in the President's Daily Diary. (Ibid.)


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Kosygin [3]. Secret; Nodis. A notation on the memorandum reads: “Shown to Pres. 6/5/68.”


263. Special National Intelligence Estimate

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 81. Secret; Limited Distribution. According to a note on the cover page, the SNIE was drafted by the CIA, the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense, and the National Security Agency. It was submitted by Helms and concurred in by the USIB. The cover page and a table of contents are not printed. In an attached covering memorandum transmitting the SNIE to Johnson, June 10, Rostow wrote: “This is a well-balanced CIA document on the Vietnam situation which you may wish to read.”


264. 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. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Received at 2:59 p.m.


265. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting, which lasted until 6:40 p.m., was held in the Cabinet Room. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Meetings with the President, 6/11/68. Secret; Nodis.


268. 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. III. Secret; Sensitive. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


269. Letter From President Johnson to Chairman Kosygin

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Head of State Correspondence, Pen Pal Correspondence, Kosygin. Secret; Nodis. The letter was delivered by Rusk to Dobrynin at 6:35 p.m. that evening. (Ibid., Dean Rusk Appointment Books, 1968–1969)


270. Memorandum for the Record

Source: U.S. Army Military History Institute, William C. Westmoreland Papers, History Files, #33, 1–30 Jun 68. Confidential. Prepared by General Westmoreland on June 20 on board the USS Wilson. That same day, Westmoreland arrived in the Philippines, and began a cruise to Hawaii where he arrived on June 26. Also on June 20, the President and Clifford discussed Abrams' request to abandon Khe Sanh. (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between Johnson and Clifford, June 20, 1968, 3:34 p.m., Tape F6806.02, PNO 3)


271. Paper Prepared in the Department of State

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET. Secret. In an attached memorandum transmitting a copy of the paper to Rostow, June 12, Read wrote: “In response to your request, I attach a brief balance sheet on the Paris talks to date.”


272. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Bohlen.


273. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to the Ambassador to Vietnam (Bunker) and the Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam (Berger)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 1 EE (6), 6/68, Post Tet Political Activity. Secret. Sent through back channels to Saigon. Five days earlier, Vietnamese Senator Tran Van Don had informed the Embassy that, at Thieu's request and with the support of Huong, he was to form a new front group that would include all political groups. (Telegram 29475 from Saigon, June 8; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 13 VIET S) A report on the evolution and development of the Lien Minh is in CIA Intelligence Information Cable TDCS DB–315/02565–68, August 1. (Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Substantive Political Files, Job 91–R0084R, DDI Files on Vietnam, Vietnam 1968 (General), Part IV)


274. 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 Conference on Vietnam, 1968–1969, Delto Chron. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan. Received at 3:37 p.m.


275. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson in Texas

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan Misc. & Memos, Vol. IV, 6/16–30/68. Secret; Sensitive. Received at 9:35 a.m. at the LBJ Ranch, where the President stayed June 13–18.


276. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The meeting, which lasted until 2:30 p.m., was held in the Mansion of the White House. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 83. Secret; Sensitive.


278. Notes on Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of Defense Clifford and the Ambassador at Large (Harriman)

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harriman Papers, Special Files, Public Service, Kennedy-Johnson, Subject File, Clifford, Clark, 1963–68. No classification marking.


279. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. Top Secret. The notes are incorrectly dated June 21.


280. Memorandum of Conversation


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-June 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. In a memorandum transmitting a copy of this telegram to the President, June 24, Rostow wrote: “Herewith Zorin—hitherto silent and frozen—suggests the A–B–C formula for private exploration by Vance on Wednesday to Shriver, in the course of a courtesy call. This is probably Kosygin's reply to you. I have arranged that Shriver's cable be flashed for comment to Secretary Rusk and Ambassador Bunker. The sequence is clearly: A. We name to Hanoi a ‘date certain’ for cessation of bombing, i.e., a date to come into effect when B is agreed. B. We negotiate what they would do when bombing has stopped. C. We stop; and they stop doing what we negotiate after a pre-negotiated interval. This could be the turning point, notably if shipments are not coming through China.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, M–Q, Vol. II, Paris Talks—Messages from Other Posts)


282. Notes of Meeting

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


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Harvan Paris Todel—Paris Delto VI. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN. Drafted by Bundy; cleared by Rostow, Clifford, Harriman, and Read; and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to Reykjavik for Rusk who was attending the NATO Ministerial meeting, Moscow, and Saigon.


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 84. Secret.


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-June 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN/Plus. Received at 11:42 a.m. The “Plus” slug was added to limit further the distribution of telegrams relating to these private talks. (Telegram 191904 to Paris, Saigon, and Moscow, June 27; ibid.) Tho left for Hanoi the next day, stopping off in Moscow for consultations with the Soviets. In telegram 17256 from Paris, June 30, Vance suggested that Tho's departure was related to the recent talks with Lau and Zorin. (Ibid.)


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-June 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/Harvan/Plus. Received at 2:17 p.m. In the covering note transmitting a copy of this telegram to the President, June 28, 6 p.m., Rostow wrote: “You will wish to have this account of Cy Vance's meeting with Zorin, for the 6:15 p.m. meeting with Sec. Rusk. Zorin, essentially, proposes this: 1. We stop bombing. 2. They take de-escalatory steps in the next phase; but we also take further steps. The key issues are: Firmly to negotiate phase 2 before the bombing stops; Whether what they do in phase 2 compensates us for the bombing cessation plus the additional actions that Zorin suggests.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 84) According to his diary, the President met that evening with both Rusk and Rostow “to discuss the Middle East paper and Paris talks.” (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) Notes of the meeting have not been found.


287. 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 3:19 a.m. In telegram 193328 to Saigon, June 28, Katzenbach had discussed his ideas on the inter-relationship between the Paris talks and the political situation in Saigon. (Ibid., A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-June 1968)