188. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rusk1
- Instructions for Governor Harriman
Governor Harriman and I wish to confirm our understanding of today’s review of the draft instructions.
Our understanding is that today’s meeting confirmed the instructions in accordance with the attached draft. On the specific question of paragraph 5(c), dealing with the rate of infiltration of North Vietnamese troops, our understanding is that Secretary Clifford’s suggestion was adopted, i.e., that no change would be made in the instructions, but that Governor Harriman should understand that, in presenting this point, reference should be made to the increased infiltration rate of recent months as abnormal, and the clear record should be that we were thinking in terms of a normal rate such as had prevailed when the San Antonio formula was first given to the North Vietnamese last August.
We further understand that we would not include under paragraph 5 a record indicating expectation that the North Vietnamese, in response to our bombing cessation, would be taking advantage if they did not accept demilitarization of the DMZ and/or compliance with the Laos Accords. In other words, these matters would not be used as examples of “not taking advantage.” However, we would expect that they would be raised—either in the contacts or in the talks—as early US objectives.
We suggest that, if you approve, this memorandum and the instructions be given to Secretary Clifford and Mr. Rostow to be sure that there is complete agreement on the way these matters will be handled.2[Page 553]
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S. Top Secret.↩
- No approval is indicated. Concurrence on the instructions came at the afternoon meeting; see Document 189.↩
- A notation at the top of the page reads: “Draft as reviewed at the White House April 6, 1968.”↩
- In an April 8 memorandum to Helms, Carver described the views of the so-called “Non-Group” on the instructions. This group was an informal subcabinet-level group, chaired by Katzenbach and comprised of varying membership, which met weekly to discuss issues relating to the war. Most of the “Non-Group” took issue with this sentence in the instructions, which they believed “was designed to be fuzzy and not to direct that we will insist upon GVN participation in any such second-stage discussion,” and recommended that it be clarified. (Central Intelligence Agency, SAVA (Carver) Files, Job 80–R01720R, GAC Chrono., April 1968–May 1968)↩