201. Memorandum From William J. Jorden of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow)1


  • Some Alternatives on a Site for Talks with Hanoi
A neutral ship
  • —ask U Thant to arrange
  • —ask host country to propose
  • (Note: we suggested a ship for armistice talks in Korea)
Accept their choice for “contacts” (i.e. Phnom Penh or Warsaw) if they accept our site for “talks” (Rangoon, Delhi, etc.)
Send a representative (possibly our No 2 negotiator) to Warsaw to make contact with Hanoi’s representative to arrange a mutually agreed site
Negotiate a site through already established contacts (e.g. Vientiane with our Ambassador and their ChargŊ)
Ask the Pope to propose Vatican City as the site
A rotation plan—one month in their spot, one month in ours, e.g. Phnom Penh and Rangoon, Warsaw and Delhi
Rotation plan between capitals of the Co-Chairmen (i.e. London and Moscow)
Ask the Co-Chairmen (British and Soviets) to agree on and propose an “appropriate” site
Rotate talks among the three ICC capitals (Delhi, Warsaw, Ottawa)
Get a third party (e.g. U Thant, Co-Chairmen, etc.) to propose Bucharest
A site on the DMZ in Viet-Nam with guarantees for the security of the site base camps and access roads (as in Panmunjom)2
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET/CROCODILE. Secret. In telegram 151356 to Bangkok, Canberra, Manila, Saigon, Seoul, and Wellington, April 23, the Department noted: “We are suggesting to Hanoi that they consider an appropriate and suitable capital, not yet proposed by either party, where our representatives could have a private discussion limited solely to the question of selection of a site for contact.” The Ambassadors at these posts were directed to “emphasize that subject matter for discussion in this private contact would be limited to site selection. By this means we seek to end debate over mutually agreeable site.” (Ibid.)
  2. Jorden’s memorandum is attached to an April 22 memorandum from Bundy to Rusk in which Bundy commented on these proposals. He opposed the idea of a neutral ship as a “gimmick” and termed the Vatican a “non-starter,” described the British and the Soviets as a “weak team” but thought that the proposal of Bucharest had possibilities, although he preferred Geneva or even Paris. (Ibid.) In a memorandum transmitting Jorden’s memorandum to the President, April 22, Rostow noted that Rusk’s “preference is something like para. 4 in attached list; that is, diplomatic discussions about sites between our Ambassador and theirs in either Warsaw or Vientiane.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 72)