303. Editorial Note

President Johnson and President Thieu arrived in Honolulu on July 18, 1968. Thieu had requested that his State visit to the mainland United States be postponed and instead that he and Johnson meet at Honolulu July 19–20. (Telegram 31871 from Saigon, July 5; Johnson Library, National Security File, International Meetings and Travel File, Honolulu Cables [1 of 2]) Telegram 197463 to Saigon, July 6, transmitted Johnson’s agreement. (Ibid., [2 of 2])

From 11:35 a.m. to 12:51 p.m. on July 19, the Vietnamese Ministers accompanying Thieu made presentations to both leaders, after which the delegations lunched together. A formal State dinner honoring Thieu was held that evening. From 8:03 to 8:43 a.m. on July 20, both delegations attended a working breakfast. (Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary) Background materials, talking papers on various topics, and an itinerary for the conference are ibid., National Security File, International Meetings and Travel File, LBJ-Thieu, Honolulu Briefing Book. The exchange of telegrams setting up the conference is ibid. and National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 VIET S.

A joint communique was released upon the departure of both Presidents from Honolulu on July 20. The portion entitled “Paris Talks” reads: “The two Presidents considered the current status of the Paris talks—already fully reported to the South Vietnamese and Allied governments—and weighed at length the contingencies that might arise. The two Presidents deplored the use of the discussions for propaganda purposes on the North Vietnamese side, and such unrealistic positions as Hanoi’s refusal to admit the presence of North Vietnamese forces in the South. They agreed that the basic objective in the Paris talks is to open the way to a stable and honorable peace. In the face of continued high infiltration and other military actions directed from Hanoi, however, they saw no alternative but to continue to press for realistic discussions on the appropriate actions by both sides. The two Presidents again affirmed that the Republic of Vietnam should be a full participant playing a leading role in discussions concerning the substance of a final settlement, and that their two governments would act in full consultation with each other, and with their allies, both in the present phase and throughout.” For the full text, see Department of State Bulletin, August 12, 1968, pages 162–165. For Johnson’s statement to the press at the close of the conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968–69, Book II, pages 828–830. Telegrams 32830 from Saigon, July 17; 203569 from Saigon, July 17; and 204340 to Saigon, [Page 884] July 18, report on bilateral discussions relating to the genesis of the communique. (All in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, ORG 7 EA)