December 1, 1968-January 20, 1969: Resolution of the Procedural Delays and the Opening of the Expanded Peace Talks


243. Statement Prepared in the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 1 US-VIET S. Secret. Drafted by Roger Kirk of the Embassy Political Section, cleared by Herz and Berger, and approved by Bunker. Transmitted as an attachment to airgram A-1077, December 1, which was received in the Department on December 9, 8:29 a.m. The airgram reads in part: “The enclosed statement of Fundamental US Objectives in Viet Nam, Intermediate Goals, and Courses of Action represents an effort to draw up a brief classified statement on the subject which can serve as a general guideline for our activities here. Pending receipt of Washington comments the statement should be regarded as a draft working document.”


244. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. The meeting was held in the White House Mansion. Clifford remained with the President until 3 p.m. and Tom Johnson until 3:01 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


245. Situation Report by the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Read)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. VII. Secret; Nodis/HARVAN Plus. An attached covering note by Rostow transmitting a copy of the report to the President, December 4, 10:30 a.m., reads: “Cy Vance reports from Paris by secure phone that the North Vietnamese representative's first reaction to the proposal on the DMZ was to reject it. However, he will report the matter fully to Hanoi. Attached is the telephone summary of other problems discussed by Ambassador Vance.” Vance transmitted the full report of the meeting in telegram 24876/Delto 1020 from Paris, December 4. (Ibid., HARVAN Paris Todel-Paris Delto, Vol. XVI(a))


246. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Transcripts of Meetings in the Cabinet Room. No classification marking. The meeting, which lasted from 12:04 to 1:30 p.m., was a formal meeting of the Cabinet. Harriman joined the meeting at 12:30 p.m. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


247. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach) to Secretary of State Rusk

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-I Files: Lot 74 D 271, Nicholas Katzenbach Files, NK Chron, 1968. Secret; Nodis/HARVAN Plus.


248. Notes of Meeting

Source: Johnson Library, Tom Johnson's Notes of Meetings. No classification marking. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary)


249. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: U.S. Army Center for Military History, Dep CORDS/MACV Files, Pacification File, GVN Liaison File: 1968. Confidential. Prepared on December 10. The meeting was held at Independence Palace. Copies of the memorandum were sent to Abrams, Bunker, Berger, Goodpaster, and Major General Charles A. Corcoran, Assistant Chief of Staff for CORDS. Abrams had reviewed the military situation with Thieu the previous day. (Telegram 44409 from Saigon, December 9, and an attached memorandum from Rostow to the President, December 9, 11:15 a.m.; Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Meetings with the President, July-December 1968 [1])


250. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, HARVAN Misc. & Memos, Vol. VIII. Secret; Nodis/HARVAN. Drafted by Holbrooke. The meeting was held at the GVN offices. The previous day, the U.S. delegation briefed the GVN delegation on the procedural arrangements agreed to by the DRV, as well as those still to be settled. (Memorandum of conversation, December 9; ibid.)


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 13 VIET S. Secret; Exdis. No receipt time is indicated.


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Nixon and Transition. Secret. In an attached covering note transmitting a copy of the memorandum to the President, December 12, 3:15 p.m., Rostow wrote: “Herewith notes covering all the items you asked me to prepare, plus Pueblo, in this order: Vietnam; Paris; Arab-Israeli dispute; NPT; Pueblo. I have not put anything down on the Summit because I do not know where you came out last night with Sec. Rusk and what precisely you wish to say to Mr. Nixon today. I don’t know whether Nixon will be bringing with him any of his staff; but you may wish to talk alone with him about the Summit. I made these notes rather lengthy but have marked key passages to permit you to proceed more tersely if you wish to do so.” The President's Daily Diary records the President's meeting with Nixon. The entry for 5:35 to 7:25 p.m. reads: “President departed Oval Office to meet President-Elect and Mrs. Richard M. Nixon and daughter Tricia. President met the Nixons on the South Grounds, proceeded from there to Oval Office with President-Elect Nixon. Mrs. Nixon and Tricia went to the Mansion.” During the meeting, the President made a telephone call to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. The meeting ended at 7:25 p.m., when the President and Nixon proceeded to the White House Mansion. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) No other record of the meeting between Johnson and Nixon has been found.


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. VII. Top Secret; Literally Eyes Only.


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, 8I, Taylor Memos-General (1 of 2). Secret. According to two attached memoranda, one from Rostow to the President, December 14, 12:40 p.m., and one from Smith to Rusk and Clifford, December 17, Taylor's recommendation was one of the principal topics of the December 17 Tuesday Luncheon. See Document 257.


255. Memorandum Prepared by Ambassador at Large Harriman

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harriman Papers, Special Files, Public Service, Kennedy-Johnson, Trips & Missions, Paris Peace Talks, 1968-69, Chronological File, Dec. 1968-Jan. 1969. Absolutely Personal.


258. Memorandum From William J. Jorden of the Paris Delegation to Ambassador at Large Harriman and Ambassador Vance

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harriman Papers, Special Files, Public Service, Kennedy-Johnson, Trips & Missions, Paris Peace Talks, 1968-69, Memoranda of Conversations. Secret; Nodis/HARVAN Plus.


259. 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 9:10 a.m. Repeated to Paris for the Vietnam Mission. This telegram is printed in full in Pike, ed., The Bunker Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 629-635.


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

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, HARVAN Paris Todel-Paris Delto, Vol. XVII(a). Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN. Received at 11:22 a.m. Repeated to Saigon. The delegation transmitted the full report of the meeting in telegram 25574/Delto 1080 from Paris, December 19. (Ibid.)


261. 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)-December 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN Plus. Received at 3:21 p.m. Repeated to Saigon.


262. Personal Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to Henry A. Kissinger

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Walt Rostow Files, Nixon & Transition. Secret; Personal. In an attached note transmitting a copy of the memorandum to the President, December 23, 7:40 a.m., Rostow wrote: “Henry Kissinger has asked me for my view of the key problems and possibilities ahead. I have done the attached memorandum on a wholly personal basis. He is coming in today and I should like to give it to him. But I do not wish to pass even such a personal document to him on a personal basis without your knowledge and assent.” At the bottom of the note, Rostow provided the President with options to check, including “No” and “See me.” The President checked “You may give it to Kissinger.” On December 2 President-elect Nixon had named Kissinger to be Assistant to President for National Security Affairs in the new administration.


263. Memorandum for the Record

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 72-207A, DDO/IMS Files, AA-3 FE Division, 1968. Secret.


264. Telegram From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to Ambassador Bunker and Ambassador at Large Harriman

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, HARVAN Misc. & Memos, Vol. VIII. Secret. [text not declassified] Repeated to Saigon.


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

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Paris Talks/Meetings, Paris Talks/Nodis/Paris Meeting Plus, Vol. I. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN Plus. Received at 8:19 a.m. Repeated to Paris for the Vietnam Mission. Telegram 45708 from Saigon, December 28, contained Bunker's report on additional topics discussed during this conversation. (Ibid.)


266. Letter From Ambassador Vance to Henry A. Kissinger

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, HAK Office Files, HAK—Administrative & Staff Files—Transition, Vietnam. Secret; Nodis. A review of the status of current issues in the Paris talks was prepared for the next administration and placed into a briefing book. (Ibid., RG 59, S/S-S Files: Lot 69 D 217, General Briefing Book for the Secretary-designate, Volume V: Vietnam, December 1968)


268. 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. VIII. Secret. No transmission time is indicated.


269. 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)-January 1969. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN Plus. Received at 6:20 a.m. Repeated to Saigon. In telegram CAP 9031 to the President at his Texas Ranch, January 3, Rostow included the full text of the delegation's telegram, prefacing it with the following sentence: “Herewith Harriman and Vance's recommendation on modalities.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. VII) The notation “ps” on Rostow's telegram indicates that the President saw it. The President left the Ranch and arrived at the White House at 3:20 p.m. that day. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) Paris, January 3, 1969, 1028Z.


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-January 1969. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN Plus. Received at 6:20 a.m. Repeated to Paris for the Vietnam Mission.


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, IS/OIS Files: Lot 90 D 345, Paris Peace Conference, Delto Chron., January 1969. Secret; Flash; Nodis/HARVAN. Drafted and approved by Bundy, and cleared by John P. Walsh of S/S.


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

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, IS/OIS Files: Lot 90 D 345, Paris Peace Conference, 1968-1969, Todel Chron., January 1969. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN. Drafted by Bundy, cleared by Smith and Lowell Kilday of S/S, and approved by Rusk. Repeated to Paris as Todel 1917.