116. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1
Herewith the haggle in Paris this morning, plus the reference telegram with our text marked on pages 4-5 in red (at paperclip).2 Here are the debating points.
They want to insert the words “without condition” in paragraph A but are prepared to accept also “on the basis of our discussions.”[Page 326]
Comment: We could, perhaps, live with this because we have put our conditions in the form of facts of life which would permit serious negotiations to proceed.
They propose, instead of the underlined language at the top of page 5 in the attached: “a meeting including representatives of the DRV, NLF, U.S. and RVN will be held in Paris on November 2, 1968.”
Comment: The introduction of “representatives of” is an improvement over their proposal; but we will have to see what Ellsworth thinks.
- Their text “In order to find a peaceful settlement to the Viet-Nam problem” seems all right to me as a substitute for “meetings on the substance of a peaceful settlement in Viet-Nam.”
- They agree to the principle that the date and time of the first Paris meeting be made public at the time of the announcement, but they Don’t want it in the minute. They have not accepted our two or three days but, at this time, are still holding out for a week.
I assume Sec. Rusk will be forwarding suggestions to you for the next round in the haggle.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, Memos to the President/Bombing Halt Decision, Vol. II [2 of 2]. Secret; Nodis; HARVAN Double Plus. The notation “ps” on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it and the attached report.↩
- Full summaries of this meeting between the delegations were transmitted in telegrams 22908/Delto 874 and 22914/Delto 877 from Paris, October 24. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968)↩
- Document 113.↩
- The draft communiqué read: “On October —, 1968, the representatives of the Government of the USA informed the representatives of the Government of the DRV that the President would order the cessation without any conditions of all air, naval and artillery bombardment and all other acts involving the use of force on the whole territory of the DRV, with effect from —— hours GMT, October —, 1968. The representative of the Government of the DRV took note of this communication. After the realization of the above-mentioned cessation, without condition, of the bombing, a conference including the DRV, the NLF, the USA and the Republic of South Vietnam will be held in Paris on ——— with a view of finding a peaceful solution to the Vietnam problem.” The draft minute consisted of two paragraphs: A, which read “On the basis of our discussions, the United States will stop without conditions all air, naval and artillery bombardment and all other actions involving the use of force on the entire territory of the DRV on —— date at —— hours GMT,” and B, which read “In order to find a peaceful settlement to the Vietnam problem, a meeting including the DRVN, the NLF, the USA and the RVN wncoming)-October 1968)n ———.” (Telegram 22908/Delto 874 from Paris, October 24; (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968)↩