157. Situation Report by the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Read)1

Phone Call from Vance, 2150, October 30, 1968

Vance reported that the mission had been accomplished—complete agreement on all points had been reached.2
The North Vietnamese fully understood the necessity for secrecy; they will say nothing until after our announcement.
Vance will meet Lau Saturday3 to discuss procedures for the first meeting.
Vance said the Soviets had been pressing to see him anytime between now and morning, and he requested guidance. He was reluctant to go ahead for fear of leaks. We said we saw no advantage or disadvantage and would leave the decision to his discretion. Mr. Rostow, when informed afterward of the conversation, advised against informing the Soviets. His views were then relayed, at 2215, to Vance, who said they had just reached the same conclusion themselves and would not be seeing the Soviets. This word was passed to Mr. Rostow.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, HARVAN/DOUBLE PLUS, Vol. IV [1 of 2]. Secret; Nodis/HARVAN Double Plus.
  2. In telegram 23201/Delto 902 from Paris, October 30, Vance reported on a meeting he and Habib had with Lau and Vy that afternoon, and specifically noted the following: “Lau said that whether or not our agreement is recorded in the minute is not very important. The problem is to come to agreement. Lau said that the reason the DRV had raised the question of a minute was to see whether the U.S. words conformed to its actions. Lau said that if we changed the contents of the minute from the way it was worded the other day then his Minister could not agree. Lau added that his Minister’s view was that ‘we do not need a minute any longer so that you do not use the minute as a pretext for delaying the cessation of bombing.’ As Lau had said, we have agreed on the date of a meeting, on the content of the minute, and now the only remaining question is that of signing the minute and the question of time of cessation of bombing.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968)
  3. November 1.