160. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam 1

264436. 1. The President wishes you to hold, deliver, or modify these communications. You are quite free to use one without the other. The President is simply putting ammunition into your hands if you think it is helpful.

Message from President Johnson to President Thieu:2

“I have read Ambassador Bunker’s preliminary report on this conversation with you.

There is little to add to what Ambassador Bunker has told you. But the hour is too late for division among us. The future would be bleak if that were so.

I have thought since early October that we would sit in Paris as one, determined to maintain freedom in South Viet-Nam and to stop the killing.

We must not throw away in Paris what we have won in South Viet-Nam.

Nor must either of our countries go it alone. I am committed to the course outlined to you by Ambassador Bunker. As you know, I went down this road this far only because I felt that you were beside me at every step—as I believe you were.

I so much hope that you are not leaving me in this critical hour.

I need your wisdom, patriotism, and courage in the critical days ahead.

You should know that I should be delighted to meet with you and the other chiefs of the contributing countries in the Pacific shortly after the first Paris session when the GVN is present, be it in Honolulu or at any other point in the Pacific convenient for us all.”

Sincerely, Lyndon B. Johnson 3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-October 1968. Secret; Flash; Nodis/HARVAN Double Plus. Drafted and approved by Read from text received from the White House.
  2. A similar message was sent to Ky in telegram 264437 to Saigon, October 31. (Ibid.)
  3. The telegram is unsigned.