74. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France1

255269/Todel 1277. Reference: State 254715, Paris 22390.2

This message must not be executed and next private meeting must not be requested until you receive go ahead from Washington, but we thought prepositioning cleared text would help you plan next step.

Begin Message: You should now seek private meeting soonest with Thuy to deliver instruction set forth in State 254715, with following modifications based in part on your 22390:


In paragraph 2 of the oral message strike the phrase “as a whole” and at the end of the complete five paragraph message add the question “What is your response?”

If the DRV representatives express any objection to our points on the DMZ or the cities you should inform them that this is a matter which would have the most serious consequences and require basic reappraisal by the USG.

Note: We prefer that you retain language indicating that serious talks should begin the next day as set forth in the oral message paragraph 2 rather than the alternative which you have suggested, since we attach importance to visible meeting including GVN the day following cessation.

On reconnaissance you should emphasize strongly, by repeating or otherwise calling attention to the phrase “all other acts involving use of force” in paragraph 2 of the message. If the DRV probes the meaning of this phrase you should then proceed as set forth in 3a to list examples of such “other acts”. End Message.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Outgoing)-October 1968. Secret; Immediate; Nodis/HARVAN/Double Plus. Drafted by Read; cleared by Rostow, Bundy, Katzenbach, and Read; and approved by Rusk.
  2. See Document 65 and footnote 4 thereto.
  3. In a situation report, October 15, 1:30 p.m., Read noted: “In accordance with the instructions from the Secretary, I phoned Cy Vance on the secure line just before he left for the 8:00 p.m. (Paris time) meeting with Thuy. I told him that if Hanoi’s response was favorable in all respects tonight he should tell Thuy Washington would act promptly in a day or two and that he would let Thuy know as soon as possible when such actions would be taken.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, A/IM Files: Lot 93 D 82, HARVAN-(Incoming)-October 1968) Thuy’s negative response was reported in telegram 22466/Delto 827 from Paris, October 16. (Ibid.)