78. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France 1

256008/Todel 1284. For Harriman and Vance. Deliver at Opening of Business.

At the teabreak tomorrow you should tell Thuy or hand him a note, if you think that preferable for security or other reasons, indicating: (1) We have no intention of stopping the bombing until the DRV is willing to give us a date on which we can begin serious talks with GVN representatives present; (2) The DRV has repeatedly indicated that serious talks could begin the day after cessation and when the DRV advises us of the date on which such talks can start we are prepared to stop the bombing the day before those talks in accordance with our presentation of October 15;2 (3) We see no reason for further delay and urge proceeding soonest even though it may mean starting with temporary GVN and NLF representatives who could be made available promptly and then be replaced by other representatives on their arrival. FYI: From our point of view the presence of “warm bodies” at the table the day following cessation is important as a symbol and it does not matter if they are soon thereafter replaced by permanent representatives. End FYI.
As we have emphasized in our separate cable to Saigon,3 any delay will of course create a really serious hazard of leak. We know that you will be doing everything possible to handle this at your end, as we shall here.
  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 and Bundy, cleared by Clifford and Read, and approved by Rusk.
  2. See Document 71.
  3. Document 79.