250. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson 1
Washington, September 10, 1965, 5 p.m.
- Report from George Ball
- The attached reporting cable from London shows how George Ball really put it to the British on Singapore and our support of the pound. You will not need to read the account of George’s argumentation, but you will want to look at the sidelined account of the British responses on both subjects.2 You will notice that it took two talks for Wilson to agree to the association between our defense of the pound and their overseas commitments. The one thing which he was apparently trying to avoid was a liability in Vietnam, and you will recall that it was your own wisdom that prevented us from making any such connection earlier in the summer, although I did once informally say to one of the Prime Minister’s people that a battalion would be worth a billion-a position which I explicitly changed later.
- The essence of the Singapore part of the conversation is being sent to Ambassador Clark for report to Menzies at the time he delivers your letter.3