275. Memorandum of Conversation1
- The Secretary
- Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador
- Mr. Irving Cheslaw, EUR/BMI
Ambassador Dean said that the President yesterday had given him a full account of the bombing policy,2 had assured him nothing was new, and had indicated that this present program would probably end by mid-September. Sir Patrick noted that the call to come to the White House had coincided with instructions from London to try to see the President on this subject. Sir Patrick asked if the Secretary saw better prospects on the diplomatic front after mid-September.
The Secretary replied that hardly a week went by without an effort to test Hanoi, but the reactions continued to be negative.
Sir Patrick asked if we had any reason to think that increasing the military pressure would help. The Secretary replied that there was no reason to think decreasing the pressure would make a difference. As for the previous limits on our bombing program, we imposed these limits ourselves. Meanwhile, the North Vietnamese have been using the area in the far north as a safe haven for their logistical buildup. The Secretary said that the other governments with troops in South Viet-Nam attached great importance to our bombing in the North.