233. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson 1

The enclosed is our suggestion of a paragraph which you could give as an oral message tomorrow. For the convenience of the Chairman, you could actually give him a copy. But since his message to you was oral, it might be better that the enclosed be oral, at least in form.

In addition to the enclosed, we believe you should say the following to the Chairman:

“Mr. Chairman, you and I have a very special responsibility on matters involving peace. It is of the greatest importance that you and I not misunderstand each other and that no problems of good faith arise between us. Therefore, I want you personally to know that we are prepared to stop the bombing as a step toward peace. We are not prepared to stop the bombing merely to remove one-half of the war while the other half of the war proceeds without limit. I am accepting very large risks in giving you the message for transmittal to Hanoi which I have just given you. I want you to know that if talks do not lead to peace or if protracted talks are used to achieve one-sided military advantage against us, we shall have to resume full freedom of action. I say this to you and not to Hanoi because I think it is of great importance that you and I fully understand each other. I do not ask you to agree; I am merely asking you to understand what is in my mind.”

Dean Rusk 2
[Page 537]


Oral Message From President Johnson to Chairman Kosygin

The United States anticipates that it could stop the bombing of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam. The United States further anticipates that, following the cessation of bombing, there could be immediate discussions between representatives of the United States and of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam. These discussions could be held in Geneva, Moscow, Vientiane, or any other suitable location. The United States further anticipates that its own and allied forces in the northern provinces of South Viet-Nam would not advance to the north and that elements of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam in the northern part of South Viet-Nam and in the southern portions of North Viet-Nam would not advance to the south. The United States anticipates that, if discussions are held between its representatives and those of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, all questions which either side might wish to raise could be raised. The United States would hope, on the basis of the anticipations expressed above, that the results of such talks could be the stabilization of peace in Southeast Asia. The United States would be glad to know of the reactions of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam to the thoughts expressed above.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Addendum, USSR, Glassboro Memcons. Top Secret. The President read the text of the messages in the memorandum and the attachment to Kosygin at their 3:20 p.m. meeting on June 25. See Document 235.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  3. Top Secret.