31. Memorandum From Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson1


  • Laos

Until early this morning there had been no messages from Embassy Vientiane for 22 hours. The three cables which came in this morning are attached, but the last of them is still incomplete as of 10:30 a.m.2

Briefly, the situation seems to be that Generals Phoumi, Siho and Kouprasith have pressed Souvanna Phouma into resigning and forming a new government without the Pathet Lao.

Ambassador Unger is trying to persuade the generals that this action will not be accepted by the Pathet Lao and will result in a breakdown of the Geneva Accords. We do not yet know whether he will be successful.

Bill Bundy is standing by in Bangkok, but will be taking off within the next three hours unless we tell him to stay. I believe that the consensus in State is that he should return in order to report to you as soon as possible and to assume direction of the operations in Washington.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Laos, Vol. II, Memos, 4/16–4/30/64. Secret. There was no indication that the President saw this memorandum.
  2. There is no indication on Forrestal’s memorandum which cables were attached.