189. Telegram From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson in Texas1

CAP 64100. To Colonel Connell for the President from Bundy. Following two messages are: first, a long and important message from Ambassador Gordon, and a summary of a response which we are making.

Text of Gordon Message:2

After interdepartmental consultation with DOD, JCS, State and CIA, we are drafting an answer3 which in substance will do the following:

Inform Gordon that neither submarine landing nor carrier task force sounds right to us and ask for further elaboration of their thinking.
Tell him that we think key problem in event of Army action is supply and are actively preparing a covert capability for rapid supply in this field.
Ask Gordon to review our economic and financial relations with Brazil and recommend any desirable actions in the light of gathering crisis.
Instruct him to insure highest degree of security consistent with effective communication to anti-Goulart elements.
Question advisability of early strong public statement here. Instead we are exploring possibility of generating active press comment against Goulart since this strengthens his opponents without setting up USG as target of his demagoguery.
Make plain that fundamentally we share Gordon’s concern that he can rely on us for effective action if worst comes to worst.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Brazil, Vol. II, 3/64. Top Secret; Priority. No time of transmission appears on the telegram; it was received by the White House Army Signal Agency at 6:56 p.m. Printed from a draft copy that includes Bundy’s minor handwritten revisions. A note indicates that the copy sent to the President was “retrieved and destroyed.”
  2. Document 187. Although the text does not appear here, a copy of the telegram was forwarded to the President. A handwritten note indicates the copy was returned to Dungan on March 30.
  3. See Document 190.