376. Letter From Secretary-General of the United Nations U Thant to President Johnson1

My Dear Mr. President,

I am asking Ambassador Goldberg to be so kind as to deliver this message to you personally, since he has told me that he plans to go to Washington tomorrow.

It was very good of you to have Ambassador Goldberg come in to see me,2 immediately after my return from a week’s absence, to inform me fully about the various aspects of the initiative you have taken towards bringing to a peaceful end the distressing situation in Vietnam.

My position on the various aspects of the Vietnam question has been made known to you and your distinguished predecessor over the past two years through my discussions with your representatives at the United Nations. You will readily appreciate, therefore, that I warmly welcome every effort designed to move the Vietnam conflict from the battleground to the conference table. I most earnestly hope that the efforts which you are now making in this direction will lead to a peaceful settlement of this tragic problem.

You are, of course, well aware also of my position with regard to the cessation of bombing and therefore you will know that I look with favour upon the present pause in the bombing; the more particularly so, since no time limit has been indicated for the present pause, which is consistent with my conviction that any such pause, if it is to have the intended effect must be of indefinite duration.

I wish to thank you again, Mr. President, for keeping me fully informed of your efforts towards finding a peaceful solution to the war in Vietnam.

With all best wishes,


  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, United Nations, U Thant, Vol. 1. Personal.
  2. The meeting took place on January 4. (Department of State, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Subject Files, Reel 127, Frames 832–833)