415. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security
Council (Smith) to President Johnson1
Washington, March 29, 1967, 7:45 p.m.
Secretary Rusk’s report of Ambassador
Goldberg’s conversation with
Secretary General U Thant was based on
the attached summary of a telephone report from New York. The full
memorandum of the conversation is not yet ready but will be available by
Summary of Telephone Conversation3
- Hanoi Reply to U Thant’s
Latest Viet-Nam Peace Proposal
Ambassador Goldberg talked to
U Thant today about Hanoi’s
reply to the Secretary General’s latest proposal.4 The Secretary General said the reply was delivered
The first point of the reply indicated that Hanoi had apparently thought
that U Thant would not deliver his
proposal to any other party until after Hanoi had replied to him. This
was a misunderstanding: U Thant
believes that he was told in Rangoon not to make the proposal public
before Hanoi made a reply.
The second point made in the reply was that the first step proposed by
U Thant (a stand-still truce)
equated the aggressor and the victim of aggression and was advantageous
to the United States. Hanoi made no comment on the second and third
steps proposed by U Thant.
The third point in the reply was an expression of thanks for U Thant’s interest in and desire for
peace, and an appreciation of his [Page 899] motives. The Secretary General’s interpretation of
this is that Hanoi does not want him to carry on his efforts. He noted
that this is the first written reply Hanoi has ever made to him.
The fourth point was the one made publicly that the U.N. has nothing to do with the Viet-Nam
Ralph Bunche believes that the
tone of the reply is friendly.
The U.N. interpretation is that nothing
further can be done now, and that things must be allowed to settle down
for several months. Ambassador Goldberg agrees.