35. Memorandum From Melvin Levine and Richard Smyser of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
- U Thant Proposal to Convoke Leaders of US, Mainland China, USSR, UK and France
The attached cable (Tab A) reports U Thant’s proposal to Secretary Rogers that Thant invite leaders of the US, PRC, USSR, France, and the UK to be present in Geneva during the week of September 6.2
If the President were willing to come, Thant would approach Chou-En-lai and then the others. If the President were unable to attend, Thant suggests a meeting at the Foreign Minister’s level.
Secretary Rogers said he would check this out (presumably with the President) and notify Thant.
While we have not yet thought through the full implications of this proposal, some of the considerations it entails include the following: (1) What would be the effect on our UN Chirep position? (2) What would be the effect on our relations with Taipei? (3) With Peking?(4) Do we wish to see the UN—and U Thant—this deeply involved in this level of our diplomacy? (5) Would such a meeting provide an opportunity for useful discussions on Vietnam? (6) Should the President himself be involved in such a meeting?
We are not coming forward with recommendations in this memo. Since the State Department will presumably be raising the issue with us, we will be able to staff the question out more methodically. But since it is possible that Secretary Rogers may be raising the issue with you very shortly, we thought you should be aware that the problem exists.
Bill Hyland concurs.