119. Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Vietnam (Bunker)1

Hakto 19. Please send the following message immediately to Ambassador Bunker for delivery as close as possible to opening of business, November 23.

[Page 432]

The President has asked that you deliver the following message from him to President Thieu as soon as possible.2

Via Bunker Channel

To: Ambassador Bunker

From: Henry A. Kissinger

Begin text. I am increasingly dismayed and apprehensive over the press campaign emanating from Saigon. There are allegations that my associates are not informing me accurately of your views and that you have therefore dispatched a special emissary to Washington to accomplish this task. The unfounded attacks on the draft agreement have continued with increasing frequency.

In addition, I am struck by the dilatory tactics which we are experiencing from your side in Paris. It is evident that your representatives there have been unable to obtain with sufficient timeliness the answers to questions which we must have if we are adequately to represent your views during the negotiations, including the protocols related to the draft agreement which were provided to your government in Saigon some two weeks ago.

As I told you in my letters of November 8, 14, and 18, I will proceed promptly to a final solution if an acceptable final agreement is arrived at in Paris this week. Given my clear messages and those conveyed by my representatives these past several weeks, any further delay from your side can only be interpreted as an effort to scuttle the agreement. This would have a disastrous effect on our ability to continue to support you and your government.

I look forward to seeing your emissary in Washington as soon as the Paris sessions have been concluded, but in the interim I must urge you this one last time not to put ourselves irrevocably at odds. If the current course continues and you fail to join us in concluding a satisfactory agreement with Hanoi, you must understand that I will proceed at whatever the cost. End text.

For Kennedy: Please give a copy of the above text to Haldeman and tell him that this is the issue HAK discussed with him on the phone and that it was absolutely essential that he take this action.

End of message.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 26, HAK Trip Files, HAK Paris Trip Hakto, November 18–25, 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent via Haig and Kennedy.
  2. Bunker delivered the message to the Presidential Palace on November 23 but could not personally hand it to Thieu, who was meeting with his National Security Council. (Backchannel message Tohak 62/278 from Saigon, November 23, 0615Z; ibid., Box 857, For the President’s Files (Winston Lord)—China Trip/Vietnam, Sensitive Camp David, Vol. XXI (2))