185. Message From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the Air Attaché at the Embassy in France (Guay)1

WHP 261. Per our conversation, you should deliver the following message at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Paris time to your customer. Begin text.

After careful review of the record of the recent negotiating sessions, the U.S. side has come to the conclusion that the DRV side was deliberately and frivolously delaying the talks.

The U.S. side was determined to conclude the negotiations rapidly and this certainly could have been accomplished if there were reciprocal good will and serious intent.

In order to bring the negotiations to a rapid conclusion, the U.S. side makes the following proposal. With respect to the substance of the agreement, the two sides should return to the text as it existed at the conclusion of the session of November 23, 1972, except for the deletion of the phrase “administrative structure” in Article 12(a) and the maintenance of the strictly technical changes in the text mutually agreed in the experts’ meetings in December. With respect to the procedure for signature, this should be on the basis of the DRV proposal of Monday, December 11, 1972. Accordingly, the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam should jointly sign the agreement, while the Government of the Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary [Page 714] Government of the Republic of South Vietnam should sign separate documents which would be identical to the agreement, minus the preamble, and thus contain all its obligations.

In the meantime there should be rapid progress on the protocols designed to implement the agreement. The U.S. side wishes to reemphasize that it is unacceptable to reintroduce into these protocols substantive issues which conflict with the agreement itself or attempt to reopen questions already decided.

On this basis, Dr. Kissinger is prepared to meet Special Advisor Le Duc Tho on any date after December 26, 1972, to be chosen by the DRV side. It must be pointed out that because of his other responsibilities it is impossible for Dr. Kissinger to remain in Paris for extended periods of time in the future. The U.S. side also wants to emphasize that the present framework for a negotiated settlement cannot be maintained indefinitely.

The U.S. side reiterates its strong preference for an early and stable peace and believes that a positive response to this message would constitute a major breakthrough toward that goal.

End text.

End message.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 859, For the President’s Files (Winston Lord)—China Trip/Vietnam, Sensitive Camp David, Vol. XXIII. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Written on December 16.