93. Editorial Note

On November 7, 1972, the United States replied as follows to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam message of November 4 (see footnote 3, Document 90) that a meeting between Special Assistant Henry A. Kissinger and Special Assistant Le Duc Tho should be set for November 14:

“The U.S. side has carefully studied the DRV message of November 4, 1972. It will approach the final round of negotiations with the greatest seriousness and utmost good will with a view towards terminating the war as rapidly as possible. In order to give effect to this policy, the U.S. side will dispatch General Haig to Saigon to conduct further consultations with the Republic of Vietnam during the period November 10 and 11.

“The U.S. side proposes that Special Advisor Le Duc Tho and Dr. Kissinger meet November 15 in Paris at 10:30 a.m. to resume discussions designed to complete the draft agreement. Dr. Kissinger will be prepared to remain as long as necessary until a final text has been achieved.” (Transmitted in a message from Haig to Guay, November 7, 0045Z; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 110, Country Files, Far East, Vietnam Negotiations, US–DRV Exchanges, October 1972–January 1973)

On November 8, the North Vietnamese agreed that November 15 would be a convenient date but, regrettably, Le Duc Tho had fallen ill, and so they proposed that the talks resume on November 20. (Message from Guay to Haig, November 8, 1952Z; ibid.)

In accepting the November 20 date, the U.S. side wrote: “The U.S. side reaffirms its determination to bring an end to the war in the most rapid possible fashion. It notes the DRVN intention to participate in the next private meeting with good will and seriousness. In this case there certainly will be an early peace and the beginning of a new relationship between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.” (Transmitted in a message from Haig to Guay, November 9, 0240Z; ibid., NSC Files, Box 857, For the President’s Files (Winston Lord)—China Trip/Vietnam, Sensitive Camp David, Vol. XXI (1))