203. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam 1

74933. Subject: Additional Assistance; Limited Evacuation. For the Ambassador from the Secretary. Ref: State 73051.2

You should inform President Thieu immediately that the President intends to make a major public effort to get additional assistance for Viet-Nam following General Weyand’s assessment at the end of this week. In a speech, probably on April 10, the President will urge the Congress to act favorably on additional assistance for Viet-Nam within two weeks.
At the same time, you should tell Thieu that under present circumstances you believe it is prudent to begin to reduce the number of Americans in South Viet-Nam, at least temporarily. You should indicate that over the next few days you will be arranging for the departure of all dependents of official Americans as well as all official Americans who have already been evacuated from MRs I and II and who no longer have any function to perform in the country. You should stress to Thieu that the U.S. Mission will continue to function normally and that your efforts are simply designed to thin out the number of Americans in SVN to those fulfilling essential functions.
Immediately following this you are to arrange for the departure from South Viet-Nam over the next few days of all remaining dependents of official Americans, including to the extent possible dependents of contractor personnel, and all official Americans who have been withdrawn from MR I and MR II. Although we recognize that these moves will inevitably become known and will create a certain amount of speculation, you should carry them out in a way best designed to minimize any adverse impact on the South Vietnamese. You should use commercial aircraft where possible for these departures as well as available military transport as necessary. If transportation is a problem, let us know as soon as possible.
You should suggest to non-official Americans that they consider sending out of South Viet-Nam their dependents and that less essential personnel should also leave.
Finally, I would like your early recommendations as to whether you should bring all or most Americans into Saigon from remaining field posts at this time in view of the situation.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 21, Vietnam, State Department Telegrams, From SECSTATE, Nodis (2). Secret; Niact; Immediate; Nodis; Cherokee. Drafted by Miller, EA; approved by Kissinger, Habib, Smyser, and Abramowitz.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 201.