250. Backchannel Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Vietnam (Martin)1

WH50736. 1. As a result of the WSAG meeting this morning,2 it is our judgment that as soon as Tan Son Nhut Airport comes under fire the DAO personnel at the airport should immediately be evacuated by C–130 aircraft and not repeat not rely on the helicopter extraction. You should continue reducing nonessential DAO people as you are, and then evacuate the remainder by C–130 when in your judgment Tan Son Nhut is in danger of serious attack by fire and certainly before there is danger of it being rendered unusable.

2. You should know that we have had absolutely nothing to do with the French initiative.3 We would appreciate your keeping us informed about them to the extent you learn of them.

3. With regard to the Soviet Union, we have suggested a temporary (about two weeks) ceasefire in order to evacuate Americans and some Vietnamese and to discuss political arrangements. We have had some indication of serious interest but no substantive reply as yet.

4. Warm regards.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Backchannel Messages, Box 3, Martin Channel, April 1975, Outgoing (2). Top Secret; Sensitive; Flash.
  2. See Document 249.
  3. On April 21 French diplomats launched an effort to establish a provisional government in Saigon to ease the transition to Communist rule. An undated NSC memorandum, “Communications from the French,” is in the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 20, Vietnam (21).