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

729. Ref: WH50745.2

Since Huong had no inkling until Monday that he was suddenly to become President, I do not think he has come to any firm decisions on the questions raised in your cable. Necessarily, his course will be partly determined by outside influences and pressures, many of which will be beyond his ability to control.
My impression is definitely that, as of today, his intention is to remain in office to facilitate negotiations leading to a solution.
I think he would prefer to deal with Hanoi, would not rule out the PRG as an interlocutor, but would prefer the USG or France.
I think that, whoever he may have in mind, he completely accepts the reality that the individual finally chosen must be acceptable to Hanoi.
His difficulty now is arranging a dependable channel of communication with Hanoi. Perhaps after he sees the French Ambassador, I may have a clearer idea of what these possibilities are.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Backchannel Messages, Box 3, Martin Channel, April 1975, Incoming (2). Secret; Immediate. Sent with the instruction: “Deliver immediately.”
  2. In backchannel message WH50745 to Martin, April 22, Kissinger asked the Ambassador to assess Huong’s intentions. (Ibid., Outgoing, 2)