K: I have just gotten one of Martin’s backchannels to me. He wants to slow down the
evacuation because it is such a mess in Guam.2Document 260.
B: He can’t do that. Even if Clark and Guam are overwhelmed. We have
12,000 at Clark and more at Guam.
K: Don’t put these figures out.
B: I haven’t. There are thousands more on the way.
K: I thought he was bluffing me. That means we have gotten 25,000 or more
B: Right. Say, Martin hasn’t
answered the telegram we sent asking for his feelings and what the high
risk options are, etc., yet.3See footnote 2, Document 261. It is
near panic at the airport and they have no control over the situation,
especially the issuing of certificates. What appears to be happening is
that Americans are walking down to the planes with their Vietnamese
friends and saying get on. 15 to 20% of the people have no papers and
there is no proof that they are high risk at all.
K: What can we do?
B: Nothing. Martin can’t control
the situation, because he can’t be at the airport.
K: Can’t anyone?
B: There are people who are trying to at the airport, but it is
difficult. Everybody is taking care of friends, maybe they are sorting
them somehow. But it is close to chaos. There is also a difficulty with
California. I talked to Jerry a
couple of days ago.4Governor Jerry Brown of
K: Is he against it?
B: No, but the Federal Government hasn’t done anything for California and
with their high unemployment etc., he is saying it will be difficult.
His impression is that we want to dump Vietnamese on them. It is a
political problem. I have Weinberger set to call him today and talk to
him. He will say that we will try to be helpful but we are going to have
to start moving groups to the U.S. We need some place in the U.S. to
hold them until we can let volunteer agencies move them on. I have
talked to the airlines and asked them if we can have free passages on
planes because there is no money within the U.S. to move them.
K: Yes. It is a nightmare.
B: It is not going to come out very nicely. One of the things I wanted to
say in the WSAG is how many people do
we want to get out?
K: How many do you think?
B: 5 to 10 thousand more. If we could move them from Saigon to ______, we
could alleviate a lot of pressure.
K: Let me think about it.
B: O.K. Also think about Hawaii or the possibility of moving them now
directly to the States. We will talk about it.
B: Defense has got to cooperate. Weinberger is calling Schlesinger and telling him to give the
Army a good name for once by letting them take an active part in the
refugee movement. They are bucking us again. We need to let people use
military bases as the next staging area to let the volunteer agencies
have time to pick them up. It should work just like the Hungary
B: Thanks sir.
1Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division,
Kissinger Papers, Box
388, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification
marking. Blank underscores indicate an omission in the