57. Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Acting Ambassador to Vietnam (Whitehouse)1

Hakto 36. Please deliver immediately to Palace the following letter from President Nixon to President Thieu:

Dear Mr. President:

In my last letter to you,2 I gave you a number of reasons which have compelled me to instruct Dr. Kissinger to accept the terms of the communiqué which he and Le Duc Tho have negotiated in Paris. As you will note from the preliminary draft text which has been sent to you, we have agreed with the North Vietnamese on several measures which we believe the two South Vietnamese parties should undertake to improve the implementation of the Paris Agreements for which all four of us bear responsibility.

From the point of view of the world as a whole, from the point of view of domestic opinion in the United States, and in practical terms as far as South Vietnam is concerned, the most conspicuous single action on which we have agreed is the appeal for a new set of cease-fire orders by the two South Vietnamese parties. I addressed the urgency of this in my last letter to you.

In order to explain to you more fully the rationale behind our actions and the perspectives in which we view this entire matter, I am asking Ambassador Sullivan to go to Saigon from Paris to brief you personally. He is scheduled to arrive there the evening of Wednesday, May 23. I would appreciate it if you can arrange to receive him on Thursday so that we can achieve the earliest identity of views.


  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 35, HAK Trip Files, Paris Trip, May 1973, HAKTO 1–46. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only; Flash. Sent through Scowcroft with the instruction: “Please send immediately to Saigon. No need for processing in Washington.”
  2. See Document 56.