[In this memo
Ball responds to the "Four Points" issued by Hanoi on
April 13, 1965]
by asserting that the U.S. will need to make compromises from
its publically-stated goals.]
does not expect us to accept its four points as a pre-condition
for negotiations...[but rather has presented them] for the purpose
of staking out a bargaining position. I think it is possible that
the four points were deliberately drawn to test the possibility
of beginning a dialogue - and we would do well to examine them
in that light.... The United States should try to find some common
ground that would save face for Hanoi and permit it to pull back
even though that action were only tactical and Hanoi hoped to
prevail at some later date....
outlines of a possible settlement could be as follows:]
1. All hostilities
would be terminated. Hanoi would stop infiltrating men and equipment
and the Viet Cong would stop their guerrilla activities. The United
States would halt its bombing and both the South Vietnamese and
the United States would stop attacking the Viet Cong.
2. The Saigon
Government would declare a general amnesty - subject to the faithful
carrying out of paragraph 1 by Hanoi and the Viet Cong. As part
of the amnesty all Viet Cong wishing to return to the North would
be permitted to do so....
3. An International
Commission would undertake to police the cease-fire by the appropriate
deployment of adequate inspection teams at key points throughout
4. An agreed
future date would be set for elections. The Liberation Front would
be recognized as a political party and would be permitted to present
candidates and conduct an election campaign by peaceable means.
5. An International
Force would supervise the elections. Once the new Government was
installed the United States would withdraw. However, the new government
would have the right to request assistance from the United States
or any other country in the event that its independence were again
would be permitted at a specified future date if desired by the
people of South Vietnam and their Government.