Vienna, May 15, 1965.
Secto 29. Mayflower. For the Under Secretary from
the Secretary. Have just returned from Chancellor's lunch for
visiting dignitaries. After lunch Gromyko and I and our wives
were at a small table for coffee. I commented to Gromyko that
we were in something of a dilemma about Southeast Asia. We felt
there might be some value in a serious exchange of views between
our two governments but that we did not know whether they themselves
wished to discuss it.
He commented with considerable seriousness that
the Soviets will not negotiate about Vietnam. He said there were
other parties involved in that situation and that the United States
would have to find ways of establishing contact with them, and
he specifically mentioned the DRV. He said they will continue
to support North Vietnam. and will do so "decisively".
He then made reference to a fellow socialist country under attack.
I interrupted to point out that the problem was
not that a socialist country was subject to attack but that a
socialist country was attacking someone else. I said that American
military forces are in South Vietnam. solely because North Vietnam.
has been sending large numbers of men and arms into the South.
He denied these facts in the usual ritual fashion
but added that in any event it was not up to the United States
to be the judge between Vietnamese. I reminded him that he must
know by now that a North Korean attack against South Koreans would
not be accepted merely because both were Korean. He merely commented
that there were important differences between those two situations.
He referred to Dobrynin's talk with me and said
that the temporary suspension of bombing was "insulting".
I said I could not understand this in view of the fact that Hanoi,
Peiping and Moscow have all talked about the impossibility of
discussions while bombing was going on.