MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD
SUBJECT: Briefing of General Eisenhower in his office at
1. ecalledad briefed General Eisenhower on August 6th, immediately following the incidents of the Gulf of Tonkin.
2. oviewed the developments since early August in South Vietnam, reporting to Eisenhower the actions taken by Khanh following the Tonkin incident,tate of emergency and the decree reorganizing the government. This was followed by popular uprisings, the withdrawal of Khanh from the government, the conduct of government by Deputy Prime Minister Oanh, the return of Khanh, the reestablishmentovernmentriumvirate, the positioning of Big Minh as titular head of the government and the restorationery fragile, but at the sameeaceful situation in Saigon. mphasized the fragility of the situation, my concern over the deepening schisms between Catholics and Buddhists, Dai Viets and other political entities, segments of the military and various political or religious sects. aid for this reason CXA estimated the future was very ominous and that we believed chances ofeliablein South Vietnam were less than even. lso commented on my concern about the deep down purposes of the BuddhistB and its leader Tri Chiang and also the anti-American sentiment which had been expressed though very minor might grow. eported that the military situation was remaining "as is" with no attempt by the VC to capitalize on the confused political situation, that the Vietnamese military commands were carrying on, that the Communists were attempting political Infiltration as the best means of capitalizing on the situation.
felt the situation most critical, suggestions to offer.
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Reviewed briefly the situation in Laos, the attempts to reach an understanding through negotiations in Paris, tho fact tint do Gaulle had put hie prestige on the line but that so far the: bad made no progress whatsoever. ommented on the difficulty of assessing the Communist attitude following the Tonkin Gulf episode as evidenced by Peiplng's accusation of Moscow supporting the U. S. in Southeast Asia, the relatively moderate response from Hanoi and Peiping, the willingness of Souvannaphong to go to Paris and the absence of dynamic military action on the part of the Pathet Lao. Eisenhower felt that these situations were difficult to assess but they might be holding back for fear of more serious strike by. forces.
I summarised the situation in Cyprus and the stalemate that had been reached in the negotiations and tho dangers inherent in the Cyprus situation because of Makarios' invitation for help from Nasser and Khrushchev. Eisenhower continues to feel that some sort of partition of Cyprus is the only solution to the problem. This view he has expressed to me on numerous occasions.
I reported that the Congo situation had improved in the lastays. Tshombe had come out better in the African conference than we had expected, that be had handled himself quite well, and while he had not received actual military assistance, he had not lost the gain because the conference had refused to hear or recognize tho rebel government.
5. With respect to Malaysia-Indonesiaeviewed the issues, the passage of the British fleet unit through the Sunda Straits and the probability that the fleet would return in the next few days which mightonfrontation between Great Britain and Indonesia, xpressed the view that the British were going to back up the Malaysians and support them against any overt or excessive guerrilla operations by the Indonesians anderious situation might develop at any time.
6. rought Eisenhower up to date an Cuba und advised him that we expected that shortly alter the election Castro would stronglyeconnaissance over Cuba and very possibly attempt to shootlane. aid we were working towards havingeady to introduce if this situation developed, but not at all sure that wc would do so. eported all significant current intelligence on Cuba.Original document.