Transcript

The Foreign Secretary informed the Cabinet that the prospects of resolving the conflict in Vietnam remained confused and uncertain; but they were perhaps slightly more hopeful than hitherto. We ourselves were maintaining our efforts, both in public and by confidential diplomatic discussions with the Governments of the United States and the Soviet Union, to promote some form of mediation between the parties to the dispute; and there now seemed to be some prospect, as the result of recent developments, that contact between them might perhaps be established. Meanwhile. although we must continue to deplore the United States bombing of North Vietnam, it would be impolitic to dissociate ourselves from United States policy, especially since we had reason to believe that the United States President, although determined not to expose United States prestige to a rebuff, was continuing to resist pressure within his Administration for the adoption of more extreme military measures against North Vietnam. Nevertheless, the risk of escalation would clearly increase if the conflict persisted; and it therefore a remained urgent to take advantage of any opportunity to bring the hostilities to an end.