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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 04, 1963

SECRET TELEGRAM FROM MANELI (SAIGON) TO SPASOWSKI (WARSAW)

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    Telegram from Polish official in Saigon, Maneli, to Warsaw, explaining his frustrations in not being able to help the South Vietnamese situation, and defending his meeting with Nhu. Mentions the Buddhist crisis.
    "Secret Telegram from Maneli (Saigon) to Spasowski (Warsaw)," October 04, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMSZ, Warsaw, 6/77, w-102, t-625, obtained and translated by Margaret Gnoinska. Published in CWIHP Working Paper No. 45. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118952
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Saigon

Dispatched 10.04.63 at 11:10 hours

Received [in Warsaw] 10.08.63 at 09:00 hours

Came into the Decoding Department on 10.08.63 at 10:10 hours

No. 12830

Spasowski

1.   I am trying to carry out the instructions within my capabilities. The Commission and its agendas are not working (for the past 8 months of my stay there were three meetings) which require a lot of hassle. All my contacts are those of a social character. There was no single incident in which I would act as an intermediary in anything at the request of the Vietnamese comrades; I have been informing you about everything without delay.

2.   It does not correspond with the truth that I was allegedly invited to Hanoi at the time of the Buddhist crisis and the state of siege. On the contrary, I was advised not to come and to stay put, as was emphasized, in the [best] interest of everyone. In the early days of August, we were bound by the official decision of the Commission; the chief delegates committed themselves not to leave Saigon. [Canadian] Ambassador Cox gave up his travels. I did not go to the DRV’s [Independence Day] holiday on September 2, after having consulted with Hanoi, and I informed you about that (yours 384).  We were expecting bombings at the time. I reckoned that it would be unworthy of the chief of the delegation to leave and to head for a safe place. I sent comrades Lato and Szmidt [to Hanoi]. My decision at the time and during my current stay in Hanoi was acknowledged legally by the Vietnamese. This is the reason for their warmhearted welcome at my reception [in early October]. Connecting this matter to [French] Ambassador Lalouette is a misunderstanding. L.[alouette] was in Saigon at the time, there are our [cables] from the time 390 and 392, and 393 and 398 about his pronouncements. He left for Hanoi after the situation had stabilized. I admit with regret that you were led into error.

3.   I am presenting the facts as far as the issue of Nhu.  I immediately conveyed the public invitation by Nhu at the party – yours 393.  On September 1, I received an invitation signed by the chief of the Liaison Mission for September 2.  I understood the lack of your reply as the lack of reservations [on your part], and I knew about the positive position of the Soviet comrades; I therefore thought that I could not decline [the invitation]. I made this decision in very difficult conditions. I received your [cable] which prohibited me to go [to meet with Nhu] on September 5, that is after I sent the report of the conversation. As to the démenti, I sent it before your 10788 (our 466). The second option of démenti – yours 462.

Maneli

(signed in hand)

No. 463

Deciphered on 10.08.63 at 14:35 hours

By Pikuła and Gorki (?)

Checked by Meller on 10.08.63 at 14:45 hours