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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 10, 1966

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN ION GHEORGHE MAURER, PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE S. R. ROMANIA, AND HOANG TU, AMBASSADOR OF THE D.R. VIETNAM

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    This document is a memorandum of the conversation between Ion Gheorghe Maurer and Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Hoang Tu, in which Tu expresses concern over the increasing American aggression in Vietnam, gratitude for the solidarity of the Socialist Bloc countries, and states that an incognito visit by a Romanian delegation would be welcomed in Hanoi.
    "Memorandum of Conversation Between Ion Gheorghe Maurer, President of the Council of Ministers of the S. R. Romania, and Hoang Tu, Ambassador of the D.R. Vietnam," September 10, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Document 8 in Niculescu-Mizil, România şi războiul americano-vietnamez (2008), p. 188; ANR, Fond CC al PCR, Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 118/1966, f. 26-28. Translated by Larry L. Watts https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122578
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Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer

President of the Council of Ministers

On September 10, 1966, President of the Council of Ministers, Ion Gheorghe Maurer, received in audience Hoang Tu, the ambassador of D.R. Vietnam to the Socialist Republic of Romania, accompanied by Hoa Tu Truc, the second secretary of that embassy. George Macovescu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, was also in attendance. M. Plătăreanu, second secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assisted.

After the exchange of protocol greetings, Hoang Tu affirmed the following:

“On 12 August of this year, the President of the Council of Ministers of the Socialist Republic of Romania, comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer, suggested a meeting between the party and state leaderships of Romania and Vietnam. In connection with this I received a telegram from Hanoi and wish to transmit its contents to the President of the Council of Ministers. The Party of those who work in Vietnam and the government of the D.R. Vietnam express thanks to the Romanian Communist Party and to the government of the Socialist Republic of Romania for the attention they have accorded the situation in Vietnam and for the effective support they have given the Vietnamese people in its struggle against American imperialism. The United States is intensifying its aggression in Vietnam, unceasingly increasing its military effectives and continuing the escalation in the North. In parallel with that, the American government makes noisy advertisement of its so-called peaceful intentions, which basically have no other aim than that of exercising pressure on the people of Vietnam to compel them to accept the conditions of American imperialism.

In order to combat this maneuver, the Vietnamese people increase their efforts and intensify the struggle for the defense of the North and the liberation of the South, for the unification of the country. The appeal made by President Ho Chi Minh on 17 July this year reaffirms its position regarding peace.

The Vietnamese people enjoy increasing support and assistance from the fraternal socialist countries, also reflected in the Declaration of the Bucharest meeting of the socialist countries participating in the Warsaw Pact. It also has the support of progressive circles around the world.

The Vietnamese side considers that no essential changes have occurred in the situation since the last visit of the Romanian party and government delegation in D.R. Vietnam. We intend to implement the suggestions then made by the Romanian comrades.

Nevertheless, if the Romania side still desires to send a delegation in D.R. Vietnam, it will be received with pleasure. The party and government of D.R. Vietnam expresses thanks to the party and state leadership of the Socialist Republic of Romania for the suggestion to have an exchange of opinions on the situation in Vietnam.

The Vietnam side proposes that a Romanian delegation should travel incognito. I believe you understand why the visit must remain incognito. The environs of Hanoi are often bombarded and the travel of the Romanian party and state leadership must remain unknown to the enemy. Regarding the level of the meeting, the Romanian side is requested to decide.”[1]

President Ion Gheorghe Maurer thanked the Ambassador of D.R. Vietnam for the response given, a response that will now be brought to the attention of the party leadership.

The President affirmed that, personally, he considered this response welcome, because the Romanian side feels the need for an exchange of opinions, which it considers to be useful. He then explained that he had made a series of visits in different countries in recent months, and that he gained impressions and data that would be good to discuss.

“In our opinion, the President said, nothing should change from the current strategy, because in no case can the Americans be permitted to do what they want, after so much blood has been shed. However, very careful thought must be given to the means that should be now be employed, even more so given the potential for the Vietnamese problem to be discussed in a certain manner within the appropriate sessions of the UN General Assembly. Even if the Americans do not raise this problem, it is probable that it will be raised at their instigation. Under these conditions, it is well that the situation should be examined by the Romanian side and by the Vietnamese together.”

President of the Council of Ministers, comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer, thanked the ambassador for the promptitude with which he transmitted the message of the Vietnamese side and assured him that the response will be transmitted at once to the RCP leadership, which will take its decision, and he requested Hoang Tu to transmit fraternal salutations to comrades Ho Chi Minh, Pham Van Dong, Le Duan and the other comrades from the party and state leadership of the DR Vietnam.

[1] The visit, “on an incognito basis, of a SR Romania delegation led by Ion Gheorghe Maurer and Paul Niculescu-Mizil, to DR Vietnam for an exchange of opinions regarding the situation in Vietnam” was approved in a September 12, 1966 meeting of the Presidium of the RCP Central Committee.  See Excerpt from Protocol No. 39 of the Meeting of The Permanent Presidium of the R.C.P. C. C., Arhiva Comitetului Executiv al CC al PCR, Nr. 2176, 21.09.1966; reproduced as Document 7 in Niculescu-Mizil (2008), p. 187.

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