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Letter from Linus Pauling to Lyndon B. Johnson. December 2, 1965.
Pauling communicates, on behalf of recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, a letter received from Ho Chi Minh regarding the opportunity for peace negotiations between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the United States. Pauling appeals to Johnson to issue as cease-fire and begin negotiations.


Linus Pauling

P.O. Box 4068, Santa Barbara


December 2, 1965

President Lyndon B. Johnson

The White House

Washington, D.C.

Dear President Johnson:

On 10 August 1965 I wrote to you, communicating an appeal signed by eight recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. This appeal, addressed to all the Governments and parties concerned in the war in Vietnam, asked for immediate action to achieve a cease-fire and a negotiated settlement of this tragic conflict.

On the same day I sent the same letter and appeal to other national leaders. I have now received a reply from President Ho Chi Minh of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam. A copy of this reply is enclosed.

The letter emphasizes four points in relation to the peaceful settlement of the Vietnam problem: reaffirmation of the rights of the Vietnamese people to peace, independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity; the withdrawal of United States troops; and so on.

I believe that it is most important to note that no conditions are mentioned as prerequisites to the initiation of negotiations. President Ho Chi Minh in his letter to me and my fellow recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize has expressed his hope that peace will be achieved in Vietnam, and has stated his views about the settlement of the problem, without prescribing any conditions to a cease-fire and the beginning of discussions.

As we said in our appeal, our present object is not to apportion blame; the one imperative is that the killing, the maiming, and the burning should cease. I believe that you and your advisors are wise enough to be able to find the way to achieve the goal of a cease-fire and a peaceful settlement of the Vietnamese problem in accordance with the principles of justice and humanity. As spokesman not only for a group of recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, dedicated to working for world peace, but also for moral human beings everywhere, I appeal to you to act now.


Linus Pauling



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