811.20 Defense (M)/119: Telegram

The Consul at Hanoi (Reed) to the Secretary of State

Reference to my telegram dated July 18, 7 p.m.

I am reliably but unofficially informed that the Governor General yesterday received a second telegram from the naval authorities [Page 653] at Saigon transmitting the substance of a second instruction from the French Admiralty to the effect the Admiralty does not consider the ores discharged from the Selenga and Vladimir Mayakoski to be the subject of a valid commercial contract and accordingly these ores are to be released to the Soviets.
I have been informed but it is not confirmed that a telegram has been drafted for transmission to the French Government at Vichy questioning the advisability of failing to recognize the validity of the purchase by the United States Government, particularly in view of the economic and financial dependence of Indo China upon the United States. The telegram is also said to refer to the fact that as long ago as June 6 (the date of a telegram from the French Minister of Colonies) the ores were specifically mentioned as being included in a valid commercial contract, that of the French merchant Audinet (Chungking’s telegram 284, June 22, 11 a.m.). Reference will also be made to a telegram of July 5 from the same source releasing the ores included in Audinet’s contract for exportation to the United States.
The fact that the new Governor General, my telegram dated today, 8 a.m.,30a is a naval officer may complicate this matter.
The Department’s instructions are requested.

Sent to Cavite for repetition to the Department, Chungking, Peiping, Hong Kong.

  1. Not printed.