740.0011 Pacific War/3531

Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

M. Henri Hoppenot, the Delegate of the French Committee of National Liberation, has left with the State Department a communication, a copy of which in translation is attached hereto,7 giving the reasons why, in the opinion of the Committee, it would be a mistake to entrust to Chinese troops the launching of military operations against Indo-China. The main reason advanced is that the Chinese are the hereditary enemies of the Annamites and that an attack by the Chinese would therefore be resisted by the local population as well as by French troops. It is our belief that this presentation of the case involves allegations not in accord with the facts, and that the Annamites, by and large, have for the Chinese a feeling of friendliness and cultural affinity.

The problem to which these representations relates seems primarily to be a military problem for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We understand that it has already been brought to the attention of that body by General Bethouart, Chief of the French Military Mission.

Edward E. Stettinius, Jr.
  1. Ante, p. 882.