851g.01/6–1048: Telegram

The Consul General at Saigon (Abbott) to the Secretary of State

confidential

134. Conversation last evening with President Xuan and Vice President Huu confirmed impression that prompt conclusion and announcement specific agreement foreseen Baie d’Along protocol essential if new govt to have any chance succeed.

Xuan said negotiations would proceed both Indochina and France thru Vietnam “Super Ambassador” Bao Dai. (In later talk General [Page 26]Delatour1 claimed virtual agreement reached on most points and remaining task mostly drafting in conjunction Paris experts.) Announced today Bollaert advancing departure originally scheduled June 16.

President emphasized agreement and mutual confidence himself [and] Bao Dai and that latter would eventually return if popular referendum asked it. Xuan remarked no doubt results such referendum due monarchist sympathies bulk population Annam [and] Tonkin. Delatour claimed Bao Dai would return soon and admitted present experiment could not succeed without his presence in Hué.

Xuan not too confident possibility substantial defections nationalists now supporting Ho Chi Minh, pointing out efficiency Communist secret police made negotiations difficult and dangerous and few leaders prepared to risk being buried alive, current Viet Minh penalty for traitors. Alertness of Viet Minh indicated by recent disarmament portion Binh Xuyen troops and execution or arrest leaders.2 Delatour confirmed above and spoke oí need continued military action to persuade waverers and give them opportunity safely to shift sides by direct contact with French troops. Spoke of peace in 1 year or 18 months. Xuan spoke of need for American loans for reconstruction, reequipment and flood control Tonkin. Expressed interest American elections and assured by me results would cause no important change US foreign policy. Also expressed doubts regarding stability Schuman Govt and mistrust re colonial policy of a future De Gaulle Govt.

Sent Dept. 134; Dept pass Paris 36.3

Abbott
  1. Gen. Pierre Boyer de La tour du Moulin was commander of French Forces in south Indochina.
  2. The Binh Xuyen was a resistance group in Cochinchina which switched from Ho Chi Minh to Bao Dai and Xuan allegiance in 1948.
  3. This was done the same day.