851g.01/6–3048: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State


3453. Bollaert arrived in Paris June 28 and has reported to Coste-Floret and Auriol.1 Baeyens informs us Bollaert will probably not see Bidault2 for at least several days and until after Bollaert has had talks with Bao Dai, who has moved from Cannes and is now installed in Saint-Germain.

[Page 27]

Baeyens found Bollaert “his usual optimistic self”. Bollaert (who is aware that both General Mast and General Catroux3 would like the job) told Baeyens he intended to return to Indochina. Bollaert also informed Baeyens that Chinese troops on the northern Vietnam border are insufficient to prevent continuing raids over the border, that relations with Burma continue to be difficult since Communist elements use Burma as a supply area in which they regroup guerrilla forces, and that relations with Siam are improving.

Baeyens expressed personal view that it will be some time before French Government decides whether it is prepared to back Bollaert and Baie d’Along agreement. If this is the case, Baeyens feels views of Assembly should be obtained. Most difficult immediate problem, in Baeyens’ view, will be status of Cochinchina, and he said any change therein must be approved by the Assembly.

Department will recall Baeyens personally regards Baie d’Along agreement as an unsatisfactory provisional and interim arrangement which is useful primarily as a step toward negotiation of a more specific agreement.

Department pass Saigon as Paris 25.4

  1. President Vincent Auriol of France.
  2. Georges Bidault, French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Gens. Charles Mast and Georges Catroux had both served in French Indochina, the latter as Governor General in 1940.
  4. This was done the same day.