851g.01/6–3048: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France

top secret
us urgent

2466. For Wallner.1 Dept considering ways of implementing recommendations contained in final para Saigon’s tel 150 Jun 30 to Dept2 rptd Paris as 40, and it appears desirable that with Emb, you consult informally with French officials, particularly Bollaert, as to points 1 and 2 below. Please comment on these as well as remaining points.

Daridan3 has informally stated to Dept officer that in his opinion Assembly would not have to ratify Baie d’Along agreement. He pointed out, however, that definite agreement covering points mentioned in para 3 that document would assumably have to be so ratified. Dept inclined believe French Govt would have to give, however, public evidence that it backed Bollaert’s signature of agreement. Pls report current French thinking this question.
In event Daridan’s interpretation correct, Dept believes that only measure which French Govt would have to submit for approval Assembly would be question of change of status Cochinchina to allow “union 3 kys” to be achieved by Viets as stated Jun 5 agreement. Would such move by Schuman4 Govt precipitate crisis? Is there any possibility that Communists might support such a measure or at least abstain from voting against it, as their line has consistently favored “union of 3 kys”?
How can approach to French best be made? In respect Baeyens’ views (Embstel 3453 Jun 30) and rptd statements of Daridan that he does not believe Schuman Govt would risk its political life to bring question before Assembly, Dept believes that if desired results to be obtained, it must be done at highest level; i.e. Schuman, Bidault and Coste-Floret in spite latter’s recent statement to Assembly (Embstel 3155 Jun 152) paralleled of course by high level approach to Bonnet5 in Washington.
Should approach, if made, be confined for present only to change in status Cochinchina? In this connection, what is best timing?
What concessions are judged necessary to give plan fair start?
[Page 30]

Dept cognizant of fact that fighting in Indochina has now continued for almost three years; that we believe given present world political and economic conditions, French simply do not have and have no prospect of amassing sufficient strength Indochina reach mil solution; that instead of being element strength to France, Indochina since war, at present, and for foreseeable future, unless situation changes radically, will remain grievously costly enterprise weakening France economically and all west generally in its relations with Oriental peoples.

In our view, continuation of parade puppets such as French have produced over past two years will strengthen hand Ho Chi Minh and may well insure eventual emergence of state probably dominated by communists and almost certainly oriented toward Moscow. It is to avoid such eventuality that we consider it of highest importance that present so-called central government, or in fact any non-communist government, be given every chance to succeed by the granting to it of such concessions as will attract greatest possible number of non-communist elements.

No action contemplated pending your return Washington.

Sent Paris as 2466, repeated Saigon as 108.

  1. Woodruff Wallner, recently Associate Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs, was appointed First Secretary of the Embassy in France on July 21; he was on a visit to Paris.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Counselor of the French Embassy.
  4. Robert Schuman, President of the French Council of Ministers (Premier).
  5. Not printed.
  6. Henri Bonnet, French Ambassador.