851g.01/7–2148: Telegram

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

secret

3804. Bollaert informs me that insofar as Indo-china is concerned he is not unhappy over fall of Schuman Government.1 Faced with numerous domestic difficulties government showed little enthusiasm for assembly debate on Indo-China which might have proved its undoing. Bollaert feels if Schuman Government could not survive it is better that it should have fallen on a domestic issue rather than Indo-China where a vote of nonconfidence, even though obviously motivated by domestic political consideration, would nonetheless have done irreparable damage in Indo-China. New and stronger government, Bollaert feels, will be in better position to obtain debate on policy in Indo-China on basis of its merits. Bollaert maintains that whatever the composition of new government he will insist on assembly debate and approval of Bay of Along agreement and change in status of Cochin-China as condition of his return. He does not consider this condition would be met by “negative approval” such as Coste-Floret maneuver in recent assembly debate on military credits (Mytel 3745, July 172).

When assembly debate comes about Bollaert envisages opposition from Communists and RPF and support from radicals and MRP with Socialists, who will have deciding voice, still undetermined. He is currently campaigning vigorously for their support. Bollaert very appreciative of Department’s disposition to make public statement on Indo-China in event of favorable assembly action and expressed hope American press might be influenced to take less jaundiced view of French policy in Indo-China. He is seriously concerned lest Bao Dai hesitate to forego pleasures of Europe and return to Indo-China following [Page 35]assembly debate. He flatly asked that we intervene with Bao Dai.

Sent Department 3804; Department pass Saigon as Paris’ 33.3

Caffery
  1. Robert Schuman resigned on July 19 and became Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet headed by Andre Marie on July 21.
  2. Not printed.
  3. This was done on July 22.