851g.01/9–948: Airgram

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

A–76. With reference to my telegram No. 194 of September 7, 1948. A meeting of the Ministers of the Provisional Central Vietnam Government held in Saigon on September 7, 1948, was attended by M. Pham Van Binh, private secretary to ex-Emperor Bao Dai. According to AFP, Binh, who has recently arrived from Paris, informed the ministers of the directives of Bao Dai. He also revealed that in the course of the recent conversations with High Commissioner Bollaert at St. Germain en Laye, the Emperor informed him:

“I wish to return to the Vietnam as rapidly as possible. The fact that I have agreed to negotiate with France shows clearly that I wish to take effective part in the affairs of Vietnam. I will return at the proper time and only when the unity and independence of the Vietnam has been realized in a concrete manner by a treaty the clauses of which define in a precise manner the relations between France and the Vietnam and the nature of the independence of our country within the French Union. That is why I wish to return as soon as possible.”*

The article adds that M. Binh stated that the political climate in France was increasingly encouraging regarding Vietnam problem and that most parties realize the necessity of granting unity and independence if peace is to return.

  1. Quotes are present in AFP despatch. [Footnote in the original.]