851G.01/3–1849: Telegram

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

top secret

1119. ReEmbtels 1077 and 1078.1 Following meeting with Huu (Embtel 1120, March 182), Devinat yesterday allowed Wallner3 to read Vietnam agreement for one hour in Devinat’s office. He said that since Queuille had himself been criticized for not making document available to Parliament he could not risk communicating text to foreign power until Parliament had received it for ratification. Wallner pretended take notes. I need not reemphasize importance of concealing fact we have text until we receive it from French. Wallner told Devinat he anticipated Department’s reaction would be to suspend formulation US Government position until text was received and Devinat replied that if US Government should request full provisions on any point after reading Embassy’s summary he would see that it received them.

We had not seen Auriol’s letter to Bao Dai containing text of agreement but only Bao Dai’s acknowledgment thereof repeating text of agreement. Auriol letter opens with important paragraph of which following is summary:

Your Majesty requested the French Government to confirm and clarify (confirmer et préciser) principles of unity and independence embodied in Baie d’Along declaration. French Government accedes to this request and is prepared to enter into an agreement with a view to implementation of principles of Baie d’ Along declaration. The special conventions called for in declaration are to be concluded between Your Majesty’s Government and French Commissioner. Under these conditions I confirm following agreement. End summary.

Auriol letter also contains final paragraph, apparently inadvertently omitted in Bao Dai acknowledgment, roughly as follows:

Principles Baie d’Along declaration and present agreement will take effect after ratification by French Parliament and by appropriate approval by Vietnam conformity Article 61 of Constitution.

Embassy requesting text from Vietnam sources.

This clear tie-in with Baie d’Along declaration supplies element of independence within French Union which is lacking in texts previously cabled.4

  1. March 16, 8 p. m.; see footnote 1, p. 10.
  2. Supra.
  3. Woodruff Wallner, First Secretary of the Embassy in France.
  4. Telegram 2096, May 21, 3 p. m., from Paris, reported in response to the Department’s telegram 1636, May 17, 6 p. m. (neither printed), that the French Foreign Office had provided texts of the March 8 agreements for the Department’s confidential use. Texts were transmitted in despatch 517, June 1, from Paris (received June 6); it was noted “that with the exception of two additions which appear on pages 14 and 15, the texts are identical” to those transmitted by telegram on March 16 and 22 (see footnote 1, p. 10). (851G.00/6–149)