851G.01/5–649: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consulate General at Saigon 1


77. Assumption urtel 1412 Dept desires success Baodai experiment [Page 24] entirely correct. Since appears be no other alternative to estab Commie pattern Vietnam, Dept considers no effort shld be spared by Fr, other Western powers, and non-Commie Asian nations to assure experiment best chance succeeding.

At proper time and under proper circumstances Dept will be prepared do its part by extending recognition Baodai Govt and by exploring possibility of complying with any request by such Govt for US arms and econ assistance. Must be understood however aid program this nature wld require Congressional approval. Since US cld however scarcely afford backing govt which wld have color and be likely suffer fate of puppet regime, it must first be clear Fr will offer all necessary concessions to make Baodai solution attractive to nationalists. This is step of which Fr themselves must see urgent necessity view possibly short time remaining before Commie successes Chi are felt Indochina. Moreover, Baodai Govt must through own efforts demonstrate capacity organize and conduct affairs wisely so as to ensure maximum opportunity obtaining requisite popular support inasmuch as govt created Indochina analogous Kuomintang wld be foredoomed failure.

Assuming essential Fr concessions are forthcoming, best chance success Baodai wld appear lie in persuading Vietnamese nationalists (1) their patriotic aims may be realized promptly through Fr-Baodai agreement (2) Baodai govt will be truly representative even to extent including outstanding non-Commie leaders now supporting Ho and (3). Baodai solution probably only means safeguarding Vietnam from aggressive designs Commie Chi. While attainment these objectives depends initially upon attitude Fr and Baodai circle, Dept believes more will ultimately be required. Best hope might lie in active demonstration of interest in and support of Baodai solution by other non-Commie Asian govts. Appeal such solution to Vietnam nationalists wld presumably be far greater if it appeared sponsored by free Asian nations animated by interest self-determination Asian peoples and their own self-preservation in face immed Commie menace rather than if it had appearance gambit engineered by Fr, US and UK as part strategy of West-East conflict.

Dept giving closest consideration to means whereby US might assist attainment these ends.

From above, you will see Dept thinking closely parallels your own. Dept agrees when time comes Baodai must certainly be fully warned of danger yielding to any temptation include Commies his govt and this connection again believes other Asian govts cld serve most useful purpose since India, Siam, Philippines, and Indonesians (both Repubs and Federalists) are fully alive growing Commie threat Asia.

[Page 25]

Re last para urtel 141 “reliability Baodai solution” was error, Deptel 703 shld have read “viability” meaning able live.

While Dept continues believe it wld be premature and unwise for you make special point (such as trip Dalat) see Baodai, there no objection your talking informally with polit personalities close to him with whom you have doubtless already made contact in normal course carrying out your functions. In such talks you might well as suggested urtel 141 take occasion cite examples futility collaboration Commies and grave danger such course.

  1. Repeated as 1514 to Paris.
  2. May 6, p. 22.
  3. May 2, p. 21.