740.00119 Council/11–1149: Telegram

[Extracts]

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Secretary of State 18

4716. For President and Webb19 from Secretary. [Here follows section relating to European subjects discussed at the opening meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on November 10.]

In taking up China problem Schuman outlined major questions facing France, which he felt were common to three powers, as:

(1)
Attitude toward Communist regime, considered both in terms of situation in China and in UN. For French this issue hinged not on what faction controlled most of area of China, but on which faction controlled area bordering Indochina.
(2)
Problem presented by approach of Nationalist troops to Indochina.
(3)
Indochina problem itself, which would present grave difficulties if Communists able to establish direct contact with Ho Chi Minh. He admitted failure of French Parliament to approach [approve?] agreement with Bao Dai, but stated belief Bao Dai was only solution and urged some immediate gesture by US and UK to show that we supported current French policy.

In reply I stated that we had agreement for joint consultation on China, which we expected to follow. It was further our view that there is no need for haste in approaching recognition of Communist regime. We felt Communists must first satisfy certain conditions, such as release of Consul General in Mukden, respect for international agreements and assurances on US property in China. On Indochina I told Schuman we wanted to be as helpful as possible, and that we would consider any specific proposals French cared to make although basically we felt task was for French to take further action.

Bevin stated that matter of recognition was currently receiving careful attention by British, and that they had problem of coordinating with Commonwealth countries and with other interests. Sooner or later recognition step must be taken, but certainly not while China case on GA agenda, nor before Dutch transfer responsibility to Indonesians, and Australians did not want it before their elections. This would mean mid-December at earliest. On Indochina he indicated [Page 190]willingness to take steps after French take action and then expressed some fears about situation in Formosa where he said Nationalists had large arms supplies which they considered not as potential against Communists, but as source which would be surrendered to Communists and possibly used against Hong Kong and Indochina.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sent Department 4716, repeated London 813, Frankfort 130. [Acheson.]

Bruce
  1. For changes later made in this telegram, see telegram No. 3922, November 12, 5 p. m., from the High Commissioner in Germany, infra.
  2. James E. Webb, Under Secretary of State, Acting Secretary while the Secretary was in Paris attending meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers.