751G.02/1–750: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Philippines 1

secret

22. Fr indicate they expect Assembly ratification Mar 8 Agreements2 probably latter half Jan.

Brit have informed Fr that after Colombo conference3 plan extend de facto recognition to Vietnam as associated state Fr Union, raising rank their Consul General, Saigon, to Minister without, however immediately establishing Legation. Fr Emb here has informed Dept that surely Canada, Australia and very probably South Africa and Ceylon will accompany UK in de facto recognition after Colombo Conference.

Dept understands that Bevin4 will attempt during Colombo Conference to influence other Commonwealth nations to take similar action.

On its part Dept planning extend Vietnam as associated state Fr Union some form recognition after Assembly ratification Mar 8 accords. Exact form recognition now under study. Dept hopes that such recognition can be preceded by or synchronized with a “spontaneous” [Page 692]Fr official public statement of liberal intentions for future evolution Vietnam. Pls ascertain attitude re recognition Bao Dai’s Vietnam of Government to which you are accredited. In making such approach you may point out prospective action UK which current info indicates will be followed by several other Commonwealth nations. You should emphasize that the success of Bao Dai regime is only apparent present alternative to Commie domination of Indochina, in which event Phils would find themselves facing dangerous forces on Asiastic mainland to east and north east. You shld add that Dept hopes that govt to which you accredited see fit accord Bao Dai regime Vietnam some form of recognition.

For your info only, Dept desires that recognition by UK, Commonwealth and as many south Asian and other nations as possible precede US recognition.

Acheson
  1. Sent to Manila as 22, Jakarta as 19, and Bangkok as 18 for action; repeated to Saigon as 4 and Paris as 66 for information; and sent to London as 81 with instructions that the Embassy inform the Foreign Office of United States action respecting the Government of the Philippines.
  2. Reference is to the Agreement between France and Viet-Nam embodied in an exchange of letters between Vincent Auriol, President of France, and Bao Dai, March 8, 1949. For the text of this agreement regulating relations between the two states, see France, Direction de la Documentation, Notes et Etudes Documentaires, No. 1147 (June 20, 1949), pp. 3–14, or Margaret Carlyle, ed., Documents on International Affairs, 1949–1950 (London: Oxford University Press, 1953), pp. 596–606. An English translation of the major portion of the agreement appears in Allan W. Cameron, ed., Viet-Nam Crisis: A Documentary History, volume i: 1940–1956 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1971), pp. 120–129.
  3. Reference is to the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the British Commonwealth nations which convened at Colombo, Ceylon, on January 9, 1950. For documentation on United States interest in the conference, see pp. 1 ff.
  4. Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.