751G.02/1–750: Telegram

The Ambassador in India (Henderson) to the Secretary of State


34. I believe that decision of Department outlined in telegram Januaury 5, 2 a. m.1 re Vietnam is most constructive that could be taken in circumstances. I believe Nehru2 will not be pleased for UK and US to go ahead in this matter without regard to line adopted by India; nevertheless, I am convinced time has come for US to follow policies in Asia which are in accord with our concept of world situation regardless of GOI attitudes. Our approach towards international situation for considerable period is certain to be quite different from that of India and for us to make no move without protracted attempts at coordination would result in vacillation and would give impression of lack of convictions.

Although according to this morning’s press Nehru stated during press conference yesterday there was no present intention of officially recognizing any government in Indochina, his sympathies for present at least are clearly with Ho Chi-minh. Although from this vantage point it would seem that Bao Dai in view of many factors operating against him has slim chance of survival unless forces opposed to further extension communism in Asia display more decisiveness than in past, nevertheless, our recognition particularly if accompanied by greater display of interest in fate of Vietnam should improve Bao Dai’s chances and increase respect for us here even among those who disapprove our policy.

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It would be helpful here if France would announce concrete plan for further evolution Vietnam prior to our recognition.

As matter of courtesy we should notify GOI our intention several days before extending recognition.

Sent Department 34, Department pass Paris and London.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India.