751G.02/1–3150: Telegram

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

secret

467. Mytel 464.1 Parodi2 has just handed British Ambassador3 and me note to Soviet Government, text of which follows in next telegram.4 Parodi had requested that Soviet Ambassador visit him this afternoon but met with answer that Bogomolov5 was not free. Note accordingly has been sent to Soviet Embassy and will be released to press tonight.

Undoubtedly action of Soviet Government in recognizing Ho Chi minh and thereby attacking integrity of French Union will induce violent reaction in France and will make more definite and bitter the alignment of French non-Communist against Communists.

Recent debate in National Assembly upon ratification of March 8 accords in course of which Communists even more blatantly than usual displayed their complete subservience to Moscow and their avowed intention to betray French national interests had considerable effect throughout country in demonstrating that they constitute in effect an alien and seditious organism within this democracy. Also their declared purpose to delay, frustrate and sabotage shipment not only of arms to French soldiers in Indochina but of American military [Page 705]materials to France has met with vigorous response from government which has pledged itself to allow no such interruptions or incidents to occur.

It was under conditions far less insulting than this that French tempers so flared up in 1870 that Bismarck found it easy to provoke a war. No such reaction is to be expected today, but this event will undoubtedly strengthen the will of the people and their government here to resist and contain Communist pressures.

I think it important that our government should stigmatize in strongest terms this act as breach of recognized principles of international relations, and as conducive to creating conditions of disorder threatening to world peace that Russians are always proclaiming with great thumping of breasts to be cardinal objectives of their foreign policy.

We may soon be faced with situation similar to that formerly prevailing in Greece and even in Spain. The March 8 accords should be ratified by Council of Republic on Friday of this week. Our recognition of Bao Dai and of Cambodia and Laos should follow immediately thereafter. After that if any measure of military and/or economic aid to Bao Dai is contemplated it would seem advisable that it be announced at once and extended as soon as possible.

It may well be that grave as are the worldwide implications of this Russian move, one beneficial result may emerge, namely, a quickening of national pride in France which will make a more cohensive and determined policy toward Russia and Communism generally popular.

Sent Department 467; repeated London 155. Department pass Moscow 28, Saigon 34.

Bruce
  1. Dated January 31, not printed.
  2. Alexandre Parodi, Secretary-General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  3. Sir Oliver Harvey.
  4. The Soviet Union had recognized the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam on January 30. Telegram 468 from Paris, January 31, transmitting the French protest, is not printed.
  5. Alexander Y. Bogomolov, Soviet Ambassador in France.