Notes of Tripartite Military Conversations on Southeast Asia, by the Secretary (Lalor) and Deputy Secretary (Carns)1 of the Joint Chiefs of Staff2
[Here follow a list of persons present (37) and discussion of the military and/or internal security situation in a number of individual Asian countries. The French Delegation was headed by General Alphonse Juin, General Inspector of the French Army, Navy, and Air Force. Admiral Sir Roderick Robert McGrigor, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, headed the British Delegation. General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the United States Delegation. Observers from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand were among those present.]
General Vandenberg:3 I would like to add something—in no sense desiring to enlarge the discussion. Someone said at the start that these matters are politico-military. In every area we are faced with the problem that each nation quite properly is thinking of its [Page 9] own troubles, that is, the French in Indochina, the British in Hong Kong, etc. Eventually we military people must face the fact that in many fringe areas around the globe our nationals are being killed in battles with satellites, and the whole thing is directed by the Soviet Union. Therefore, from a military point of view, there must be a limit as to how far we can extend this fighting against satellites. I have no solution to offer, but all of these troops we have engaged are related to our force requirements for NATO, the British in Egypt, and what might eventually have to be put into Iran. From a military point of view, the prospect of exhaustion without a military decision some day must be faced.
General Bradley: I would say what General Vandenberg has just said leads us to item number 2.4 The question he raises is, can we divide off the defense of Southeast Asia from the rest of the world? Can we put out fires everywhere as they break out? Therefore, I suggest we go to item 2.
General Juin: As has been brought out, China is the main Soviet satellite, and she is working on Indochina and Burma in turn. Therefore, I should like to return to the possibility of Chinese aggression in this area. Can we discourage them with threats, and what can we do if the aggression happens? It can happen in Indochina, tomorrow. As to prevention by means of a threat, can we identify a weapon which we would use in retaliation?
General Bradley: We have thought of all that in regard to possible actions which could be taken to discourage Chinese aggression, not only in Korea after an armistice, but in Indochina. Some things we might do involve greater commitments and greater risks than others. For instance, naval blockade with air attacks against Chinese communications and communications centers is one line of action. We have thought that anything of that sort should be a UN proposition. With regard to the risk of involvement, we must think of progressive steps we can take without becoming involved to the extent that we find ourselves in a position where the USSR can pull the strings.
As to using the atomic bomb as a threat, we return to the same principle that we should make no such threat unless we have a full intention of carrying it out. If we were to threaten in this way, the understanding must be that we would certainly use the bomb if our ultimatum didn’t accomplish its purpose. Also, it would have to be emphasized that the bomb would be used only against military targets and not against populations. Our ultimatum should so state. It also raises one of General Vandenberg’s questions, that is, if you [Page 10] have a limited number of atomic bombs do you use them on China or should you save them for someone else?
Field Marshal Slim:5 The measures General Bradley is talking about are those we might take if the Chinese renewed aggression in Korea or started somewhere else. Can’t we make it more unlikely that she will? Can’t we give her a definite warning that if she hits against any of us she will find herself in the same fix as she is in Korea? Let’s raise some doubt in the Chinaman’s mind. Let’s not be too specific in threatening retaliation. I for one wouldn’t favor using the atomic bomb. Let’s tell China that if she undertakes aggression anywhere, we reserve the right to use all measures at our disposal. What we are really trying to do is to deter aggression, and I think it is best accomplished by raising in the Chinaman’s mind the question as to what form our retaliation might take.
General Bradley: I think we would agree to that. We shouldn’t let them know that we wouldn’t use any particular type of retaliation. He should not be sure that we would not use one thing or another. I feel that while keeping our eyes on the main enemy we might adopt more modern weapons at any time for use against anybody.
General Juin: I agree with Marshal Slim, but I feel that China should have a warning and that we should be prepared to carry out whatever we threaten to do. I have another question. Are we going to hold our bases in Asia in the face of a Chinese attack?
General Collins:6 It seems clear to me that in Southeast Asia we are fighting a rear-guard action. I don’t see how we can hold. Therefore, we must hit at China if she attacks. We must get word to China that any aggression on her part will bring down on her great difficulties. I would like to ask if Marshal Slim thinks that the declaration, which I understand has been generally accepted by Governments, should have broader application than [in] Korea?
General Juin: I think it should apply everywhere and not only to breaking of the armistice agreement by the Chinese.
Field Marshal Slim: Then you think that the warning against aggression after an armistice is reached should apply in other areas as well? I shouldn’t think we would be gaining much if the conclusion of an armistice means that there would be trouble elsewhere.
General Juin: The Soviets have a double interest in the Southeast Asia fighting. She is just as anxious for us to kill the Chinese as she is for the Chinese to kill us.[Page 11]
General Collins: What I would like to know is how Marshal Slim feels about applying the Korean sanctions in other areas.
Field Marshal Slim: I don’t feel that it should. If a warning is given that Chinese aggression is to be met by us with strong measures, it should not necessarily be tied to the Korean armistice.
General Juin: I think a statement of general application should be made.
Field Marshal Slim: To me it is more logical militarily, but before hooking the thing to the Korean armistice a political decision is required.
General Juin: I have a question. Let us assume that we have an armistice in Korea and the United Nations arrive at a political agreement with China. Let us assume further that the UN troops are taken out and a warning is given to China. Suppose the Communists break the armistice—would the United States do the same thing she did before in Korea, that is, put in expeditionary forces? I think not.
General Bradley: I think we must admit that we couldn’t go back to the same type of fighting in Korea.
General Collins: Yes, but that would not be a unilateral decision.
General Juin: The truth is that we are now fighting a rearguard action, and what remains to be seen is how long it continues. We must have a few bases in Asia.
General Vandenberg: I realize how long the issuance of statements take, but if the armistice should drag along six weeks with the Chinese army poised, what happens—do we still wait?
Field Marshal Slim: There is an advantage if you are going to make a warning statement to make it early rather than later when the Chinese have had a chance for preparations. However, if we were to link our broader sanction to the Korean armistice, I think we might get ourselves tied up. It involves the agreement of 16 nations, all of whom probably wouldn’t be willing to go that far.
At this point General Bradley received a message announcing the death of General De Lattre.7 He expressed to General Juin the deep feelings of regret shared by the conferees.
After General Juin’s reply, it was agreed to adjourn the meeting until 1500 hours.
The meeting reconvened at 1400.
General Bradley: I believe that we still have some discussion on Part I of Item 2. That is “Defense of Southeast Asia including action in the event of deterioration of the situation.” I believe that [Page 12] General Collins was about to make an observation when we recessed.
General Collins: Insofar as the Declaration that we are discussing, as I recall it, Marshal Slim feels that it would be impracticable to broaden the statement which the Governments are talking about in connection with the Korean armistice or to get all of the sixteen Korean participating nations to agree on the particular Declaration which we are discussing now. Therefore, what is the thinking in terms of the form or timing of the participating nations insofar as this particular Declaration is concerned?
Field Marshal Slim: The form, of course, is really a matter for political decision. I would be prepared to recommend that our three Governments issue the thing in the form of a warning to the Chinese Communists, not publicly, that in case of aggression by the Chinese Communists the consequences will be the same as those in Korea.
General Collins: Will it not be necessary for the military people to agree on what would be done if the statement were made and aggression subsequently occurred?
Field Marshal Slim: Yes, definitely. The statement would be no good unless there were agreement on action to be taken in case of aggression. It might be something in the form of “An attack on one of us is an attack on all”, or something like that. Also, the Chinese should be informed that it should be obvious to them that it would be difficult to confine our reaction to the place where the attack occurs. We should make it clear that the result would be a spread of the conflict.
General Vandenberg: That clarifies my mind a lot. If in Korea we knew that the Chinese Communists were going to come in, our action there would have been much different from what it was.
General Collins: As I understand it, the agreed language of the Korean armistice Declaration is phrased in more or less the same manner as just stated by Marshal Slim.
Field Marshal Slim: The Korean armistice Declaration says that the conflict not be limited to Korea in the event that the armistice is broken. The new Declaration should be worded the same way.
General Juin: I agree with Marshal Slim that the two warnings should be similar.
General Collins: In the time which is available to us I do not believe that we can determine the military measures which could and would be taken but that is a necessary prerequisite to the warning. Shall we establish a subordinate group to make recommendations to us which will in turn form the basis of our recommendations to our respective governments?[Page 13]
Field Marshal Slim: We have made an analysis of this on the U.K. side and the conclusion which we have inevitably reached is that we are stretched. As you know, all of our divisions are overseas. We may, however, be able to produce something on the sea and in the air. But that could be obtained only from somewhere else. The Navy, for example, from Korean waters.
General Bradley: We are discussing two statements: (1) the statement to be issued concurrent with the Korean armistice, and (2) another statement, perhaps not to be made public. They both require political decisions and on that level statement number one has been fairly well worked out, whereas statement number two has not yet been discussed. The big point on statement number two is what recommendations to make to our governments on that, including what military action can be agreed upon as a basis for making the statement. As I see it, we should discuss the matter with our Governments. Am I right?
General Juin: Yes, each one of us should do that and I recommend that it be discussed with our Governments in terms of a unanimous expression of opinion of this meeting.
Field Marshal Slim: Should Declaration number two be tied in to Korea; should it be contingent in any way on whether we do or do not have an armistice?
General Collins: I doubt seriously if we could get the U.S. to go along with statement number two unless it were tied some way to Korea.
Field Marshal Slim: Would the issuance of Declaration number two, that is, the warning, have any implication on the chances of getting an armistice in Korea?
General Juin: But the aggression has occurred in Korea.
Field Marshal Slim: Suppose there were no armistice and come Spring, the fight picks up again in earnest, do we recommend that the war be extended to China? If that were done it is my opinion that the Chinese Communists would be bound to react in other places; that is, Hong Kong or Indochina. Do we want that?
General Juin: The Declaration should be aimed toward fighting new aggressions and insofar as extending the war, the extension would have been done by China.
Field Marshal Slim: Would that be true if we extend it beyond Korea in the event of no Chinese Communist aggression elsewhere?
General Juin: How could that be done? We can’t.
Field Marshal Slim: It can be done by air attack and by blockade. It seems to me that we have changed our thinking somewhat in this matter since we are now saying that if the fight in Korea continues we will extend the area of hostilities, whereas the Declaration number one was aimed toward getting an armistice and a [Page 14] subsequent break of that armistice by the Chinese Communists. I am quite sure that it is our opinion in the U.K. that in event of no change in conditions elsewhere we would not want to extend the war to China and I was under the impression that the French were thinking along the same lines.
General Bradley: It would appear that there are three conditions involved. They are (1) the condition which exists if we have an armistice and the Chinese Communists break it. It appears that there is agreement on that. Then (2) the condition which exists after an armistice and an aggression occurs in another locality, and then (3) there is no armistice in Korea and the fighting continues. If condition number (3) prevails we on the U.S. side do not see how we can get a decision on the matter in Korea and we definitely want a decision.
General Collins: I will point out that we have nine divisions in Japan and Korea and that is a big force.
Field Marshal Slim: That worries me somewhat. In the event that Korea continues and as a result we do extend the war we think that it may lock up even more forces than are locked up now. So I would agree on condition number (1) which General Bradley mentioned and I would agree on a warning to be issued on condition number (2), that is, aggression elsewhere. But as far as extending the war beyond Korea in event that the fighting continues there, that is, except under condition number (1) which is an armistice with a subsequent breach by the Chinese Communists, that would be a matter for governmental decision.
General Juin: We can not commit anybody to make war on China but the objective that we are striving for is to prevent China from extending the war.
Field Marshal Slim: I take it then that each of us would recommend to our Governments that they consider warning China of the consequences of aggression elsewhere and that consideration be given to the consequences of extending the conflict beyond Korea if the fighting continues there in the event of no armistice.
General Bradley: We must determine what shall be done in the event that there is no armistice in Korea.
General Juin: But what if Tonkin is invaded tomorrow?
Field Marshal Slim: It points up the fact that if the warning to the Chinese Communists is to be made, that is, the one pointed toward other aggressions, the sooner made the better.
General Juin: It should be made soon.
Field Marshal Slim: I agree, but of course as soon as we mention it to our Governments what will you do militarily?
General Juin: That matter must be discussed.
General Bradley: It gets us back somewhat to the agenda.[Page 15]
Field Marshal Slim: It appears to me that the most we can do is to conclude that the matter must be given intensive study in communication with one another.
General Juin: I agree, and since it is not a Standing Group matter it should be done by some tripartite body.
General Bradley: Perhaps more than three nations should participate. Australia and New Zealand are certainly interested.
Field Marshal Slim: We would surely want those two nations to participate.
General Juin: I would certainly be for that.
General Bradley: I hope you all understand the extent to which our forces are tied down. The Pacific, as you know, as a result of Korea, has much more than its share and it is going to be difficult for us to commit forces to other parts of Asia; that is, anything additional to what we have in Korea.
General Juin: The situation is the same with France and the U.K. Insofar as France is concerned, if our forces in Indochina were to be strengthened they would have to come from Germany.
Field Marshal Slim: If we go to war with China it points up the fact that perhaps our forces are not distributed properly. Of course, we might be able to crack the nut without too much ground forces.
General Collins: There are just none available; it will have to be done by naval and air forces.
General Juin: We should not contemplate a land war against China. The starting point should be a definition of what we desire to hold on the land first.
Field Marshal Slim: Obviously, we do not want to give up anything which we now have.
General Collins: I can understand that you naturally would not want to give up Hong Kong, but how would you hold?
Field Marshal Slim: It would be difficult.
General Juin: Our action against China would be in the form of a blockade to stifle her.
General Collins: It brings up a point, and that is that the Chinese Nationalist troops are really the only ones available insofar as ground forces are concerned; that is, the troops on Formosa and those which I understand are interned in Indochina. How would the French feel about using those forces on the mainland against the Chinese Communists?
General Juin: In case of Chinese aggression we would be willing that those troops be introduced into China and we would consider that aggression by Chinese volunteers; in fact, aggression by China.
Field Marshal Slim: Insofar as the use of Chinese Nationalist troops is concerned, the objection to that is once it has started it is our thought that the Chinese Communists’ reaction would get [Page 16] much tougher and prolong their stay in power. If those troops went on the mainland under the badge of Chiang Kai-shek it might solidify the Chinese Communists and then I wonder if we would gain in the end. We would have to think that one out. Incidentally, how reliable are the Chinese Nationalist troops? If, say, 50,000 from Formosa were landed on the mainland, do you think that they would fight or be inclined to go to the other side?
General Collins: Frankly, that is a hard one to answer categorically. I think it would be dependent to a large extent on what they thought were their chances of success. Personally, I am not too sanguine about the matter.
General Juin: We have only 30,000 interned in Indochina and I really don’t know what their capability would be.
Field Marshal Slim: The Committee which we set to work on this matter could study that angle.
General Juin: Of course the question of the use of Chinese Nationalist troops raises certain political issues. Would an attack on Formosa by Chinese Communists come within the framework of the proposed warning we are discussing?
Field Marshal Slim: Which brings up a point—which Chinese Government do the French recognize?
General Juin: The Government on Formosa.
Field Marshal Slim: It appears that we are in the minority on that one.
What form do you, General Bradley, think our study should take? If we agree that we should consider issuing a warning we must study what military measures are connected with it.
General Bradley: I agree that that must be done. Of course, we have studied the thing unilaterally but it would be most helpful if it could be done jointly. Which countries do you contemplate should participate?
General Juin: U.S., U.K., and France, and Australia and New Zealand.
General Bradley: What of Canada; do you wish to participate?
Air Marshal Campbell: No, I am quite sure that there would be no necessity to include us.
General Bradley: Then I take it that the nature of the group would be in the form of an ad hoc committee consisting of representatives of the five countries. Would it be done in Washington by people who are new here?
Field Marshal Slim: It should not be within the Standing Group.
General Juin: It should be by delegates of the commands involved; that is, by people from the areas concerned.
Field Marshal Slim: We are not prepared to draw someone from the area for the purposes of this study.[Page 17]
General Juin: I am thinking in terms of the group dealing with everything which was raised at Singapore.
Field Marshal Slim: I believe that it should be done by people from here with information to be supplied by the areas concerned. We could call on the commanders there for any information which is necessary.
General Juin: The group should be empowered to define aggression.
General Collins: I doubt that seriously. I am sure that that could not be done.
Field Marshal Slim: The definition of aggression would be a political matter.
General Juin: But who would do it? We would be losing time if we waited for the Governments to define it.
Field Marshal Slim: There would be nothing to prevent the group from recommending what they considered aggression, but the decision in that respect must be made by Governments.
General Collins: If we are going to get anything from the group we must keep details out of the study. They should come up with what we can do in general terms.
Field Marshal Slim: That is correct, and I stress that the group should not fall into the error of building its study on requirements. They should come up with the answer of what is the best use we can make of what we have.
General Collins: I agree.
General Bradley: We are prepared to designate the people to participate in this thing any time that it is agreed it should be started.
(After a further short discussion it was agreed that the study under discussion would be made in Washington.)
Air Chief Marshal Elliot:8 Who will convene the group? Also, is the study to be based on the forces which are now in the Far East? If the answer to the latter is affirmative I am inclined to go along with General Juin’s thinking in that it could best be accomplished in the area. What forces are to be considered?
Field Marshal Slim: We will tell you on a very short piece of paper what additional forces might be supplied.
General Vandenberg: I point out that Formosa is a very nice air base for use under conditions such as are envisaged here. As a matter of fact, there are numerous bases if we utilize all of them. I believe that the study should not rule out consideration of the use of Formosa.[Page 18]
General Bradley: Also, I take it that we will direct the group to discuss action which should be taken if China moves anywhere.
(General Bradley’s question was answered in the affirmative.)
General Juin: Insofar as the urgency of this matter is concerned—if the aggression occurs in Tonkin before the warning is issued and before the group finishes its report, what assistance can we expect in Indochina? I am thinking, of course, in terms of aggression in the next ten days.
General Bradley: We have no authority to commit our Government on that. As a matter of fact, all of our Governments would have to consult. So far, our aid to Indochina has been in the form of equipment, and its priority is just below that of Korea. Also, equipment is moving better now than it was.
General Juin: What we would need is air and naval support from your 7th Fleet. From day to day things are becoming more difficult.
General Bradley: Our Government right now is giving special consideration to the situation in Southeast Asia. I don’t know yet what the answer will be.
General Juin: It is the same question that I asked a year ago. It is a matter of life or death for 80,000–100,000 of the finest French soldiers. Also, we need them elsewhere.
General Bradley: We appreciate your difficulties, but our forces are tied down in Korea. I told you a year ago we could help you evacuate if that became necessary.
Field Marshal Slim: De Lattre said he wanted no such plan made.
General Bradley: We made plans of our own anyhow. We could help the French to evacuate civilians, but there is little more we could do. Evacuation would involve diverting a force for only a short time, and it would have to come from Korea. Any longer commitment would weaken our chances for a decision in Korea.
General Juin: My question applies only in the event of Communist aggression in Indochina. What we need is air cover for a limited time to protect our withdrawal to Haiphong. Right now our Government does not contemplate any further withdrawal.
Field Marshal Slim: I can sympathize with General Juin as to the critical situation in Indochina and his feeling of urgency. We have similar thoughts about Hong Kong. However, we can’t help him any in this conference. The quickest answer will result from getting on with this study group. We can’t make any decisions; we can only recommend after the ad hoc committee completes its study. Therefore, let’s get on with the committee in Washington.[Page 19]
General Juin: But suppose the aggression happens in Indochina tomorrow? In that event, I am sure that the United States and the United Kingdom would not abandon us.
General Bradley: Then let’s set up the committee, and since the French will have difficulty because of distances involved, let them provide the chairman and get the group together.
General Juin: I am willing to provide the chairman at the start, but I believe the position should be rotated.
General Bradley: I don’t think they will be in session for long and see no point in rotating the chairmanship.
Field Marshal Slim: I should be quite content with a French chairman.
General Bradley: I think they should look into the means we might take to help under two conditions:
- If there is a deterioration of the present situation in Indochina; and
- If our Governments decide to take action against Chinese Communist aggression anywhere.
(At this point First Sea Lord McGrigor left the meeting.)
Air Chief Marshal Elliot: If it is the present situation we are going to study, it would be better to do it in Singapore. I think what we should study is what additional forces we might be able to throw at Communist China and what general measures we might take if there should be further Chinese aggression.
General Collins: We can’t do anything more than we are doing to help the situation in Indochina as it is now. To my mind, what we should study is what we might do against further Chinese Communist aggression.
Field Marshal Slim: Then you mean that we should study only the one thing? The second part of our agenda today deals with the current situation in Indochina as did the talks in Singapore.
Air Chief Marshal Elliot: That is my thought. There are two problems involved:
- Things which might possibly be done in Southeast Asia now. That is the second part of our agenda. Things that could be done on the spot.
- Things which might be done if the war were extended. That part I thought we could study in Washington, and the results of it would have to be referred to Governments.
General Collins: Before any action is taken by the military I feel we must have some political background. We have that in Korea, but not in any other part of Asia. Therefore, the question is, if there is a new aggression, what do we do? Without a new aggression, we can do nothing unless there is a political decision.[Page 20]
General Vandenberg: I can’t quite agree, and I am confused. I thought we agreed that we could do something against further aggression. It would be an ultimatum. The next question is what would we do if our ultimatum is challenged? Before passing a recommendation to our political leaders for an ultimatum, we must investigate what military forces we might have to back it up.
General Juin: That is what the group will study in Washington and then recommend to Governments. First we should recommend that such a statement be made, and in the meantime study what we might do to back it up.
Field Marshal Slim: The group should study what action we might take if there should be further Chinese aggression. The question of what we might do now to help the situation in Southeast Asia is the second part of today’s agenda.
General Collins: I think the question of what might be done now is one to be resolved between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Admiral Fechteler:9 I think we should stay out of political decisions. Let’s talk of what we might do if and when the political leaders say to do it.
General Juin: At Singapore the question of further Chinese aggression was not discussed, so the problem must be studied on the basis of agreements we reach here at this meeting. What happens if the aggression should break out tomorrow?
General Bradley: That is for Governments to decide on the basis of recommendations from the military. This ad hoc committee should make a study upon which we might make our recommendations.
General Juin: But suppose it happens before the group finishes its study?
Field Marshal Slim: That is for Governments to decide. All this group can do is recommend to us. I see no quicker way to solve the problem. All we can do is hope that the Chinese don’t jump before the group has finished its study.
(It was agreed that a representative group from among the participants at the conference would withdraw from the meeting and draft terms of reference for the ad hoc Committee.)
[Here follows discussion of intelligence exchanges, logistic requirements, and terms of reference for the proposed ad hoc Committee.][Page 21]
Summary of Understandings
General Bradley: I propose that I now read a Summary of Understandings and Agreements which we have reached at this meeting as I understand them. I have noted that we have agreed that:
- We would recommend to our respective Governments that they consider the issuance of a statement relative to the effects which will result from further aggression by the Chinese Communists. That is covered in paragraph 1 of the Terms of Reference;10
- We have set up the ad hoc committee with representation of the Chiefs of Staff of the five countries listed in the Terms of Reference with the job to do as expressed in those Terms and that the committee is to meet in Washington with General Ely as chairman;
- The U.S. personnel will attend as participating members rather than as observers in the Intelligence Conferences in Singapore and that arrangements would be made for the exchange of operational intelligence on Southeast Asia;
- Steps will be taken to exchange information with the British in trying to plug the loopholes in the shipping situation in the Far East, and that the U.S. group would meet with the British with the object of arriving at facts in this matter;
- The U.S. will not participate in the logistics base at Singapore but that the British will assist the French in that respect in every possible way; and finally
- U.S. military aid to Indochina will continue to be supplied through the machinery of the MAAG in Saigon.
Agreement was expressed to the Understandings read by General Bradley with the following general comments:
General Juin: Insofar as the discussions on shipping are concerned, would it be possible for the French to participate at least in an observer status?
Air Chief Marshal Elliot: I am sure that the U.S. side will have no objection to us keeping General Ely11 apprised of the developments in this regard.
General Juin: Could we not have a small permanent group continue on actions to be taken and the follow through on the recommendations of the Singapore Conference?
Field Marshal Slim: We would have no objection to that but it would appear to me that the liaison officers which we have down there could very well do that without the necessity of setting up a specific group.
General Bradley: We could not send anyone down there permanently to do that job. We have too many calls from all over the rest of the world.[Page 22]
Field Marshal Slim: I would propose that we see what comes out of the committee which we have just established and take our departure from there.
General Juin: I am still seeking reassurance for Indochina, at least to the extent of attracting the attention of Governments to the seriousness of the situation if aggression by the Chinese Communists starts.
Field Marshal Slim: Rest assured that as a result of this meeting I shall inform my Defense Minister who, as you probably know, is also our Prime Minister of the facts of this situation. That shall be done without delay.
General Juin: I am looking for evidences of solidarity.
General Bradley: Rest assured also, that we will do the same. Please also rest assured that our Government has, and has had, the matter under continuing and intensive study.
At General Bradley’s suggestion, one copy of the agreed Terms of Reference for the ad hoc committee was retained by a representative of the six nations participating in the conference. All remaining copies were placed on the conference table.
The meeting adjourned at 1800.
- Rear Adm. William G. Lalor, USN (ret.) and Col. Edwin H. J. Cams, USA.↩
- Notes transmitted to the Department of State under a covering memorandum of Feb. 7 from Admiral Lalor to Frederick E. Nolting, Jr., Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of State. Secretary of State Acheson received a summary of the discussion and action taken at the meeting in a memorandum of Jan. 12 from John M. Allison, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. (790.5/1–1252)↩
- Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force.↩
- “Defense of Southeast Asia Including Action in the Event of Deterioration of the Situation.”↩
- Field Marshal Sir William Joseph Slim, Chief of the Imperial General Staff of the United Kingdom.↩
- Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.↩
- General of the Army Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, French High Commissioner in Indochina and Commander of French Union Forces, died in Paris on Jan. 11.↩
- Air Chief Marshal Sir William Elliot, Chairman of the British Joint Services Mission and British Representative on the NATO Standing Group.↩
- Adm. William M. Fechteler, USN, Chief of Naval Operations.↩
- Not found in Department of State files.↩
- Gen. Paul Ely, representative of France on the NATO Standing Group.↩