751H.00/1–3152: Telegram

The Minister at Saigon (Heath) to the Department of State


1512. Sent Paris unn, Tokyo unn, Manila unn, Hanoi unn, Phnom Penh unn.

I talked with Huy Kanthoul, Cambodian PriMin yesterday when latter arrived Saigon welcome King Norodom Sihanouk returned from cruise to Japan and Phil.

Kanthoul and King both grateful for attentions of Amer officials in Tokyo and Manila. King extremely pleased to have been recd by Gen Ridgway.1

Kanthoul said he had various questions to treat with Min LeTourneau, particularly the slow operation of Assoc States General Bank and slow formation of the Camb Natl Army. Kanthoul was apprehensive lest “spontaneous”, anti-Fr manifestations by the people occur during LeTourneau’s forthcoming visit to Phnom Penh. I said it wld be extremely regrettable if such manifestations occurred. We were worried over indications Fr public opinion was becoming increasingly tired of the financial strain and losses in Fr mil effort in Indochina. I remarked in effect only Fr Union Forces prevented the Assoc States from becoming satellite colonies of Commie Chi. With the best of luck and support it wld be considerable time before Natl Armies cld hold the Pass. The US was helping generously toward the war effort here but we had no troops to replace any Fr forces which might be withdrawn.

Today I mentioned to Min LeTourneau and Acting HICOM Gautier I had heard there was some apprehension anti-Fr popular manifestations in Cambodia during LeTourneau’s visit. They told me the Fr Com of Cambodia had already reported the possibility and remarked such manifestations cld only occur if Cambodian Govt were negligent or tolerant.

  1. General Matthew B. Ridgway, United States Commander in Chief, Far East (CINCFE); Commander in Chief, United Nations Command in Korea (CINC-UNC); and Supreme Commander, Allied Powers in Japan (SCAP).