751G.00/2–1252: Telegram

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


4948. Rptd info Saigon 289, London unnumbered. FonOff official, who has had long talk with Frederic-Dupont, RPF member National Assembly Subcomite National Defense Mission to IC, tells us that members mission in general agreement on their findings and expected to submit lengthy report to National Assembly soon. Informant says mission generally optimistic in its findings and believes IC can be held except in event Chinese aggression. Mission said to have found no sentiment for withdrawal and generally high morale both among Fr and Vietnamese. Mission was particularly impressed with progress made in formation Vietnamese National Army, excellent results obtained by this army in pacification work and satisfactory manner in which Vietnamese units have performed against Vietminh in Tonkin. Chief problems said to be cadres but mission considered Vietnam Army gave hopes for future. Mission said to have been pleased with contacts with US Reps IC and to have made efforts to [Page 36] get in touch with all Fr and Vietnamese groups. Most unsatisfactory part of picture was said to be Tran Van Huu Govt, which was described as being composed of too many “reactionaries” who were uninterested or incapable carrying out any program social and agrarian reform.

FonOff official comments that it is interesting to have unanimous view expressed by group composed of Socialists, RPF, Radical and Independent reps and that reports of mission to National Assembly shld be helpful in meeting some of criticism and opposition govt policy such as that expressed during National Assembly debate in Dec.