Editorial Note

At its 113th Meeting, March 5, 1952, the National Security Council considered the situation in Southeast Asia. The memorandum of discussion at that meeting read in part as follows:

“Secretary Acheson also emphasized his belief that any paper on Southeast Asia should stress the contingency of a continued deterioration of the situation in Indochina in the absence of any identifiable Communist aggression, and should also take careful account of the possibility that the French might feel compelled to get out of French [Page 62] Indochina. He said that he had discussed this matter at considerable length in Lisbon, and had come to the tentative conclusion that what the French really mean when they stress their difficulties is that they cannot continue to carry their burden both in NATO and in Indochina without additional help from the United States. The French, he said, were also seriously concerned about the ultimate effects of their losses in Indochina on the whole French military manpower reserves. Accordingly, Secretary Acheson suggested that the Senior NSC Staff be asked to undertake a thoroughgoing study of the priority which should be accorded Indochina as compared, for instance, to NATO, and what the United States is really prepared to do in order to keep the French in Indochina.” (Truman Library, Truman papers, PSF–Subject file)

A report on the portion of the NSC Meeting devoted to Southeast Asia is included in documentation on the East Asian-Pacific area in volume xii. See also footnote 5, page 80.