S/S–NSC files, lot 63 D 351
Memorandum by the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Bowie) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Washington,] August 5, 1953.
Further Support For France And Indochina
- The attached paper1 has been placed on the NSC paper [agenda?] for August 6, as a matter of urgency. It recommends that a forthcoming French request for additional budgetary assistance in the order of 400 million dollars be approved, subject to a JCS determination that the French plans promise success and a report by the Administrator of the Foreign Operations Agency on the procurement of funds, from either existing or supplementary appropriations.
- The new French government of M. Laniel is the first in seven years which appears capable of achieving success in Indochina and a consequent strengthening of France in Europe. It cannot pursue its plans over domestic opposition without aid from the United States.
- The issues for the NSC are in essence whether the United States should grasp a promising opportunity to further a satisfactory conclusion of the war in Indochina within the next two fighting years; [Page 714]or whether it is prepared to substitute its own forces for the French in the defense of Indochina; or whether it is prepared to accept the loss of Indochina and possibly other areas of South East Asia.
- Confronted with these alternatives, it seems clear that the United States should grant the French request.
R. R. Bowie