S/SNSC files, lot 63 D 351

Memorandum by the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Bowie) to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

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
  1. The attachment does not accompany the source text in the files. It is presumably the report to the National Security Council printed Infra .