This volume constitutes a continuation of the coverage of United States policy with respect to Indochina which was previously provided in annual East Asian volumes of the Foreign Relations series. For the 1951 compilation on Indochina, see Foreign Relations, 1951, volume VI, pages 332 ff. The documentation printed here is presented in chronological order. Within each given day, papers are arranged according to Washington time of occurrence or receipt to the extent that it was possible to determine it.

The material in this volume should be considered in connection with the compilation on the policy of the United States with respect to the East Asian-Pacific area in general, in volume XII. That collection includes numerous papers which deal with Indochina in the context of overall policy toward Asia and Southeast Asia. Documentation on the question of Indochina also appears in the national security policy compilation in volume II, in various compilations on international conferences in volume V, and in the material on relations of the United States with France in volume vi.

Documentation on the Geneva Conference of April–July 1954 is presented in volume XVI. Generally speaking, papers concerning events in Indochina and the development of basic American policy regarding the area during the period of the conference are included here, while the negotiations themselves and policy decisions intimately related to them are detailed in volume XVI. Cross references to papers in the Geneva Conference volume and other collections have been supplied here in order to provide an unbroken account of events and a comprehensive guide to all material on Indochina in the Foreign Relations series.

This volume should also be considered in light of the material already published in United States Department of Defense, United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967, 12 volumes (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1971), particularly Books 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10. Appropriate cross references to documents in the “Pentagon Papers” have been supplied as necessary throughout the volume. Other published materials found most useful in the preparation of this volume are mentioned in Part B of the list of sources.