751G.00/5–2054: Telegram

The Chargé at Saigon (McClintock) to the Department of State


2478. Repeated information Paris 875, Geneva 136, Hanoi, Bangkok unnumbered. Reference Department telegram to Hanoi 633, Saigon 2307 repeated Geneva Tosec 166, Paris 4090, Bangkok unnumbered.1 Consul Hanoi states that in addition Governor Tri’s comments reported Hanoi telegram to Department 667 repeated Saigon 592, Paris 306, Bangkok unnumbered,2 Tri said he had sent during the past week to Bao Dai and Buu Loc telegrams re serious situation in Vietnam. He urged Bao Dai approach US directly with view obtain clarification American attitude toward Vietnam and develop closer cooperation between two nations in effort solve urgent problems Vietnam. Tri said that French, as result their apparent inability act during present crisis, were rapidly losing control situation and that time has arrived when Vietnam must assume responsibility deal directly with US on problems mutual interest. Tri appears feel French no longer capable maintain direction of war effort and that constructive measures meet present situation developed only in direct United States–Vietnam relationship.3

[Page 1586]

Tri said he urged Buu Loc return Vietnam immediately to reactivate Central Government which, according Tri, now almost nonexistent, bring himself up to date on present crisis and initiate necessary measures, particularly in North Vietnam.

  1. Dated May 14, p. 1568.
  2. See footnote 4, p. 1569.
  3. McClintock transmitted a report on the deterioration of the internal situation in southern Vietnam in telegram 2480 of May 20. He cited indications of the danger of fighting between the confessional sects and the national army, of the increased strength of the Binh Xuyen in Saigon, and of possible physical danger to the Embassy. (751G.00/5–2054) In telegram 2483, May 20, he further reported that government forces in central Vietnam seemed entirely uncoordinated and leaderless. Vietnamese officials seemed hypnotized by the Geneva Conference and the possibility of a Viet Minh political or military victory. (751G.00/5–2054)