396.1 GE/7–2054: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 686. Repeated information priority Saigon 114, Paris 83. Following is unofficial translation of text of note received from Vietnamese delegation this afternoon:

“In case of rejection of the proposal for a cease-fire without partition, and in order not to slow down the search for another peaceful solution, the delegation of the State of Vietnam solemnly draws the attention of the other delegations to the following points:

“The armistice agreement, considered as an act of a purely military nature, affecting only the French High Command and the Viet Minh High Command, and only being signed by the two commanders-inchief and by their representatives, will lead nevertheless to consequences which compromise the future of the State of Vietnam from other points of view.

“In effect, it leads to the abandonment of territory, of populations, of civilian public services.

“The delegation of powers that the French High Command holds from the Chief of State of Vietnam, insofar as Vietnamese troops are [Page 1478] concerned, does not imply that the State of Vietnam must endure such grave consequences.

  • “(a) On the line of demarcation: The delegation of the State of Vietnam regrets that it is not able to subscribe to a solution of partition, that is to say, the abandoning to the Viet Minh of all the north of Vietnam, of the most populous part of Vietnam, an abandonment which takes from Vietnam, in the military as well as in the political field, the possibility of resisting Communist expansion.

    “The State of Vietnam cannot abandon the Catholic populations which have shown their will to remove themselves and to be removed from the Communist regime. That is why our delegation asks:

  • “(b) For the protection of the populations that everything possible be undertaken in order that the population mav be effectively protected against what would be for them a political and moral annihilation, and that their transfer into a non-Communist zone, if they show this desire, be assured under the most effective conditions.
  • “(c) On the right of the State of Vietnam to assure its own defense.

    “The prohibition against any importation of new arms into Vietnam after the armistice would only work in favor of the Viet Minh for whom no control could, in practice, prevent from continuing to receive arms across the very long Chinese frontier.

    “To the contrary, such a prohibition would condemn the State of Vietnam to be able for its defense to count only on the maintenance in Vietnam of an expeditionary corps which the French Government has stated that it intends to repatriate as soon as possible.

“For these reasons, the State of Vietnam cannot accept to see taken from it not only a vital part of its territory and of its population but, beyond that, the right of a sovereign and independent state to organize its defense in the manner that it believes the most in conformity with its national interests.”