396.1 GE/7–2154: Telegram
Eighth Plenary Session on Indochina, Geneva, July 21, 3:10 p.m.: The United States Delegation to the United States Information Agency
Tousi 15. For Berding/Phillips. Geneva Guide Final. But for Molotov’s sudden awakening at 4:10 this after, conference chairman Eden might have closed the Geneva Conference without a final round Communist harangue. Matter of fact, plenary session was actually closed in Eden’s words when Soviet Foreign Minister suddenly asked whether closing statements were in order. Probably weren’t but he started off anyway.
Naturally, he set the theme for his two Asian colleagues, striking chords of “peaceful co-existence”, “relaxation of tensions”, and the “success” achieved at Geneva by the “forces of peace”. Molotov’s tone considered moderate, especially towards US, but this did not last long. Pham Van Dong picked up the theme but not the tone, and once having touched in his own words on the “Communist success” (and thus the conference success, of course) at Geneva, he launched into the type of aggressive attack that has come to be expected of him. Certainly it was in bad taste under the circumstances.
Aside from these three speeches, final session of conference, as you know from news file, devoted largely to presentation of final declaration plus special statements from almost everyone of Allied delegations. Some of these made for home consumption, especially when they reflected note of protest, demand or reservation. This does not, of course, apply to US declaration, principles of which are well-known and can be dealt with accordingly. Certainly Smith’s forthright statement can be considered a sound and positive, rather than negative, approach to problems of guaranteeing peace and security in Southeast Asia, and protecting fundamental rights of man in which free [Page 1502] world believes. US declaration was actually much stronger and had much more substance for non-Communist states than conference declaration by other members. Our statement was the only one which really carried the weight of a guarantee against further aggression. This should be a recurring point in our commentary on the whole conference.
Treatment: Of other separate declarations, only one with which we need deal especially, aside from noting (as did the conference, in most cases), is short Vietnam resolution prepared for insertion into the final declaration. Not accepted as an insertion, but since it states worthy pledge on behalf of Vietnam to bend all efforts to re-establish real peace in that country, and to refrain from using force to oppose any implementation of cease-fire agreements, US supports it. Because of the language, it requires careful handling, with emphasis on the pledge, and not on irony of its phraseology. US considers this a statement of valid intent to achieve true and lasting peace, and we wish the Vietnam[ese] well.
Communist wind-ups were notable, and even vulnerable, for at least one specific strain which ran through them all. At every turn they combined the “forces of peace”: Viet Minh, Communist China and the Soviet Union, with France. In their lexicon, France is on their side, because it helped to make peace and peace is their private property. Not only weakness of this argument but the affrontery of it should be obvious. We suspect French themselves will rebut this premise, and we should pick up everything in next few days, probably from Mendes in Paris, which helps knock down that inadmissible although not new by any means, Communist reasoning.
Notable also was Asian Communist appeals, either in Dong’s language or in Chou’s more moderate approach, for what would amount to an Asian security pact. Their principal objective is just such a pact as Molotov has proposed for Europe, with US isolated. We have our answer to that, which presumably is being worked into our output as situation permits.
Also note heavy reliance on cultural and economic cooperation theme, to which our national strategy for this area might have some other than straight military answers. It has been obvious throughout conference that Chou is most concerned over US activities in Asia, so the more active we are, on all fronts, and especially in the next two years where elections will be held, the more anxious we can make him. Our statement is part of the strategy referred to; it stands out of the welter of language in Geneva today as a real, valid, and applicable principle, and should be treated as such.