396.1 GE/3–254: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Achilles) to the Department of State

secret

3149. Repeated information Saigon 346. Department telegram 1570 to Saigon repeated Paris 2988.1 All present indications here are that French position is that question should be avoided at all costs in order avoid undesirable counter-demand that representation of Associated States would have to be balanced by representation of Viet Minh, “free” Laos Government, etc. Government’s position has remained [Page 429]unaltered that Viet Minh is in no sense a government and no steps should be countenanced which might lend encouragement to Soviet sponsored fallacy that it is. We are under impression that this position was shared by Associated States Governments and for this reason they are not pressing at moment for participation at Geneva. (Question will undoubtedly be examined at length here after Buu Loc’s arrival).

Would appreciate any background information Department could supply explaining reasoning which led to position advocating full participation of Associated States at Geneva and how it is proposed to deal with question of Viet Minh representation there as consequence. When this becomes known as US position, Embassy will be faced with necessity supporting it under attack from French authorities.

Achilles
  1. Telegram 1570 to Paris, Mar. 1, read: “If you learn French endeavoring exert pressure have Associated States refrain from participating Indochina phase Korean Political Conference please report at once so Department can consider action appropriate. FYI Department strongly of opinion Associated States should be present as full participants at Geneva. End FYI.” (795.00/2–2454)