396.1 GE/3–454: Telegram
The Chargé in France (Achilles) to the Department of State
3176. Repeated information London 723, Moscow 257, Saigon 352. Reference telegram 2986, March 2 .1 I discussed substance of reference telegram with Maurice Schumann today.
He believed that while early days of Geneva would be soon enough for ministerial discussion on Indochina problems, he thought that there should be preliminary tripartite discussions here both in view of importance of reaching agreed tripartite position and psychologically in France to make clear conference was not really “Korean” one with Indochina being treated only incidentally. He said there was no hurry since Franco-Vietnam talks2 would continue through most of March. Perhaps last ten days before Geneva conference met would be sufficient time.
On question of Associated States representation, he reiterated efforts made at Berlin to frame agreement so as to include Associated States and exclude Ho, confirmed Embassy telegram 3175, March 4,3 that definite position would not be taken until after consultation with [Page 431]Associated States and US and UK. He cited this as additional reason for holding preliminary discussions before Geneva. He said telegrams from De Jean indicated Vietnamese not too anxious to be represented but that he could understand our desire that they be present to avoid connotation of “five-power conference”.