396.1 GE/3–254: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in France1


3035. Your 3149 repeated Saigon 346.2 Secretary’s position regarding desirability inclusion Associated States in Indochina phase Geneva conference based upon following:

Analogy with Korean situation. South Koreans and North Koreans were included with question “recognition” specifically reserved.
Absence of Associated States would mean conference would be held without major “interested states.” US has recognized Associated States along with 35 other countries, has advocated their membership in UN and has stressed defense their independence as equal sovereign members of French Union as objective US support current war effort. Department believes strongly Associated States should participate in any discussion of restoration of peace in Indochina. Effect of their absence on public opinion here and presumably also in Indochina would be highly adverse.
Discussion from which Associated States were absent and which was confined to four Berlin powers plus Communist China would in effect be five power conference on Indochina. We joined with UK and French in rejecting “five power conference” concept at Berlin.
While Department recognizes disadvantages presence Ho’s representatives at Geneva, Department considers this more or less inevitable consequence of French acceptance of negotiations without any prior conditions.
It appears essential to Department that there be present at Indochina discussions Asians speaking for people of area fighting against Communist domination. We cannot envisage discussion where Communist China would be only Asian country represented.

Department does not plan make known its position except in context discussions which it is assumed French will initiate.

  1. Drafted by Bonsal of PSA. Repeated to Saigon as telegram 1598.
  2. Dated Mar. 2, p. 428.