396.1 GE/5–854: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 144. Repeated information Paris 223, Saigon 42. Dac Khe and Buu Kinh outlined views Vietnamese delegation with which they said Bao Dai in general agreement to Ambassador Heath as follows:

Vietnam had never wanted Geneva conference. They hoped it would fail though they would not sabotage it.
They were somewhat concerned over US headlines (New York Herald Tribune May 7) we were “writing off” Vietnam. Ambassador Heath assured them this not US intention.
Vietnamese feel most strongly military solution Indochina must be tied to political solution and accordingly they fear French desire end war will lead them accept cease-fire without political guarantees.
Vietnamese would support French proposal for armistice provided it was part of a military political program; Laniel plan acceptable basis but should be expanded include UN inspection teams along Chinese border; Viet Minh should lay down arms under amnesty guaranteed by UN. Some time after armistice national elections would occur followed then (and only then) in coalition government if election results so dictated.
Vietnamese plan discussed generally with French but without references UN which Vietnamese fear unacceptable to French.
Vietnamese believe Security Council safest UN form introduce their problems since the US or Chinese Nationalist veto could block unacceptable Soviet proposal. They seemed concerned re undesirable Indian leadership UNGA.
On conference tactics, Dac Khe says Vietnamese desire speak after Viet Minh in order follows 24 hours later with speech which would both rebut and attack while leaving responsibility Viet Minh for throwing first stone.
It was agreed US and Vietnamese delegations should maintain close contact.