Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 285

Memorandum by the Special Adviser to the United States Delegation (Heath) to the Head of the Delegation (Smith)1

secret

At the meeting of the Six2 this morning the following was generally agreed:

a)
In the event that Molotov opens the meeting by reading the communication he has received from Chou En-lai regarding the candidacies [Page 748]of the Laotian and Cambodian resistance “governments”, the six delegations on our side will express their opposition in the following order: Cambodia, Laos, France, UK, Viet-Nam and the US. (The purpose of having the US speak last is because of the understanding that you will address yourself not only to the proposal regarding the ghost governments but also will wish to express your general support of Bidault’s proposals.)
b)
The Vietnamese Delegation, for the purpose of getting the jump on the Vietminh, is sending a letter to the Chairman (Molotov) asking that the Conference take the position that it is necessary that the problem of the evacuation of the wounded from Dien Bien Phu be considered without delay and before the examination of the problems regarding the armistice and the restoration of peace in Indochina. The Vietnamese Delegate will not insist on immediate discussion of the proposal but he wishes it to be made known to the Conference.
c)
In the event that proceedings are such that the Vietminh Delegate concludes his substantive speech, it is the present plan for the Cambodian Delegate who has a speech ready, to be the first to speak in reply. The Vietnamese Delegate wishes to reflect and to prepare his answer.
d)
The further possibility is that Molotov will immediately recognize the Vietminh Delegate and ask him to proceed with his substantive speech. If this occurs you should arise on a point of order pointing out that the Conference still has before it the Vietminh proposal to admit delegations from Free Cambodia and Pathet Lao on which you desire to make some brief remarks.

Attached are (a) the text in French and English of Chou En-lai’s communication to Molotov and (b) French text of the letter the Vietnamese representative is sending to Molotov on the wounded.3

  1. Drafted by Bonsal.
  2. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
  3. Not printed. (Conference files, lot 60 D 627, OF 286)