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


A meeting of the Six was held this morning:

Ambassador Chauvel explained that there would be no press conferences after the meetings and that only jointly agreed communiqués would be issued.
With regard to the Dien Bien Phu wounded, Bidault will review the situation in the light of latest developments including possibility that negotiations between the high commands in the field have been broken off. Bidault will also ask for news of prisoners.
Bidault will then take up the Eden questions and endeavor to ascertain whether agreement can be reached on (a) separate and rapid consideration of the problems of Cambodia and Laos, and (b) priority over political problems for a cessation of hostilities with appropriate guarantees and international supervision.
In the event that agreement is reached on the question of Laos and Cambodia, Bidault will suggest the constitution of a special committee to deal with the problems and to report back to the Conference (the Cambodians are insistent that separate committees be appointed for Cambodia and for Laos but are willing to defer taking their stand on this point until the principle of separate treatment for the two countries is accepted by the other side).
If the priority of working out a satisfactory cessation of hostilities is accepted, Bidault would plan to suggest (probably not today) that the military commands in the field, i.e., the Franco-Vietnamese command and the Vietminh command be asked to designate officers who would come to Geneva and would here endeavor to work out a detailed proposal for the regrouping of forces for submission to the Conference.
There was some discussion of a Vietnamese proposal that there should be requested a cessation by both sides of military operations of any importance during the current negotiations. It was agreed that this proposal presents many difficulties and should not be made without a great deal of careful further study.

  1. Drafted by Bonsal.