396.1 GE/5–1854: Telegram

The Department of State to the United States Delegation 1


Tosec 203. Now that French, Cambodian, and Lao agreement obtained to principle of Thai appeal, (Secto 248 repeated Paris 290 Bangkok 6 London 180 Saigon 892) we hope prompt reply will be forthcoming from Thai and British so that early action can be initiated in New York. Trust French agreement envisages prompt action. Geneva confirm.

Request Donovan discuss matter with Prime Minister.

In your further conversations following comments on points set forth Secto 227 (repeated Bangkok 4 Paris 277 London 170 Saigon 82 USUN by pouch)3 may be helpful:

Re Wan’s concern as to lack of current reason for request to UN, we doubt there could be serious question that sufficient reason presently exists. Vietminh invasion troops still on Lao and Cambodian territories. Threat to these states and Thailand increasing as result military developments. There can be no question condition international tension now exists which is sole prerequisite for POC observation under Uniting for Peace Resolution. Moreover if Vietminh should press Laos invasion it would be important have POC on spot in advance. Principal function POC to report on situations international tension prior to actual invasion.
Re Wan’s and Eden’s comment on Cambodian appeal to UN this appeal addressed to Secretary General did not request UN action.4 However it did reserve Cambodia’s right request action under Charter Article 35. If Wan and others definitely prefer, Thailand, Cambodia and possibly also Laos could file joint request or simultaneous requests for Security Council action.

Re desirability separate problems Laos and Cambodia from Vietnam. When POC subcommission established request for observation could be made by Thailand, Laos and Cambodia only, deferring Vietnam request pending development Geneva negotiations. Thus at least initially situation in Vietnam would not be before UN for action. This would assist rather than hamper efforts separate Lao-Cambodian problem from Vietnam at Geneva as French desire.

If question of relationship POC to possible armistice machinery raised, you might point out:

POC would operate at least in part for benefit Thailand which obviously not within area of armistice.
Presence of POC in Laos and Cambodia would supplement armistice supervisory machinery since POC would report to UN on developments affecting tension in area including Communist attempts at subversion of armistice. Such reports could serve as basis for UN action. POC particularly useful if supervision of armistice should be entrusted to mixed commission or other non-UN body.
Pending negotiations for and implementation of armistice, presence of POC might have some effect in discouraging Communist infiltration and subversion.

  1. Drafted by Stein of UNA/UNP. Sent to Bangkok as telegram 2277; repeated to USUN as telegram 565, to Paris as telegram 4140, to London as telegram 6175, and to Saigon as telegram 2343.
  2. The U.S. Delegation reported in telegram Secto 248, May 18, as follows: “Chauvel states French Government last night agreed to principle of Thai appeal [telegram Secto 227, May 16, p. 822]. Cambodia had previously expressed agreement and Laotians indicated they would agree provided French did.” (396.1 GE/5–1854)
  3. Dated May 16, p. 822.
  4. The U.S. Delegation reported in telegram Dulte 89, May 20, that “Eden is backtracking on UN and says decision must be by Cabinet and may take some time. Am sure we should go ahead full speed without them and that they will come along.” (110.11 DU/5–2054)