396.1 GE/5–2154: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1

secret

Tosec 254. Reference Secto 279 May 21.2 We are disturbed by persistent Communist bloc attempts during restricted Indochina meeting May 21 to gain acceptance of principle that all three Associated States, to some degree at least, should be given simultaneous consideration and similar treatment.

We note with approval your statements tending to stress essential difference between Vietnam on the one hand and Laos and Cambodia on the other. In this connection we refer to Tosec 1523 which states as seventh principle basic to any acceptable settlement “evacuation of Vietminh forces from Laos and Cambodia”.

We are apprehensive that if Molotov and DRV delegation obtain acceptance of proposition that any single provision or group of provisions is applicable to Indochina as a whole, way will in effect have been opened for internationally recognized implantation of Vietminh elements in Laos and Cambodia.

You should continue vigorously to reject DRV contention that “differences in three States are of degree but not of kind”. Our contention is that distinction is precisely one of kind and that failure to insist upon this difference will tend to extend a kind of recognition to shadow Khmer and Pathet-Lao. We must decline to be brought into discussion of Molotov’s point 2, “zones for regrouping forces”, as this provision might apply to Laos and Cambodia. Our position with regard to these latter two countries is that they are victims of foreign [Page 913]aggression and there can be no question of establishing zones in them for regroupment of enemy forces.

Dulles
  1. Drafted by Sturm of FE/PSA. Repeated to Paris as telegram 4235 and to Saigon as telegram 2393.
  2. Ante, p. 877.
  3. Dated May 13, p. 787.