110.11 DU/5–2754: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation 1


Tedul 131. Re Dulte 124.2

Our military authorities are today inviting representatives of other four powers to meet Washington June 3.
This invitation is for moment secret because Australians last [Page 941] night made strong démarche urging that there be public announcement re meeting. In view leaks and speculation, State and Defense agree public announcement would be useful.
We therefore have agreed to following text proposed to us by Australians (which we modified in two minor respects):

Begin text. The Govts of Australia, France, New Zealand, the UK, and the US have agreed that talks will begin in Washington on June 3, between military representatives of their Chiefs of Staff.

Discussions will survey the military situation in the Far East arising out of developments in Indochina. Talks will be without commitment to any of the govts whose military representatives are participating. These discussions should be of value not only to these five govts, but to other govts in the region in any further conversations, military or political, which may take place later on a wider basis. End text.

Coordination and timing of press release will be difficult unless it is done at Geneva where you, Bidault, Eden, and Australian and New Zealand representatives can work out details. Simultaneous release would be made in five capitals.
Accordingly you are authorized (a) to agree to any minor changes in above text; and (b) to agree on release time. (We would suggest 4 pm Washington time Friday May 28.)
Please keep us informed niact re text and release date agreed for issuance here.
In past UK and French have consistently leaked virtually everything to press and jumped gun on ironclad agreements on release time of joint announcements, to disadvantage of US press and our embarrassment. Know you will impress on them there should be no gun-jumping.
  1. Drafted by MacArthur. Repeated to London as telegram 6374, to Paris as telegram 4276, to Canberra as telegram 224, and to Wellington from Canberra as telegram 174.
  2. In telegram Tedul 124, May 27, Smith said he urgently confirmed “my own view way has been cleared for several days for beginning Five-Power talks. Eden has same view and confirms despatch instructions to UK military Washington mentioned first paragraph reference telegram.” (110.11 DU/5–2754)