396.1 GE/5–2854: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1


Tosec 285. For Under Secretary from Secretary. Advices from New York indicate that British and French are both opposing Thai request for UN observation commission. I had understood from you that the French had definitely agreed to support this and that while the British were reluctant to go along and wanted to work out procedural understanding with us, they were in last analysis prepared to support step. Last fall the Thais were ready to go ahead and papers were all drawn. Then at last minute we advised them to give in to pressure from the French. Now again they are ready to go and have sent representative especially to New York for purpose and matter has received wide publicity. In my opinion US will appear as totally bankrupt, incompetent and undependable if we now repeat the performance of last year and tell the Thais we will not support them. It will be particularly ignominious since I publicly stated at press conference that we would support UN application. I feel so strongly on this matter that I would be disposed to push ahead even though we know British and French would oppose us openly. I would rather accept that consequence bad as it is than the alternative.

There is mounting tide of Congressional criticism due to failure to bring Indochina matter before UN. This was indicated at yesterday’s Foreign Affairs hearing on Indochina authorization of funds. It is difficult to overstate the importance which we attach to proceeding in the UN. Failure may jeopardize our chance to get funds for area and also our larger objectives. The Thai proposal takes matter to UN in form least likely to compromise or embarrass Geneva discussions.

I would be willing to limit present decision to Security Council application, leaving open the question of what if anything should be done if Soviet vetoes in Security Council. It is probable that by that time fate of Geneva will be known.

  1. Drafted by the Secretary of State. Repeated to USUN as telegram 599, to Paris as telegram 4300, to London as telegram 6420, and to Bangkok as telegram 2366.