396.1 GE/5–2654: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1


Tosec 288. Following are replies to numbered questions in Secto 309:2

Since sticking to UN as only control machinery would raise in acute form problem of Chinese representation, answer is no.
Our position is that Laos and Cambodia constitute problem separate from Vietnam. We would favor POC observation in those countries as substitute for armistice supervision. While this would not be equivalent to UN supervision of an armistice, it would provide UN observation of any major breaches in armistice involving those countries.
In light of (1) above, this question does not arise.
Our minimum position should be to oppose any commission composition of which would place a veto in Communist hands (Cf. NNSC in Korea). Our optimum position would be an international control commission composed of: Thailand, India, Burma, Ceylon, Pakistan, all nations which have consistently been spokesmen for Asian integrity and generally occupy range of territory nearby or contiguous to danger zone. (We prefer not to include Indonesia but if this were done we would insist on addition of Philippines.)

We consider that personnel of this commission would act as representatives of their respective govts and would engage responsibility of those govts to which they would report.

This procedure would we hope involve Asian nations responsibly in an undertaking affecting their own security and contributing to their understanding of (a) Communist imperialist threat to South and Southeast Asia, and (b) burdens of maintaining independence in face of such menace.

Salaries of a control commission could be paid by their govts and logistic support could be financed by opposing sides. However size and nature of supervisory body would largely control type of financing, which might in end prove to be extremely costly. For this reason we would have to reserve our position on this until later stage in negotiations.

  1. Drafted by Sturm of FE/PSA and Gullion of S/P. Repeated to Paris as telegram 4302 and to Saigon as telegram 2440.
  2. Dated May 26, p. 933.