396.1 GE/5–2954: Telegram

Eighth Restricted Session on Indochina, Geneva, May 29, 3 p.m.: The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 343. Repeated information London 223, Paris 358, Saigon 128. Following is text of statement made by Smith in restricted session Saturday May 29 on Eden proposal. We will release it to press if text of Eden proposal is incorporated in communiqué or if it leaks textually. Department may wish to do same.

“I would like to make clear the position of my delegation on proposal submitted by Mr. Eden.

“I have frequently made it clear that US wants killing to stop throughout Indochina as soon as possible.

“I have also made it clear that US maintains problems of Laos and Cambodia are of a distinctly different nature from problems of Vietnam. It is my view that forces which are now carrying on hostilities against Governments of Laos and Cambodia are foreign forces. US believes it essential that any settlement for Laos and Cambodia must provide for complete withdrawal of these forces from both countries.

“However I do not view proposal made by UK as departing from principle that Laos and Cambodia are in a different situation than Vietnam. Moreover, I would assume that no recommendation made to this conference by any military representatives will involve any violation of this principle and that they will provide for withdrawal of Viet Minh forces from Laos and Cambodia. Having made known these views and assumptions, and upon understanding that this proposal is acceptable to all of the other delegations participating in this conference, USDel will not oppose convening of the military representatives as proposed by UK and would hope that they will produce acceptable solutions. US delegation, of course, reserves its right as do others, to decide for itself whether any of the solutions ultimately proposed by the military experts are consistent with our firm positions on Laos and Cambodia as well as Vietnam which I have already stated to the conference.”