Conference files, lot 60 D 627. CF 285
Memorandum by the Special Adviser to the United States Delegation (Heath) to the Head of the Delegation (Smith)1
[Geneva,] May 31, 1954.
- Meeting of the Six regarding this afternoon’s restricted session on Indochina.
- In reply to Chauvel’s question, I stated that your remarks Saturday2 regarding supervision and controls did not indicate that you were ready to submit definite proposals on this subject. I added that we were not taking the initiative in submitting proposals on this or other questions, leaving this to the countries more directly interested. The Cambodian Delegate pointed out that on this question the Vietminh and the Communist Chinese have advanced rather definite proposals whereas our side is still talking general principles. Chauvel made it clear that Bidault is not yet ready to talk about the composition of the international supervisory authority but that he might advance [Page 983]some ideas regarding the tasks of that authority ((a) keeping the belligerent armies apart and (b) supervising frontiers and ports of entry).
- It was brought out that the other side will probably wish to talk about point 3 of the Chinese Communist proposal relating to the introduction of fresh troops and weapons. We should take the position, as was implictly stated in your remarks last Saturday, that this issue can only be taken up after agreement has been reached regarding the supervisory authority.
- It was tentatively agreed that this afternoon Eden would begin with a general statement regarding the position of the Conference in the light of Saturday’s developments, that you would then talk briefly expanding the remarks you made on Saturday (draft being prepared) and possibly recounting our experience with NNSC in Korea thus refuting the rosy picture painted by Chou En-lai. Bidault might then make a few remarks regarding the tasks of the supervisory machinery in Indochina.
- It seemed generally agreed that our side does not have very much to say today and that we need to develop a coordinated position on the supervisory authority. Therefore it was tentatively agreed that we would try to avoid a meeting on Indochina tomorrow holding the next one on Wednesday, June 2nd.
- The Cambodian Delegate expressed the hope that at the meeting following the one this afternoon the cases of Cambodia and Laos could be taken up again. He made the point that until Vietminh troops were evacuated from Cambodia, Cambodia could agree to no restrictions on Cambodia’s right to introduce reinforcements and weapons.
- The Vietnamese representative expressed regret that the Conference agreement regarding the unity of Viet-Nam had not been incorporated in the communiqué. He may raise this issue. We could probably support a public statement on this subject if other delegations approve (we should not, however, carry the torch on this one).