396.1 GE/5–3154: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

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Dulte 136. Personal and eyes only for Secretary.

Dear Foster: There is one consideration in connection with your Western trip that worries me a great deal. This trip might, I fear, coincide with what one might call the windup of the “Foreign Minister” phase of the Conference. I think Eden will leave Thursday, for reasons which I told you privately. Molotov is making a quick trip to Moscow this weekend, and my guess is that he will leave around the end of next week, or the first of the following week if by then the military representatives are on the spot and working. Bidault, who trusts few of his associates, will probably divide his time between here and Paris, as he has a large stake in the military recommendations.

I think we should wind up Korea during the next week or ten days, depending on your decision regarding the two alternative lines of action suggested in my Dulte 134 of May 301 to Murphy, and during this period the senior members of the sixteen will be drifting out. Some have already gone.

The trouble is that this will be just the time I need to be in close tough with you. I have the feeling that things are going to happen very fast during the next ten days. Unless arrangements can be made for me to receive your personal advice and instructions very promptly, it might be better for me to come home as you originally suggested, either letting Murphy replace me or, possibly even better, leaving Robertson and Johnson to carry on here. After a month here, I have a certain feeling of the realities of the situation that I find reflected only in your personal messages and in the conversations we had before your departure. I am quite certain, for example, that we will see a division of Vietnam, no matter what it is called, and that we will be lucky to save half of it, as we will be lucky if we do not lose a considerable northern slice of Laos. We will be equally lucky if all concerned would accept supervision in Indochina by the Colombo powers, possibly with the association of a neutral European State. Norway, by the way, was not my suggestion, but Menon’s, and I agree that we should not propose it as the French don’t take to it. I am reasonably sure that neither the Communists, nor India would take Thailand or the Philippines, as they consider them our stooges, but I think we should try for them, at least as a gesture, if the Colombo powers or other Asian States are proposed by others. Menon has been busy trying to sell the idea of India and Norway to the Russians and Chinese, [Page 993]I do not know with what success. Incidentally, today the Russians made the first bid: India, Pakistan, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

If I could have your own personal thoughts on these matters, it would be of great help to me. Signed Bedell.

Smith
  1. Ante, p. 981.