396.1 GE/6–154: Telegram

SmithEdenBidault Meeting, June 1, 1954, Noon: The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 138. Eden asked for a private meeting this noon with Bidault and myself. After apologizing for passing out “the usual British bit of paper”, he handed each of us the following, saying at the same time that “British would support the position of France in Indochina and would go along with Americans in Korea”.

“I. Indochina.

  • “1. How do the French and Americans see the future Development of the conference? Is it or is it not urgent to get an agreement? What are the chances of getting the main lines of an agreement worked out by the end of next week?
  • “2. Will the French have ready for tomorrow’s meeting their own detailed proposals on international control under M. Bidault’s headings:
    • “(a) Form and functions.
    • “(b) Composition.
    • “(c) Ultimate authority.
  • “3. In particular, can we make a counterproposal on composition? Can we propose the five Colombo powers?
  • “4. Have the French also begun to work out their ideas on the guarantee, the introduction of new material and personnel and the other remaining questions covered by the Chinese proposals?
  • “5. What may we say to Chou En-lai tonight? May we sound him about the Colombo powers?

[Here follows Part II which dealt with Korea; for text, see page 333.]

After some discussion we agreed with regard to point one—Indochina—it is urgent to clear the thing up with the main lines of agreement worked out by the end of next week in order that the major issues will not be fuzzed up by a mass of supplementary proposals.

With regard to points 2 and 3, it was agreed that the Soviet proposal made yesterday was completely unacceptable. We agreed as a tactical procedure that the US would make the first counterproposal [Page 994] as suggested by Tosec 288.1 Neither the US nor British should propose the Colombo powers, but France might do so on the basis of a compromise, and we would then see how it might develop. My own view is that this is the best solution we are likely to get, and it has marked advantages from many points of view.

With regard to point 4, the decision will depend on what develops in connection with the cease-fire and the ultimate authority for supervision, and we will not touch on that matter.

With regard to point 5, it was decided that Eden would say tonight to Chou En-lai simply that the Soviet proposal was completely unacceptable; that the Americans had very strong views which were supported by France and British and they would probably make a counterproposal.

[Here follows a portion of the telegram which dealt with discussion of Part II on Korea: for text, see page 333.]

  1. Dated May 28, p. 966.