110.11 DU/6–554: Telegram

SmithMenon Meeting, Geneva, June 4, Evening: The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Dulte 154. Reference Tosec 352.1 Can best comment on Tosec 352 by giving you substance of conversation I had last night with Menon, [Page 1039] who asked to see me. Principal burden of his remarks, again was that in interest of reducing world tensions and to avoid complete failure of international conferences, we should not have a break here on Korea, but should announce a few points of agreement on principle and then agreement to disagree, et cetera.

He had just talked at length with Chou En-lai, and in response to my question, he said Chinese recognized special problems of Laos and Cambodia, but could not agree to their special treatment. Possibly having been filled in on the substance of yesterday afternoon’s debate, Menon gave as a specific example, that the Chinese could not agree to “neutral” supervision in Vietnam and no supervision, or different supervision in Laos and Cambodia. He repeated same arguments given by Molotov and Chou En-lai at yesterday’s closed session. France and United States would build up military strength in Laos and Cambodia for aggression toward Vietnam, et cetera. (Of course, to us this is a subsidiary problem to that of the regroupment of Viet Minh forces outside Laos and Cambodia.)

There was no indication yesterday of a softening of the Communist position as previously described regarding Laos and Cambodia, and I intend to talk privately with Molotov on this matter when he comes to dinner Monday, and may be able thereafter to give a better estimate. My own impression has been that the Communist position hardened somewhat after Molotov returned.