396.1 GE/6–654: Telegram

SmithBidault Meeting, Geneva, June 5, Morning: The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 156. Repeated information Paris 393. Paris eyes only Ambassador. Reference: (1) Deptel 4023 repeated Geneva Tedul 541 (2) Deptel 4272 repeated Geneva Tosec 2692 (3) Deptel 4286 repeated Geneva Tedul 133.3 Bidault made following comments yesterday morning on US conditions for internationalization Indochinese conflict:

Reference 1 paragraph 2b: He foresaw no difficulties regarding request to other nations but wondered whether this problem might be [Page 1040] simplified, although he did not amplify. I feel sure French would like to be informed soonest of progress negotiations with other interested nations.
Reference 1 paragraph 2c: Bidault feels Thailand resolution provisionally takes care this problem. He reminded me of difficulties which might arise regarding similar action on part of Laos and Cambodia. I pointed out that we able move fast in Korea because of POC on spot and stated most desirous establish counterpart in Thailand which at later date could extend activities to whole region. He was noncommittal.
Reference 2 paragraph 2: Bidault questioned advisability President unilaterally making formal pledge re fulfillment full independence and sovereignty Vietnam. He believed isolated American guarantee ran risk of being interpreted as “vassalization” of Associated States by US; that guarantee should be directed toward territorial integrity, defense and security of Associated States rather than independence “as is usual in case of this kind” and that such a guarantee might be better within framework of any Southeast Asia organizations agreement.
Reference 2 paragraph 3c: Bidault suggested change words “after end of hostility” to “after reestablishment peace and within period to be determined in agreement with Government Vietnam.”
Reference 3 paragraph 2: He suggested paragraph read “throughout duration collective action present French effort will be maintained account being taken of France’s international obligations, requirements for metropolitan defense and its obligations toward countries in French Union and its protectorates.” Bidault stated that such language would be most helpful in EDC debates since many EDC enemies claim France could not maintain forces both metropolitan France and Asia. I pointed out that some conditions in new draft were inherent, such as requirements for national defense. Said I would report his proposal to Department.
Reference 1 paragraph 7: Bidault stated that French Government could only consider submission of request for assistance to Parliament upon complete failure Geneva conference, otherwise government would fall. I replied understood Laniel was prepared lay agreement before Parliament and Cabinet after decision taken honorable armistice not possible Geneva. I pointed out this parliamentary approval essential because of long term basis our commitments and need to rely on fulfillment of conditions by any successor French Government. I continued he and Laniel should judge timing and my government would not press French to take any action which might bring on government crisis.

  1. Dated May 11; see volume xiii.
  2. Dated May 26; see ibid.
  3. Telegram 4286 to Paris, May 27, not printed, contained suggestions for meeting the French requirement that an agreement for jointh action must allow France some flexibility in regard to the withdrawal of its forces from Indochina in the event of a substantial increase in the strength of the Vietnamese National Army. (751G.00/5–2254)