751G.00/6–854: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of Defense


Army Message Gento 52. From Defense representative for Hensel from Sullivan, information USARMAs Paris, London and Saigon; repeated action Department State. Following is summary French-Vietnam military talks with Viet Minh 7 June reported to Defense representative by member French delegation:

French representative proposed both sides reach agreement on areas in which each has military superiority as basis for proceeding to discuss regrouping of forces. To this end suggested each side specify areas in which it claims superiority, and that disputed areas be subject to negotiation. As initial gesture, French then described area of delta (apparently that conforming to present dispositions) as one over which it claims military superiority of French Union forces. Invited Viet Minh similarly to specify areas of its own.
Viet Minh representative refused to accept area delimited by French representative stating Viet Minh held many localities within delta, and alleging in addition that sympathies population are with Viet Minh. French representative replied military representatives not concerned with sympathies population, only facts of military situation. Said Viet Minh should present areas it claimed in specific terms so talks could move forward.
Viet Minh representative agreed with French suggestion but did not say when he would make proposal re areas claimed by Viet Minh.
Comment: French delegation contact says military representative sees no use talking daily if Viet Minh refuse to state specific areas they claim. Impression is that French military representative would prefer, under such conditions, to meet only when Viet Minh have something concrete to offer.